Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 5, 2019
More speculation over possible moves by the Leafs, an update on the Oilers’ attempts to sign Ken Holland as their new GM, some Flames conjecture and more in today’s Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
LATEST LEAFS SPECULATION
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently suggested several ways Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could make a big move this summer. Trading William Nylander for a hefty return is one. Chasing a marquee free agent such as Tyler Myers, Jeff Skinner, Wayne Simmonds, Kevin Hayes or Joe Pavelski is another.
Using some young assets like Jeremy Bracco, Timothy Liljegren, Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen as trade bait for a right-handed defenseman like could be an option. The Florida Panthers are looking to make changes. The Nashville Predators, and Carolina Hurricanes are deep in blueline talent. The Los Angeles Kings (Drew Doughty) are rebuilding, the Pittsburgh Penguins could be ready to shake up their core, and the Vegas Golden Knights are “in it to win it”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Fox is just speculating here. We don’t know what Dubas has in store for his club this summer.
Trading Nylander isn’t an option if the Leafs GM abides by his promise not to trade him. Of that “marquee talent” Fox listed, Skinner and Pavelski are the only ones who fit the bill. Either guy won’t fit address their defense needs unless Dubas has other deals in the hopper. Myers would be a good fit on their blueline.
Targeting a big-ticket defenseman from one of those clubs on Fox’s list is impossible unless Dubas frees up sufficient salary-cap room to take on the expensive contract. Trading Nylander and/or finding a way to shed Patrick Marleau’s $6.25-million salary-cap hit (another of his suggestions) might help. However, most of that cap space could be eaten up by Mitch Marner’s expensive new deal.
Fox also looked at ways Dubas could bolster the Leafs defense. Given his salary-cap constraints, affordable free-agent options could include someone like Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman. “More doable” trade targets could include Vancouver’s Chris Tanev, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas or Ivan Provorov, Ottawa’s Cody Ceci, LA’s Alec Martinez, Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov, or Carolina’s Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce or Dougie Hamilton.
SPECTOR’S HOCKEY: Tanev, Gudas and maybe Zaitsev are “doable”. Trouba is a year away from UFA status and might prefer joining a US-based club. The Flyers won’t part with Provorov, the Senators reportedly want to keep Ceci, the Kings will probably hang onto Martinez, and the Hurricanes likely won’t move any of the defensemen.
UPDATE ON THE OILERS
SPORTSNET: Emily Sadler cites Elliotte Friedman saying Ken Holland is expected to decide within the next 24-48 hours on becoming the next GM of the Edmonton Oilers. They’ve offered him a five-year contract worth $5-million annually. If he accepts the job, Dave Tippett could be in the mix to become their next head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers also reportedly told Holland he’ll have complete autonomy over hockey decisions. That means he’ll determine who gets hired or fired with no meddling from the higher-ups. Toss in a lucrative long-term contract and this could prove irresistible for Holland.
**UPDATE** TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports Holland is expected to get back to Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson today. It’s expected he will accept the position of Oilers general manager.
Mark Spector recently suggested the next Oilers GM must bring in a suitable goaltending partner for Mikko Koskinen. With Jordan Binnington having taken over the starter’s job with the St. Louis Blues, Spector wondered if Jake Allen might be available. Free-agent options could include Semyon Varlamov or Brian Elliott. A young goalie like Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie looking for a chance elsewhere might be a good fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers need a quality goalie to split the duties with Koskinen. There aren’t many viable options available via trade or free agency this summer. With their salary-cap limitations, they must avoid taking on another burdensome contract.
WHAT SHOULD THE FLAMES DO THIS SUMMER?
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently examined why the Flames fell short in the 2019 playoffs and how to avoid repeating that fate. He dismissed the notion of entertaining trade offers for star forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He recommends not shifting gears, sticking instead on building its youthful defense corps and help it develop and mature.
“You can’t slash-and-burn your way through a reasonably well-constructed roster that had a good October-to-April run just because you came up short in the playoffs. Sorry, but that would do more long-term harm than good.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sound advice from Duhatschek, though I daresay Flames GM Brad Treliving already reached that conclusion. Yes, their early playoff exit following a dominant regular season was disappointing. Their goaltending remains a big question mark that must be addressed for next season. However, there’s lots of good young talent on this club, some of which will only get better in the coming years. Best to remain patient.
Avs winger Sven Andrighetto says he saw those reports out of Russia that he had signed a KHL contract but says that’s not true. Yes there’s been interest from there, said the pending UFA, but he’s going to wait until after the season to focus on his future.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 4, 2019