NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2019
The latest on the Penguins and Blackhawks plus some suggested destinations for Josh Ho-Sang in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WHAT WILL THE PENGUINS DO WITH THEIR EXTRA SALARY-CAP ROOM?
THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi examines what the Pittsburgh Penguins could do with their extra cap room beyond this season after trading Erik Gudbranson and his $4-million annual salary-cap hit to Anaheim yesterday. They could attempt to re-sign goaltender Matt Murray or defenseman Marcus Petterson to a contract extension. He also suggests packaging goaltender Tristan Jarry with a forward like Nick Bjugstad, Zach Aston-Reese or Dominik Kahun for a rental scorer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe that extra $4 million will go toward Murray, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. It wouldn’t be surprising if Rutherford swings another trade later this season. He could bring in a rental player or perhaps something that provides some long-term help. For now, I think he’ll wait for his roster to get healthier to gauge their performance before making another move.
FIVE SUGGESTED TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR HO-SANG
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, and Arizona Coyotes top Steven Ellis’ list of suggested trade destinations for Josh Ho-Sang. The winger is currently in Toronto awaiting a trade by the New York Islanders.
Ellis believes the Oilers should swap Jesse Puljujarvi for Ho-Sang. Puljujarvi is playing in Finland awaiting a trade. Ellis suggests a reunion with midget hockey linemate Connor McDavid might spark Ho-Sang.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I explained in a recent Rumor Roundup for The Hockey News, Puljujarvi is believed to have more upside than Ho-Sang. There’s a belief the young Finn can still blossom into a top-six winger, something Ho-Sang hasn’t done at the NHL and AHL levels.
Ellis felt Ho-Sang could be an affordable fix for the Bruins’ lack of right-wing depth. He also suggests the Coyotes flip disappointing Christian Fischer or struggling Lawson Crouse for Ho-Sang.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins though Ho-Sang would help they would’ve acquired him by now. I’m not sure the Coyotes are willing to give up on Fletcher but could part with Crouse. As Ellis points out, he and Ho-Sang are once-promising prospects who haven’t played up to potential.
Ellis also suggests the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators as possible destinations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are believed in the market for a top-nine forward. They were angling for winger Ondrej Kase in trade talks regarding defenseman Justin Faulk with the Anaheim Ducks before shipping the blueliner to St. Louis. Ho-Sang isn’t in Kase’s class. The rebuilding Senators, meanwhile, don’t appear to be interested in the Islanders’ winger.
LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Madeline Kenney reports Blackhawks forward Brendan Perlini confirmed TSN’s recent report claiming he has requested a trade. He’s discouraged by his lack of playing time after being a healthy scratch in seven of their eight games this season. Kenney said Perlini doesn’t want his situation to become a distraction for his teammates.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Blackhawks center Zack Smith has popped up in the rumor mill. He’s been hampered by a back issue and only suited up for five games. Smith carries an annual average value of $3.25 million through next season. Garrioch believes he’ll have limited value in the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perlini, 23, has power-forward potential, netting 17 goals with the Arizona Coyotes in 2017-18. He’ll have more value than Smith.