NHL Rumor Mill (Part Three) – June 21, 2019
As the opening round of the 2019 NHL Draft (8 pm ET tonight) draws near, here’s a quick look at some of the latest notable trade rumors.
SUBBAN’S NAME FLOATING IN THE RUMOR MILL
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban’s name is floating around in the rumor mill. The Predators want to clear salary-cap space to either go shopping in the unrestricted free agent market (Matt Duchene?) or re-sign defenseman Roman Josi. McKenzie cautions this is “by no means guaranteed to happen,” noting it’s an aspect of a lot of NHL draft trade talk.
SPORTSNET: Sources tell Elliotte Friedman the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are looking into Subban’s availability. Any move regarding the Leafs depends upon a resolution to Mitch Marner’s contract talks,
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Subban lacks no-trade protection. He carries an annual average value of $9 million through 2021-22. Three years ago, he was shipped to the Predators by the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Shea Weber.
If the Preds trade Subban, I’m not sure where he would fit in under the Leafs’ limited payroll. The Canucks, with over $58.4 million invested in 21 players (stick tap to Cap Friendly), can certainly afford him. The question is, what would the Predators want in return?
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW’s Adrian Dater took to Twitter with the following tidbit on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie: “Hearing some chatter about Vancouver offering Virtanen and 2020 first rounder for Barrie. We’ll see what happens.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think that’s enough to tempt Avs GM Joe Sakic into trading Barrie. Then again, we didn’t expect the Winnipeg Jets to ship Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers for Neal Pionk and the 20th overall in this year’s draft.
BRUINS INTERESTED IN KREIDER?
NBC SPORTS: Joe Haggerty reports sources are saying the Boston Bruins have interest in New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider. The Bruins are in need of a top-six winger and there’s speculation the Rangers could try to trade Kreider this weekend.
Kreider is a year away from unrestricted free agent status and carries a $4.625-million cap hit for 2019-20. Haggerty suggests the Bruins offer up their first-round pick in this year’s draft plus a prospect like Anders Bjork, or a prospect and their 2020 first rounder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins (or anyone else) is willing to package their 2019 first-rounder with a top prospect, the Rangers could listen. It remains to be seen, however, if the B’s are willing to do it. Kreider could be a bit of a gamble as he could depart via free agency next summer. Haggerty speculates it could cost between $6 -$7-million annually to re-sign him.
TSN: Darren Dreger said contract term remains a sticking point for Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner. He’s not interested in an eight-year maximum term. “Remains committed to visiting with teams next week if there’s no agreement with Toronto.”
WILD STILL SHOPPING ZUCKER
TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports the Minnesota Wild are still shopping winger Jason Zucker. “Nobody expect him to be back in Minny next season,” said Lavoie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild nearly had a deal in place to send Zucker to the Calgary Flames at the trade deadline but ran out of time. Several weeks ago, a trade that would’ve sent him to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel fell apart because Kessel wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause. Like most, I’m expecting Zucker will be on the move this weekend.
HURRICANES MOVING FAULK?
TSN: Pierre LeBrun tweets hearing the Carolina Hurricanes are shopping defenseman Justin Faulk “after this morning’s meeting with the player’s camp did not go particularly great regarding a possible extension.” He has a year left on his contract with a $4.83 million annual cap hit.
While it’s possible the two sides could still arrive at a deal, the Hurricanes last year traded Elias Lindholm after a similar discussion leading up to the draft also didn’t go well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk has a 15-team trade list. A lot of teams seeking a right-shot blueliner (hello there, Leafs) could be very interested in acquiring him.
REIMER ON THE BLOCK
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Florida Panthers are still shopping backup goaltender James Reimer. He’s signed through 2020-21 with a salary-cap hit of $3.4 million. ” If there’s no takers, potential buyout candidate before June 30 buyout window closes,” he said.
EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson believes the Panthers called the Oilers about Reimer “but unless Edm can get them to take back Brandon Manning’s $2.25 mil for this upcoming season he’s a non-starter for trade and even then his 20-21 $3.4 mil cap hit is very problematic.”
Still possible that Tampa moves Ryan Callahan’s contract this summer. Less pressure to do so now because he can go on LTI in the fall. But it’s not ideal because that would likely mean Bolts performance bonuses earned in 19-20 (Sergachev, Cirelli, Joseph, etc) carry over to 20-21
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 21, 2019