NHL Rumor Mill – November 6, 2019
The Hurricanes and Sabres could be shopping defensemen, the latest on Kyle Turris, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
HURRICANES, SABRES COULD MOVE DEFENSEMEN
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes are carrying a surplus of defensemen and don’t want to risk losing one on waivers. He claims they’re willing to move Trevor van Riemsdyk or Haydn Fleury for a top-nine forward. Both are restricted free agents next summer.
Darren Dreger also reported the Buffalo Sabres will have a log-jam on the blueline once Marco Scandella and Zach Bogosian return from injuries. He said Sabres general manager Jason Botterill is starting to shop around for a top-six and a bottom-six forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scandella and van Riemsdyk could have the best trade value. Fleury was selected seventh overall in the 2014 NHL Draft but he’s struggled to meet expectations with the Hurricanes. The oft-injured Bogosian is unlikely to draw much interest. Possible trade destinations include the Winnipeg Jets, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and Montreal Canadiens.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion’s scouting trip to Los Angeles and Nashville sparked trade speculation. He’s in the market for an experienced forward but warned not to jump to any conclusions. The Predators are trying to move Kyle Turris and that had some wondering about a possible reunion with the Senators. Dorion declined to comment but Friedman said he was told it’s not happening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bringing back Turris and his $6-million annual salary-cap hit through 2023-24 makes no sense for the rebuilding, cost-conscious Senators. Dorion’s scouting trip to Los Angeles could’ve been to watch Kings winger Tyler Toffoli, though it was more likely to check out the Kings before the upcoming game between the two clubs.
Friedman predicts the Colorado Avalanche could go “big-game hunting” in the trade market. They’re dynamite when healthy and have plenty of assets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If GM Joe Sakic does target a big-name player (Taylor Hall, perhaps?), it’ll likely be near the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Of course, he could make an earlier move if his banged-up club doesn’t soon snap out of its current slump.
The return of Travis Dermott and Zach Hyman’s imminent return has teams checking to see if the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in moving a big salary. They’ve been told the Leafs want to see their strongest roster in action before making any decisions. “That means, as expected, a team of 20 or 21; so two or three will be traded or waived,” said Friedman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs move a big contract it won’t be Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner or Morgan Rielly. Kyle Dubas last year promising William Nylander he wouldn’t be traded as long as Dubas was general manager. Frederik Andersen obviously isn’t going anywhere. They’re all the Leafs carrying annual average values of $5 million or more.
The Los Angeles Kings could move some more veteran players this season. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, as well as their young prospects. aren’t going anywhere. There hasn’t been much contract extension talk with pending UFA Kyle Clifford. Friedman believes interested parties will have to work to entice the Kings into parting with him.