NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2019
Updates on Taylor Hall, Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby, and Brendan Perlini, plus updates on the Sharks and Senators, in today’s NHL rumor mill.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LATEST “INSIDER TRADING.”
TSN: Pierre LeBrun expects the agent for New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall to meet with general manager Ray Shero within the next two weeks. The dialogue between the two sides has been very transparent, including almost daily communication between Hall and Shero. The winger, however, is nowhere close to deciding on taking negotiations to the next level.
LeBrun also said there’s no hurry between the Washington Capitals and pending free agents Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby to reach agreements on new contracts. There’s been a dialogue between the team and the two players but they’ve decided to let the season play out for a while. The salary cap, the Capitals’ status as a contender, and promising goalie Ilya Samsonov are behind this decision.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall could be waiting to see how things pan out for the Devils this season before reaching a decision. Money and term won’t be an issue for the Devils. I think it comes down to whether Hall believes the Devils are building a true Stanley Cup contender.
Backstrom and Holtby aren’t getting as much attention as Hall in the rumor mill. The Capitals’ wait-and-see approach is one reason but there’s also a widespread assumption Backstrom will be re-signed and Holtby will depart via free agency, especially if Samsonov keeps making the case for more starts this season.
Bob McKenzie reports the Chicago Blackhawks are working with Brendan Perlini’s agent to find him a new NHL home. He’s skated in just one game this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 6’3″, 211-pound Perlini has power forward potential, tallying 17 goals with the Coyotes in 2017-18. At 23, he still has time to reach his full potential with the right club. He’s on a cap-friendly one-year contract worth over $874K and shouldn’t be too costly to acquire.
COULD THE SHARKS SHOP VLASIC OR DILLON?
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked if the San Jose Sharks could consider trading Marc-Edouard Vlasic or Brenden Dillon. He doesn’t see them shopping Dillon right now as he’s been their most consistent defenseman this season. If the Sharks are out of the playoffs by the February trade deadline, perhaps they’ll consider shopping the pending UFA.
Vlasic’s recent struggles are cause for concern but his no-movement clause makes a trade unlikely. Kurz wondered if the Montreal Canadiens might be interested but Vlasic hasn’t given any previous desire to play for his hometown club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, Dillon would be the easiest to move but I don’t think the Sharks are entertaining that option. Vlasic’s contract is nearly ironclad. If he doesn’t want to be traded there’s nothing Sharks management can do about it. I don’t believe he wants to play under the harsh spotlight in Montreal.
LATEST ON THE SENATORS
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is working the phones in search of forward depth but his best bet could come from within the organization. Garrioch cites three league executives claiming the pickings are slim in the trade market. He said Minnesota Wild forwards Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Ryan Donato are on the market.
Garrioch also listed Tyler Toffoli but believes the Los Angeles Kings’ pending UFA is a likely trade-deadline candidate. He also said the Pittsburgh Penguins have some forwards they’d like to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For what it’s worth, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is preaching patience despite his club’s poor start, claiming he won’t make any panic moves. I agree that Toffoli is more likely to be moved near the Feb. 24 trade deadline if the Kings fail to re-sign him.
All of the reports out of Pittsburgh claim the Penguins want to move a defenseman like Jack Johnson or Erik Gudbranson. They’ll have to make some room once sidelined forwards Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, and Bryan Rust return to action. However, they could do so by demoting forwards Sam Lafferty and Adam Johnson, who are waiver exempt.
Updates on Taylor Hall, Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby, and Brendan Perlini plus updates on the Senators and Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.