Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 9, 2019
Updates on Corey Perry, Milan Lucic, Matt Duchene and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM TSN’S LATEST “INSIDER TRADING”
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Anaheim Ducks could soon part ways with long-time winger Corey Perry via trade or contract buyout. Sources the Ducks and Perry are on the same page with this. He’s now 34, carries a hefty contract, and the Ducks are rebuilding with youth. They’re talking to several teams but could be forced to absorb part of his $8.625-million annual salary-cap hit through 2020-21.
Perry has a full no-movement clause giving him control over potential trade destinations. If unable to move him, the Ducks could buy him out during the upcoming NHL contract buyout period from June 15 to 30.
ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER (via LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS): Elliott Teaford reports Ducks general manager Bob Murray declined to comment on LeBrun’s story. However, an NHL source confirmed the Ducks are shopping Perry.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry tallied just 10 points in 31 games following knee surgery this season. However, the decline in his performance was apparent before then.
After netting 82 points in 81 games in 2013-14 and 55 points in 67 games in 2014-15, Perry had seasons with 62, 55, and 49 points respectively. Cap Friendly indicates he’s due $8 million in actual salary for 2019-20 and $7 million ($3 million of that in a signing bonus) in 2020-21. The Ducks will have to absorb a portion of that cap hit and perhaps add a draft pick or prospect to make him palatable in the trade market.
Darren Dreger weighed in on recent speculation that has the Edmonton Oilers sending Milan Lucic to the Vancouver Canucks for Loui Eriksson. He points out Eriksson played for Oilers coach Dave Tippett during their years with the Dallas Stars. Dreger said the Canucks see some value in Lucic’s size and physical play. To consider that type of swap, the Oilers would have to add some sort of sweetener to the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve already gone over this so I won’t dwell on it too much. Fact is, this would be a swap of two overpaid players past their primes by teams eager to move them for whatever they can get. Given the declining performances of Lucic and Eriksson, it’s doubtful this move benefits either club. Both carry salary-cap hits of $6 million, though Eriksson’s is for three more years while Lucic’s is for four.
Dreger also reports the Columbus Blue Jackets are continuing to hold discussions with Matt Duchene’s representatives. The 28-year-old center to slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He also claims the Arizona Coyotes are making Duchene their primary focus. LeBrun suggests Duchene could eye a deal similar to Jeff Skinner’s new contract (eight years, $72 million) with the Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene is the best forward available in this summer’s free-agent market. He’s also been linked to the Nashville Predators, Montreal Canadiens, and his former club, the Ottawa Senators. Duchene’s completing a five-year, $30-million contract and will likely seek something comparable to Skinner’s deal with Buffalo.
LeBrun also reports the Sabres, having re-signed Skinner, are looking for a second-line center and top-six winger via trade or free agency. He claims they’ve “kicked tires” on Minnesota Wild right wing Jason Zucker. Writing for The Athletic, LeBrun also wondered if the Nashville Predators might offer up Kyle Turris “at a rebate if that would also interest Buffalo?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every NHL fan knows Zucker is available. The Wild tried to deal him to the Calgary Flames at the February trade deadline but couldn’t get it completed in time. A recent attempt to ship him to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel was nixed by the latter. In both instances, the Wild were seeking a winger as part of the return. That suggests there might not be a fit with the Sabres.
As for Turris, his $6-million annual average value is a sticking point. If the Predators were to dangle him to the Sabres, they’ll have to pick up part of that cap hit or include a good young prospect or NHL-ready player in the deal.
LeBrun reports the Los Angeles Kings are trying to find a trade partner to take defenseman Dion Phaneuf off their hands. Failing that, they could buy out the remaining two years of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf has two years left on his contract. The AAV is $7 million but the Kings carry $5.25 million. A buyout would count as over $2.9 million against the Kings cap payroll for 2019-20. It jumps to over $5.4 million in 2020-21 before falling to over $1.416 million annually over the final two years of the buyout. No wonder the Kings are trying to trade him.