Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 24, 2019
On the eve of the Feb. 25 trade deadline, check out the latest on Mark Stone, Kevin Hayes, Wayne Simmonds and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports the market for Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone is drying up because the Senators’ asking price is too high. They’re looking for Grade-A prospects as part of the return. If the market comes down, the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames would be the front-runners for Stone, with the Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins on the outside looking in. Elliotte Friedman said there’s a feeling the Senators could attempt to return to Stone to see if they can re-sign him.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch also reports there’s a slim hope the two sides might reach an agreement on a contract extension. The Stone camp previously rejected an eight-year offer. He also lists the Jets, Bruins, and Flames as possible suitors, along with the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s believed the Senators seek a first-round pick along with two strong assets for Stone. A league source suggested as many as eight teams in the playoff race could be looking at the winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators shipped out Matt Duchene on Friday and Ryan Dzingel yesterday. Stone could be moved today but this could go down to tomorrow’s 3 pm ET deadline. If the Senators cannot re-sign him, they’ll either risk losing him for nothing via free agency this summer or peddle him for the best offer they can find. I don’t think they have much choice but to choose the latter option. Maybe one of those clubs gets desperate enough to meet the Sens’ asking price before then.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos believes New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes could become “Plan B” for teams that fail to land Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators. Those clubs could include the Jets and Predators. The Jets’ first-round pick is in play and Kypreos speculates a prospect like Logan Stanley might also interest the Rangers.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Flames, Jets, and Bruins are looking at Hayes but they’re also waiting to see what the Senators do with Mark Stone. He also reports the Bruins, Predators, and Toronto Maple Leafs are said to be interested in Rangers winger Chris Kreider, who’s signed through next season with a $4.625-million salary-cap hit. If the Rangers don’t intend on keeping Kreider beyond 2019-20, he feels they should either move him now or during the NHL Draft in June.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Senators remain insistent on a big return for Stone, some of the clubs interested in him could shift their focus to Hayes today. Because of Kreider’s contract and his physical offensive style, the Rangers could set a higher asking price than what they could seek for Hayes.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman speculates the Jets, Flames, and San Jose Sharks could have interest in Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds “if Philadelphia feels (a) it wants to make the deal, and (b) is sufficiently out of the playoffs, to do it too.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month there was a report indicating the Flyers still intended to trade Simmonds regardless of their surge in the standings. He could also become an option for clubs that lose out on Mark Stone.
PANTHERS PLANNING DEADLINE MOVES?
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): George Richards reports Derick Brassard could be the Florida Panthers’ biggest trade chip when it comes to players on expiring contracts. They scratched him from yesterday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings and Richards expects a number of playoff contender to express interest in Brassard.
Other pending UFAs who could become trade candidates include Riley Sheahan, Bogdan Kiselevich, Jamie McGinn, Troy Brouwer, and Chris Wideman. Defenseman Mark Pysyk, who’s signed through 2019-20, could also be available. The Panthers also requested a list of trade destinations from winger Mike Hoffman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet analyst and former NHL forward Marc Savard reports the Arizona Coyotes could be among the clubs looking at Hoffman as they hope to make a push for the playoffs. The Panthers should get a better return for him than what they might get for Brassard.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks have told inquiring teams they aren’t trading defenseman Erik Gustafsson, who has 43 points in 59 games this season. Meanwhile, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Artem Anisimov, Marcus Kruger, and Chris Kunitz have no interest in waiving their no-movement clauses. They’re still shopping winger John Hayden.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks could be a modest buyer by the deadline. As they’ve played their way back into the playoff picture I don’t see them being sellers.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Edmonton Oilers weren’t likely to move winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who could be sidelined for the season with a lower-body injury. He adds the Oilers were telling interested parties they’d also have to take Milan Lucic and his $6-million annual average value through 2022-23 as well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lucic would also have to waive his no-movement clause, which he probably might do considering how poorly things are going in Edmonton. But nobody’s taking that contract off their hands so no point worrying over whether Lucic would agree to be dealt.
POTENTIAL TRADE TARGETS FOR THE FLAMES
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson lists Ottawa’s Mark Stone, Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds, the Rangers’ Kevin Hayes, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth, and Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist as potential trade targets for the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Flames GM Brad Treliving standing pat. With his club riding high in the Western Conference standings and visions of the Stanley Cup dancing in his head, I expect he’ll make an acquisition before the deadline, perhaps for one of those players on Gilbertson’s list.
QUIET DEADLINE FOR LEAFS?
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the Toronto Maple Leafs could be quiet at the deadline as the prices could be too high. They’ve been scouting the Carolina Hurricanes, who have some right-shot defenseman such as Brett Pesce, but Johnston speculates if they do make a move it could be a small one.
STAAL WANTS TO STAY IN MINNESOTA
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal does not want to be traded. He has a 10-team no-trade list. While he cannot prevent a deal, he’s made it clear he prefers to stay in Minnesota. That could kill off interest from clubs that might’ve considered looking into his availability.