NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2019
The latest on Jacob Trouba, Jared Spurgeon, James Reimer, and Garret Sparks plus an update on the Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TROUBA DECISION COMING SOON?
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe expects the status of Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba to be sorted out by next weekend’s NHL Draft in Vancouver. If Trouba’s traded, a potential return for the Jets will be affected by whether he’s open to signing a contract extension with the club that acquires him. Left winger Nikolaj Ehlers has come up in trade rumors but Wiebe believes it’ll take a significant offer to pry him away from the Jets. Depending on Trouba’s status, center Mathieu Perreault could become a cost-cutting trade candidate.
THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance pointed out rumors have linked Trouba, a Detroit-area native, to the Red Wings. They have plenty of salary-cap flexibility but general manager Steve Yzerman could be reluctant to part with assets for a player a year away from UFA status.
Custance suggested the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers as possibilities because Trouba’s fiancee is attending medical school in Florida. He also considered the Philadelphia Flyers as a potential destination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s growing speculation Trouba will be traded before the end of next weekend’s draft. I also wouldn’t rule out the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers as possible landing spots. I agree that where he could end up depends on whether he’ll sign a contract extension.
I have my doubts the Jets will part with Ehlers, though they might go for it if someone offered up a suitable replacement for Trouba.
CANUCKS COULD PURSUE GARDINER OR MYERS
SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston cites player agent J.P. Barry saying he expects to speak with the Vancouver Canucks regarding clients Jake Gardiner and Tyler Myers when free agency opens on July 1. Canucks GM Jim Benning’s made no secret he’s in the market for a top-four defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Benning pursues Gardiner and Myers. The UFA interview period begins the day following the draft (June 23). The Canucks GM will likely be keen to speak with those two.
WILD GM HOPES TO RE-SIGN SPURGEON
TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton said he has every intention of re-signing Jared Spurgeon. The 29-year-old defenseman is a year away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Fenton dismissed recent speculation suggesting Spurgeon could be traded this summer. “There’s not a plan to trade Jared Spurgeon, as has been kind of rumored. This guy is a great piece, a great leader, a great person, a great family guy. We want to have him back, and we’re going to work on doing that.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mizutani indicates this doesn’t mean a contract extension is imminent. Nevertheless, there appears a mutual willingness to work out a new deal. Spurgeon’s on a four-year, $20.75-million contract and will seek a significant raise.
Because of the way his contract is, do not expect a buyout; Reimer’s cap hit is $3.2m in second year so that does them little good. Team is working on a trade. https://t.co/6Clc2ji8sp
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) June 14, 2019
Hearing from a few sources that the Maple Leafs have quietly been shopping Garret Sparks. The backup goalie, 25, has one year left on his deal paying him $750k.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 14, 2019