NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2020
Could the Avalanche attempt to acquire Henrik Lundqvist? What’s the latest on Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Craig Anderson, Alex Martinez, Kyle Palmieri, and Alex Galchenyuk? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LUNDQVIST A TRADE TARGET FOR THE AVALANCHE?
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers believes the Colorado Avalanche have a trade option in New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist if their goalie tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz fail to snap out of their midseason funk. Lundqvist, 37, is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $8.5 million, but just $5.5 million in actual salary for next season.
Chambers believes the Avalanche have the salary-cap space and prospects/draft picks to entice Lundqvist to waive his no-movement clause for an opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup contender. With the Rangers carrying three goalies, Chambers believes they want to trade one of them. Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick could be another option, though he’s got three years remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be Rangers management, not Lundqvist, who might be enticed by the Avs cap space and their draft picks/prospects. The Avs can’t make that pitch to Lundqvist.
Every report I’ve seen and hear regarding Lundqvist’s future suggests he’s not leaving New York. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but he has to be willing to accept a trade.
We don’t know if anyone is making a pitch to the Rangers, or if “King Henrik” has been approached about accepting a trade to a Cup contender. If Lundqvist is willing to accept a trade, Colorado might not be on his list of preferred destinations.
LATEST ON THE SENATORS
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports there haven’t been any in-depth contract talks yet between Ottawa Senators management and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The 27-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. LeBrun speculates those discussions could begin later this month. How they go will determine if Pageau hits the trade block. If he does, LeBrun lists the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Boston Bruins as potential suitors.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators goaltender Craig Anderson’s performance must improve if he hopes to be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. His stock has declined in recent weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t automatically assume Pageau will be traded. He’s a local boy who could be reluctant to leave the only NHL team he’s ever played for. He might want to be part of the club’s promising future. We’ll know within a month if he stays or goes.
As for Anderson, I can see a team taking a chance on him, though the Sens might have to pick up part of his $4.75-million salary-cap hit. His 10-team no-trade list could complicate things.
KINGS WILLING TO MOVE MARTINEZ
THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also reports the Los Angeles Kings are open to dealing defenseman Alec Martinez, who’s signed through 2020-21 with a $4-million cap hit. The Carolina Hurricanes have internally discussed bringing a steadying presence to their blueline, but it would mean moving one of their rearguards to make room for Martinez. LeBrun also suggests the Colorado Avalanche or Winnipeg Jets as possible destinations, though the latter continues to face uncertainty over Dustin Byfuglien’s situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez would be a fine addition to a contending club’s defense corps. LeBrun cites an Eastern Conference executive suggesting the Kings could get a second-round pick and a prospect in return. He also pointed out GM Rob Blake can afford to wait until this summer to find a better return.
LATEST ON THE CANADIENS, PENGUINS, DEVILS, AND SHARKS
If the Montreal Canadiens become sellers, LeBrun believes they could be reluctant to part with defenseman Jeff Petry. He also feels they have to listen to offers for Tomas Tatar. Both players are signed through next season.
Speaking of the Habs, LeBrun suggests the Boston Bruins inquire about winger Ilya Kovalchuk if he’s still playing well in a month. The Bruins had some interest in Kovalchuk after he cut ties with the LA Kings, but weren’t ready to offer him a contract at that time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun isn’t saying the Canadiens will trade Petry or Tatar, only that they should at least listen to offers. We’ll see if GM Marc Bergevin is willing to do that. Like Blake with Martinez, Bergevin can wait until the summer if he doesn’t receive any worthwhile offers leading up to the trade deadline. As for Kovalchuk, I can see the Habs shipping him to a contender if there’s sufficient interest.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ asking price for winger Alex Galchenyuk is believed to be either a draft pick or a bottom-six forward. He’s a UFA on July 1 with a cap hit of $4.9 million.
Before being fired, former New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero was telling teams he wasn’t interested in trading winger Kyle Palmieri. Now that Shero’s gone, it’s anyone’s guess what the future holds for Palmieri. He’s signed through next season and interested in re-signing with the Devils. LeBrun believes Palmieri would be a good fit with the Bruins.
LeBrun expects the struggling San Jose Sharks could become sellers at the trade deadline. They could dangle defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Melker Karlsson, but they aren’t looking at blowing up the roster.