NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2019
A list of five potential summer trade candidates plus updates on Loui Eriksson and Julius Honka in today’s NHL rumor mill.
FIVE POTENTIAL SUMMER TRADE CANDIDATES
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker and New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider are among five players Jared Clinton believes could be summer trade targets. Calgary Flames defensemen Travis Hamonic or Michael Stone could also be shopped, as well as Vancouver Canucks winger Loui Eriksson and Vegas Golden Knights forward Nikita Gusev.
Given the Wild’s two previous attempts to trade Zucker this year, Clinton doubts they’re done trying to move him. Limited salary-cap space explains why Kreider, Erikkson, Hamonic and Stone are on this list.
The Golden Knights are reportedly shopping Gusev as they cannot afford to re-sign him. Clinton’s colleague Steven Ellis suggested the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, and Columbus Blue Jackets as potential destinations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Zucker trade chatter has cooled since a deal that would’ve sent him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in late-May fell through. There’s some speculation Wild general manager Paul Fenton isn’t as keen to move Zucker as he once was. However, one can’t dismiss the possibility of a trade before next season begins.
The asking price for Gusev is said to be a second-round pick and either a later-round pick or a prospect. Getting a potential scorer for that low price has some observers wondering why he hasn’t been traded yet. I’m guessing it’s his demand for a two-yearl deal worth $4 million annually. A lot of teams have used up their cap space for this summer or face significant re-signings next summer.
Kreider’s future with the Rangers could depend on how much they spend to re-sign defenseman Jacob Trouba. The Blueshirts have around $8 million in cap space and Trouba’s new contract could eat up most of that cap space. That won’t leave much to re-sign restricted free agents Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony DeAngelo.
Hamonic’s or Stone’s futures in Calgary depend upon the cost of re-signing power forward Matthew Tkachuk. The Flames must also re-sign Sam Bennett and David Rittich, who have arbitration hearings coming up.
As for Loui Eriksson…
ERIKSSON’S FUTURE IN VANCOUVER REMAINS UNCERTAIN
TSN: Agent J.P. Barry, who represents Canucks winger Loui Eriksson, said his client’s future in Vancouver remains uncertain. They met last month with Canucks GM Jim Benning, discussing Eriksson’s comments about friction with head coach Travis Green and what’s next for the winger. While Barry downplayed Eriksson’s remarks, he admitted both sides have looked into trade options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks must shed salary to free up cap space to re-sign Brock Boeser and Nikolay Goldobin. Trading away Eriksson and his $6-million AAV is the best option but also the most difficult. He’s 33, his performance is in decline, and he’s signed through 2021-22.
Eriksson’s got a no-trade clause but I daresay he’ll waive it to go to any NHL city at this point. Nevertheless, those other factors account for why the Canucks are having difficulty drumming up interest in him.
STARS SHOPPING HONKA
SPORTSDAY: Matthew DeFranks reports the Dallas Stars are trying to trade defenseman Julius Honka. With their addition of Andrej Sekera, the Stars have a glut on the blueline.
Honka, a first-round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft, has struggled to crack the Stars’ lineup. He was a healthy scratch for the final 35 games of the regular season and all 13 postseason contests. DeFranks speculates Honka’s value could rise as teams with limited cap space seek a young, affordable blueliner.