NHL Rumor Mill (Part Two) – June 21, 2019
Updates on Matt Duchene, Chris Kreider, and Jesse Puljujarvi plus the latest on the Canadiens, Capitals, Senators and more in Part 2 of today’s NHL rumor mill.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM TSN’S “INSIDER TRADING” SEGMENT.
Note: All the Leafs speculation in that segment has been covered in Part One of today’s NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports it’s believed Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin inquired about Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. The Flyers are happy to retain Gostisbehere but are willing to listen to offers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin needs a top-four left-side blueliner, preferably one who can line up with Shea Weber on the Habs’ first pairing. No surprise he looked into Gostisbehere’s availability.
I’m expecting Bergevin to swing a deal this weekend to address that need. Maybe he’ll make a call to the Calgary Flames. T.J. Brodie is said to be available and can play either side. The Habs have also been linked to Nick Leddy of the New York Islanders.
Darren Dreger reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning seeks an experienced blueliner via the trade market. He noted Colorado’s Tyson Barrie has surfaced in the rumor mill. If Benning decides to go the free-agent route, Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers could be an option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Benning has the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft. Maybe he’ll dangle that as trade bait for a quality rearguard today.
LeBrun said the Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t yet made an offer for pending UFA center Matt Duchene but remain interested in keeping him. Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson, will start fielding calls from interested clubs on Sunday and Monday and from there they’ll decide what their plans are.
KREIDER’S DAYS NUMBER WITH THE RANGERS?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks feels Chris Kreider’s days with the Rangers could be coming to an end. The 28-year-old winger is a year away from UFA eligibility and there have been no contract extension talks between the two sides. Brooks speculates the Kreider camp could seek a six- or seven-year deal worth $6.75 million per season.
Given Kreider’s inconsistent play this season and the Rangers’ rebuilding efforts, he could hit the trade block this weekend. Brooks suggests shopping him for a first-round pick in this year’s draft, listing Detroit, Buffalo, Florida, Arizona or Colorado as possible trade partners. However, he expects those clubs would have to know they can re-sign Kreider to an extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are expected to be among the bidders for scorers like Artemi Panarin or Matt Duchene if they hit the UFA market on July 1. It’s believed they’ll want to free up sufficient cap space to pursue those players. If Kreider no longer fits into the Blueshirts’ future, moving his $4.625-million cap hit for next season makes sense. I doubt they’ll get a first-round pick for him but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
OILERS FINE LETTING PULJUJARVI GO TO EUROPE
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Robert Tychkowski reports Oilers GM Ken Holland is prepared to let Jesse Puljujarvi play in Europe next season. The agent for the 21-year-old winger said his client would play in Finland next season unless traded to a new NHL club. Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent on July 1. Tychkowski observes the young forward’s trade value is very low right now. He feels it’s unlikely Puljujarvi is traded unless it’s as part of a larger package.
Oilers winger Milan Lucic has been the subject of frequent trade speculation this spring. However, Holland said he hasn’t asked the Lucic camp to waive his no-movement clause. He won’t do that unless there’s a deal in the works. So far, all’s quiet on that front.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Holland gets an impressive trade offer I don’t see him moving Puljujarvi. And since the Oilers retain his rights if the winger heads to Finland next season, he can afford to be patient with the youngster. Maybe Puljujarvi’s agent is trying to test Holland. If so, Holland is calling his bluff.
COULD THE CAPITALS MOVE BURAKOVSKY?
THE WASHINGTON POST: Isabelle Khurshudyan reports on winger Andre Burakovsky’s uncertain future with the Capitals. He’s a restricted free agent and qualifying his rights ($3.25 million) could prove too expensive for the cap-strapped club. GM Brian MacLellan admitted Burakovsky’s inconsistency this season was frustrating but still considers him a good player. He said he won’t move the winger unless he gets a return he’s comfortable with. Khurshudyan speculates that could be “a draft pick or a comparable forward around Burakovsky’s age (24) and ability.”
SPORTING NEWS: Sammi Silber reports MacLellan acknowledged he’s “still talking to some teams” regarding Burakovsky. Silber said one possible suggestion could be shipping the winger to Edmonton for Jesse Puljujarvi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLellan could decide not to qualify Burakovsky’s rights in hopes of re-signing him as a UFA to a more affordable deal. It would be a risky move as Burakovsky could decide to pursue a more lucrative offer elsewhere. If that tactic isn’t workable, MacLellan could trade the winger rather than qualify him.
LATEST SENATORS SPECULATION
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion is willing to consider taking on the contract of a veteran player from a cap-strapped club. However, he’ll want a “sweetener” involved, such as a first-round draft pick or a top prospect included in the deal.
The Senators have plenty of salary cap space to make this work. It’s believed five or six clubs have discussed moving contracts to the Senators. Those discussions could continue throughout next week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Should the salary cap come in at between $81.5 to $82 million as rumored, the Senators will still have lots of cap space to take on a veteran contract. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $48.4 million invested in 16 players, with Cody Ceci and Colin White their noteworthy RFAs. Dorion should be able to work this to his advantage.
#mnwild GM Paul Fenton and agent Eustace King met in person for the first time yesterday to begin talks toward what the Wild hope is an eventual Jared Spurgeon extension. He’s a year from UFA
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 20, 2019