NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2020
Several suggested trade targets for the Bruins, the Leafs are reportedly interested in Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, plus updates on the Sharks, Hurricanes, and Capitals in today’s NHL rumor mill.
FOUR PHYSICAL TRADE TARGETS FOR THE BRUINS
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty lists the New York Rangers Chris Kreider, New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood, Nashville Predators center Craig Smith, and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson as four physical players the Bruins could target before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He feels they need more physicality down the stretch and into the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider’s been linked to the Bruins in the media rumor mill for some time. I suspect he’s their prime target, but the Rangers could seek a good young player or quality prospect in return.
Wood or Smith would be more affordable options but lack Kreider’s scoring punch. Like Kreider, Smith’s eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Manson and Wood have multiple years remaining on their respective contracts and might not be available. Manson’s 12-team no-trade list could also complicate things
LEAFS REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN GEORGIEV
THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle reports the Toronto Maple Leafs inquired multiple times this season into the availability of New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Given veteran Henrik Lundqvist’s status with the Rangers and promising Igor Shesterkin’s potential as a future starter, Georgiev’s appears the odd-man-out.
The Rangers seek a quality young NHL-ready player. The Leafs are willing to part with futures, but the Blueshirts seek someone like Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, or Alexander Kerfoot in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are desperate to find a reliable backup for Frederik Andersen. I can’t blame Rangers management for attempting to squeeze the Leafs for one of their good, young, affordable forwards. Nevertheless, that’s too high a price for Georgiev. As Mirtle points out, we don’t know what the 23-year-old netminder’s ceiling might be. He’ll be more enticing to the Leafs if the Blueshirts lower their asking price.
LATEST SHARKS SPECULATION
THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka recently opined San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson has little choice but to wave the white flag on this season and ship out a few parts of his roster before the trade deadline. He suggests pending UFAs Brenden Dillon and Melker Karlsson could be trade candidates.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked about the trade statuses of Sharks such as goalie Aaron Dell, defenseman Richard Simek, and forwards Marcus Sorensen and Kevin Labanc. He doubts there’s much of a market for a struggling goalie like Dell. He doesn’t think they’ll move Simek as they’ll need his physical style should they ship out Dillon at the deadline. Sorensen probably doesn’t have much trade value, but there could be some for Labanc despite the drop in his production.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson reportedly isn’t interested in moving core players like Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. It seems Dillon and Melker Karlsson could draw the most interest, though they won’t fetch significant returns. Labanc would draw interest, but his RFA status this summer means Wilson isn’t under pressure to move him during the season, assuming he wants to trade the winger.
UPDATES ON THE HURRICANES AND CAPITALS
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock believes there’s no replacing sidelined Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The Hurricanes were in the market for a top-four blueliner before Hamilton suffered a fractured left fibula. DeCock believes the injury increases the urgency to find one.
Unfortunately, rival clubs know this and will set higher prices for their available rearguards. In the meantime, Jake Gardiner will get an opportunity to step up and fill some of that gap left by Hamilton’s absence.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen, Los Angeles’ Alec Martinez, Chicago’s Erik Gustafsson and San Jose’s Brenden Dillon are the best playoff rental options if the Hurricanes wish to go that route.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: In a recent mailbag segment, J.J. Regan dismissed the notion of the Washington Capitals trading Braden Holtby at the deadline for another goaltender or a top-four defenseman. He points to Holtby’s experience, including backstopping the Capitals to the 2018 Stanley Cup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals’ recent re-signing of center Nicklas Backstrom plus the rise of promising goalie Ilya Samsonov likely means this is Holtby’s last season in Washington. He’s a UFA at season’s end, doesn’t want to accept a hometown discount, and will be too expensive for the Caps to retain. Nevertheless, they’re still all-in for another Cup run this season. Given Samsonov’s playoff inexperience, they’ll need Holtby as insurance.