NHL Rumor Mill – September 6, 2019
Breaking down the Patrik Laine internet trade rumors plus an update on Torey Krug in today’s NHL rumor mill.
COULD THE JETS TRADE LAINE?
FEATURD.IO: Daniel Love took note of what appears to be tension between Patrik Laine and the Winnipeg Jets to speculate about a possible trade of the restricted free agent winger. Off-season reports from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek suggested Laine chafed under the club’s leadership last season. Love also compared Kyle Connor’s stated desire for a long-term extension with the Jets to Laine’s recent tepid remarks about his future in Winnipeg.
Laine is a rising young offensive star but he tends to be a one-dimensional player who makes mistakes with and without the puck. His rumored clashes with the club’s leadership core add fuel to the trade speculation. If the Jets decide to shop Laine, the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are among the rumored destinations. Love also wondered if the Florida Panthers might come calling.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Laine internet trade rumors ramped up since the Labor Day weekend. The Hurricanes are supposedly offering Andrei Svechnikov and either Jaccob Slavin or Brett Pesce while the Devils are said to be offering three of their next four first-round picks and blueliner Damon Severson. Another rumor has the Montreal Canadiens dangling Max Domi while the New York Islanders are also supposedly pursuing Laine. There’s nothing, meanwhile from the Winnipeg media, any of the media in those other NHL cites, or respected NHL media insiders suggesting Laine going anywhere.
I’m not dismissing the possibility if he and the Jets can’t reach an agreement on a new contract. Nevertheless, I’m skeptical about those aforementioned destinations.
Cap Friendly indicates the Hurricanes have around $2.4 million in salary-cap space. Assuming Laine wants at least a $7.5 million annual cap hit on his next contract, they’ll have to shed considerable salary to accommodate him. Slavin and Pesce are two of their best defensemen. They’re not going anywhere. The Devils ($8.7 million) can afford Laine’s new contract but I don’t see them moving Severson or three first-round picks to get him.
I don’t believe the Canadiens will part with Domi. He was the their top forward last season and loves playing in Montreal. Moving Domi would also weaken their depth at center. They’ve got some promising young centers in Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling, and Nick Suzuki but they’re not yet ready for prime time.
The Islanders, meanwhile, have over $4.6 million in cap space. Unless they’re shedding considerable salary, they can’t afford Laine. Defenseman Nick Leddy has often surfaced as a trade candidate this summer. However, he’s a left-side blueliner and the Jets need depth on the right side.
NOTHING BRUIN IN KRUG CONTRACT TALKS
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cites USA Today’s Kevin Allen reporting Torey Krug said there have been no contract extension talks with the Boston Bruins. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He understands management’s focus is currently on re-signing restricted free agents rearguards Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
Krug didn’t rule out accepting a hometown discount to stay in Boston. “Would I take less to stay in Boston? It’s something that I’ve talked about with my family and my agent. It’s something I’m interested in,” Krug said. His current salary-cap hit is $5.25 million. Goss suggested Nashville Predators d-man Ryan Ellis’ contract (eight years, $50 million) as a comparable.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A $6.25 million cap hit could be a reasonable amount to keep Krug in the fold. His future in Boston will depend upon his performance, as well as the club’s, throughout this season.