Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 19, 2019
Should the Canadiens attempt to sign Mitch Marner or Kasperi Kapanen to an offer sheet? Should the Flyers pursue Nazem Kadri? Could Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky become “sign-and-trade” candidates? Check out the latest speculation in this Sunday’s NHL rumor roundup.
COULD THE HABS OFFER SHEET MARNER OR KAPANEN?
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey suggests the Canadiens should attempt to sign Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner to an offer sheet in July. He points out the Leafs lack sufficient salary-cap space to match an expensive offer.
If successful, the compensation to the Leafs would be two first-round draft picks, plus a second and a third-round pick. Hickey feels that’s worth it for a player who’s already an established young star. Such a move would be more worthwhile than pursuing older players like Columbus’ Artemi Panarin or Matt Duchene via the unrestricted free agent market.
TVA SPORTS: suggests landing Marner would be too expensive, especially for a GM like Montreal’s Marc Bergevin who prefers building through the draft. A better option would be Leafs winger Kasperi Kapanen. He’d be more affordable in terms of salary and compensation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The last offer-sheet signing took place in 2013 and was quickly matched. It also takes two to tango. The player has to be willing to sign an offer sheet. For all we know, Marner and Kapanen have no interest in entertaining that notion. That’s not to suggest they won’t. However, Montreal might not be their preferred choice regardless of the salary.
Bergevin hasn’t ruled out going the offer-sheet route. However, it’s important to remember his comments on the subject back in early-March. “Just making an offer sheet for the sake of making an offer sheet, I don’t believe in that”…“You have to believe there’s a real chance you’re getting the player.’’
WILL THE FLYERS TARGET KADRI?
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi feels the Philadelphia Flyers could attempt to bolster their center depth via trade or free agency this summer. Potential free-agent options could include Columbus’ Matt Duchene or Winnipeg’s Kevin Hayes. Carchidi proposes pursuing Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri.
Despite the decline in Kadri’s production last season and his undisciplined postseason play, Carchidi feels he’d be a good second-line addition for the Flyers. He also notes the center has three years left on his contract with an affordable $4.5 million AAV.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could be forced to shed Kadri’s salary to free up payroll to re-sign Marner. They won’t want to take back much salary. If the Flyers are interested, a decent draft pick and either a good prospect or promising young player might be enough to get him. Kadri would cost a lot less salary-wise than Duchene or Hayes.
SIGN-AND-TRADE PANARIN AND BOBROVSKY?
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently pondered the possibility of the Columbus Blue Jackets signing pending UFAs Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky and then trading them. It’s a tactic that’s yet to be employed under the current collective bargaining agreement.
Under that scenario, one or both sign eight-year contracts with the Jackets before July 1, as they would be limited to seven years as UFAs. The theory is the extra year would be attractive to the player and improve their trade value.
Panarin and Bobrovsky both seem destined to depart via free agency. A sign-and-trade option could help the Jackets recoup some of the NHL draft picks they shipped out at the trade deadline to acquire players like Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Rangers and Florida Panthers could be willing to entertain that scenario. Panarin’s been linked to the Rangers by the New York media for months. The Panthers, meanwhile, are believed interested in both players.
If the Jackets already know for sure that both players aren’t coming back, it gives management plenty of time to put that type of deal together. We’ll find out in a little over a month if a sign-and-trade comes to pass for one or both players.