NHL Rumor Mill – August 5, 2019
The latest speculation on possible destinations for Kevin Shattenkirk, the Bruins face salary-cap pressure, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST SHATTENKIRK SPECULATION
THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary lists the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers among five teams that should give Kevin Shattenkirk another chance. The 30-year-old defenseman was recently bought out by the New York Rangers, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Jets could use an experienced right-side blueliner after trading Jacob Trouba to the Rangers in June and they’d be a good destination if he wants to join a playoff team. His experience would also make him a valuable addition to the Oilers’ defense corps.
O’Leary also suggests Shattenkirk could be a fit with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres. The Jackets have plenty of salary-cap space and the puck-moving Shattenkirk might help inject more offense into their lineup. The Sabres are deep on the right side but could perhaps have a gap to fill on their blueline if they trade Rasmus Ristolainen for a forward.
O’Leary also wondered if a reunion between Shattenkirk and the Colorado Avalanche might be possible. The Avs drafted him back in 2007 and they could use another experienced hand on defense after shipping Tyson Barrie to Toronto last month.
THE ATHLETIC: Following Shattenkirk’s buyout, Joe Smith recently observed the Tampa Bay Lightning had interested in Shattenkirk two years ago. He wondered if they might consider signing him to a low-cost contract. He would be more affordable than pursuing Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons suggested the Oilers and Montreal Canadiens should look into signing Shattenkirk. He believes the blueliners could help lots of teams looking for help on the power-play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the dearth of available talent in this summer’s UFA market, it’s not surprising Shattenkirk is generating some chatter in the NHL rumor mill since his buyout last week. His old contract had a 10-team no-trade list which reportedly included all seven Canadian teams. Beggars can’t be choosers and if one of the Canadian teams came calling he’d probably listen.
I don’t think the Lightning can afford to squeeze Shattenkirk into their roster as they’ve got Brayden Point and Adam Erne to re-sign. I don’t see the Sabres adding another right-side defenseman even if they trade away Ristolainen as they will still have plenty of depth on that side. As for the Avs, never say never, I suppose, but the decline in his performance and speed might not make him a fit there.
**UPDATE: The Tampa Bay Lightning signed Shattenkirk this morning to a one-year, $1.75-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for my theory that the Bolts couldn’t squeeze Shattenkirk into their rsoter until Point and Erne are re-signed.
BRUINS STILL FACE SALARY-CAP CRUNCH
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien pondered how the Boston Bruins can free up sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign restricted free agent defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. He suggests trading Kevan Miller would be the most doable, as he’s on the final season of his contract with a $2.5-million cap hit. He also wondered if they might have to move Charlie Coyle ($3.2 million), who’s also in the final year of his contract. O’Brien also wondered if the David Krejci trade rumors might resurface.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney could surprise us by finding a way to move out fading, overpaid veteran David Backes or perhaps blueliner John Moore. I agree with O’Brien that Miller seems the more likely option, though his recent recuperation from injury could hurt his trade value.
Coyle’s solid performance in this year’s playoffs would make him an attractive trade option but I believe Sweeney prefers retaining him for another shot at the Cup this season. Despite the trade rumors that swirl around Krejci, he remains a valuable part of their roster. Besides, his $7.25-million cap hit and modified no-trade clause would make him difficult to move.
Saw former Oiler D Alex Petrovic at SportCentral golf tournament. He’s looking for work. Hearing Calgary might be interested. He’s right-shot, always coveted. He can be third-pairing
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) August 1, 2019