NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2020
Could Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau accept trades to a Cup contender? Will the Colorado Avalanche make a significant move at the trade deadline? Could the Blues pursue a top-six forward? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
THORNTON AND MARLEAU AREN’T THINKING ABOUT TRADES
THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports San Jose Sharks veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau haven’t given any thought about accepting a trade to a Stanley Cup contender. “I need to think about that,” said Thornton. “Obviously this homestand is going to be important for our team. But I haven’t thought about it at all. I’m just trying to win games here and see how it goes. I’m still optimistic we can take a run at it. I really am. We’ll have to see how these next couple of weeks play out and go from there.”
Marleau echoed Thornton’s comments. “Not even thinking about that right now,” he said, adding his focus is trying to help the Sharks reach the playoffs.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty observed Thornton didn’t issue a flat denial about accepting a trade as he’d done in the past. He wondered if it were possible for the 40-year-old center to return to the Boston Bruins via trade. Thornton began his NHL career with the Bruins from 1997-98 until November 30, 2005, when he was shipped to the Sharks. Haggerty feels there are better, younger options to help the Bruins at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Thornton and Marleau in the twilight of their long careers, some observers feel the Sharks owe it to the duo to peddle them to a club where they’ll have one last shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Given their ages and declining production, however, there might not be much of a market for either guy at this stage in their respective careers.
Thornton and Marleau might not want to leave San Jose. Marleau tried it with the Toronto Maple Leafs and it didn’t work out. Thornton carries a full no-movement clause and has given no indication he wants to move on. Anything’s possible, of course, but I don’t think they want to leave.
LATEST AVALANCHE SPECULATION
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers believes the Colorado Avalanche must shore up their goaltending and team defense before the trade deadline.
“Two elite veteran goalies could become available in the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist and the Kings’ Jonathan Quick, both of whom have contracts the Avs could work with should they doubt their current duo. As for that depth forward, Colorado could entice a non-playoff team to trade a pending free agent to strengthen its bottom-six scoring.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every report I’ve heard or seen out of New York regarding Lundqvist doesn’t envision any scenario where he’ll waive his no-movement clause. Quick is signed through 2022-23 with an annual average salary of $5.8 million and lacks no-trade protection. While the Avs have the salary-cap space to absorb that contract, the decline in Quick’s performance and his long injury history makes it unlikely he’ll land in Denver by the trade deadline.
BLUES COULD SEEK A TOP-SIX FORWARD
STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas reports Blues general manager Doug Armstrong isn’t ruling out the possibility of making a move at the Feb. 24 trade deadline for a top-six forward. “You’re always looking to see if you can improve your team, and if we can improve our team in our top six, I think we can take a look at that,” he said.
Armstrong added a lot would depend upon the status of winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who remains sidelined following shoulder surgery in October. “My first choice would be to have Vladi playing sooner than later,” Armstrong said. “But medically, those shoulders — the surgery he had — it’s a fixed timeline of approximately six months. It’s not something you can really change.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues perched atop the Western Conference for most of this season, Armstrong isn’t under pressure to swing a major deal at the deadline. It makes sense for him to monitor the trade market in case a reasonable deal appears, but he can afford to be patient. Cap Friendly indicates the Blues carry over $5.8 million in trade-deadline cap space, but Armstrong must ensure he has sufficient cap room in case Tarasenko ($7.5 million) returns before the end of this season.