Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 17, 2019
Latest on Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin, and Jesse Puljujarvi plus updates on the Flames, Islanders, and Stars in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
UPDATE ON STONE AND DUCHENE
SPORTSNET (via Kukla’s Korner): Elliotte Friedman reports the Ottawa Senators have re-engaged with right wing Mark Stone’s representatives in hopes of working out a contract extension. Nick Kypreos said the structure of the contract and signing bonuses appear to be the issue. Chris Johnston said rumors had the Vegas Golden Knights interested in Stone but he gets the sense they’re not interested in the rental market at all. They might pursue Stone if he becomes a UFA this summer.
Friedman also said the Senators are quietly testing the trade market for center Matt Duchene. He expects trade talks could heat up over the next several days.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve felt the Senators were prepared to lose one or the other but not both. Not surprised that there’s a push on getting Stone re-signed as he came up through their system and seemed keenest to stay in Ottawa. I’m not disparaging Duchene but I’ve gotten the impression Stone is more interested in remaining a Senator. A lot can happen between now and the Feb. 25 trade deadline but my best guess is they re-sign Stone and move Duchene before the deadline for the best available offer.
SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE PANARIN?
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty recently opined the Bruins should make a run at acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin. He notes Bruins winger David Pastrnak is out for an indeterminate period with an injured thumb, heightening their need for a scoring winger. Haggerty acknowledged landing Panarin will be expensive and the risk he’ll bolt via free agency in July, suggesting it could cost a good young player like Jake DeBrusk and a first-round pick. He wondered if the Blue Jackets might bite on Trent Frederic or Danton Heinen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins paid a big price last season for Rick Nash and it didn’t pan out. GM Don Sweeney might prefer a more affordable rental winger or perhaps someone signed beyond this season.
LATEST ON THE FLAMES
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos thinks the Calgary Flames’ priority heading toward the trade deadline was finding a veteran defenseman as they’ve used four blueliners 22-and-younger this season. He also said rumors have linked them to forwards like Ottawa’s Mark Stone and the New York Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello. If veteran winger James Neal (lower-body injury) is out longer than expected, Kypreos wonders if they might be more aggressive in pursuing a forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m expecting the Flames to swing a deal for a rental before the deadline. They’re among the top teams in the Western Conference and I think GM Brad Treliving sees his club as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. If he’s looking for a winger Zuccarello would be more affordable than Stone.
UPDATE ON PULJUJARVI
SPORTSNET: While there’s talk the Edmonton Oilers might be willing to trade struggling young winger Jesse Puljujarvi, Nick Kypreos considers that highly unlikely. He feels the 20-year-old’s trade value to be at an all-time low and expects he’ll be sent back to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield to get him into a more positive environment. Elliotte Friedman speculates Puljujarvi might want out of Edmonton but Kypreos insists they won’t give him away.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ordinarily I’d agree with this assessment but who the hell knows what’s going on with the Oilers anymore? Yes, interim GM Keith Gretzky made a couple of decent minor moves this weekend (Cam Talbot to Philadelphia for Anthony Stolarz in a cost-cutting deal, reacquiring Sam Gagner by sending little-used Ryan Spooner to Vancouver) but who’s to say he won’t move Puljujarvi if someone pitches what he considers a tempting offer?
COULD THE PENGUINS GO AFTER ZUCCARELLO?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks still expects the Rangers will trade pending UFA forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello before the trade deadline. Both players want longer-term deals while management wants shorter terms. Brooks speculates the Pittsburgh Penguins could be in on Zuccarello. The Pens don’t have a lot to give up but Brooks feels the Rangers would covet their first-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also expect Hayes and Zuccarello will be moved before the deadline. I doubt the Penguins will part with their first rounder for Zuccarello. Consensus suggests he’ll fetch at most a second-rounder, something the Pens lack in this year’s and next year’s drafts.
WILL THE ISLANDERS BECOME BUYERS?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Islanders are in on Columbus’ Artemi Panarin, Ottawa’s Mark Stone, or Florida’s Mike Hoffman. He also wondered if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello would be interested in a reunion with LA Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who played for Lamoriello with the New Jersey Devils. He also suggested Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid, who’s been linked to the Tampa Bay Lightning, might be a good fit with the Isles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We never know what the always-secretive Lamoriello has in store heading toward the trade deadline, but we know he has a history of swinging deadline deals to bolster his rosters when they’re in a good position for a possible playoff run. The Isles have exceeded expectations this season and Lamoriello could shop around for a player or two.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Dallas Stars could be among the suitors for Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin or Rangers’ winger Mats Zuccarello.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist is drawing interest in the trade market. However, it’s unclear if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause or where he’ll waive it to.