NHL Rumor Mill – January 29, 2020
Should the Canadiens ship Max Domi to Toronto for Kasperi Kapanen? Are the Bruins eyeing a Ducks winger? Is interest growing in Brenden Dillon? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
DOMI FOR KAPANEN?
TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie believes the decline in Max Domi’s production in his contract year should concern Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin. Taking note of the 24-year-old winger’s streaky scoring, he thinks they can’t build a champion team with Domi.
Nevertheless, Lajoie believes Domi is among several Canadiens who would be attractive to other clubs before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He suggests shipping Domi to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kaspari Kapanen, who could have great chemistry with fellow Finns Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Joel Armia, while Domi would return to the city where his father was a star.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could Bergevin listen to trade offers for Domi? I wouldn’t rule it out. Will he get one that entices him to trade Domi before the deadline? Probably not. Will the Leafs swap Kapanen for Domi? No. They need to bolster their blueline depth. Trading Kapanen for Domi won’t address that issue.
BRUINS PURSUING KASE?
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source suggesting the Bruins could be looking at Anaheim Ducks winger Ondrej Kase. The Ducks are open for business and let it be known the 24-year-old Kase could be available for the right price.
Sweeney’s source claims Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and Ducks GM Bob Murray have discussed what that price could be. No word on what Murray could seek, but with his club set to rebuild, the asking price could be draft picks and/or prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think it’s a certainty the Ducks move Kase, but I don’t rule it out. Several pundits reported Murray wasn’t going to engage in a total roster teardown, but he’s willing to listen on certain players. Kase could be among them. Given his injury history, however, I don’t think he’s the winger to bolster the Bruins’ second-line scoring punch.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM TSN’S LATEST “INSIDER TRADING” SEGMENT
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Winnipeg Jets are in the market for a specific top-four defenseman. It could be a rental player or one with term on his contract. Complicating things is Dustin Byfuglien’s situation hasn’t been resolved plus injuries to Adam Lowry and Bryan Little. If the latter comes back into the mix, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff might have to move a current roster player to add that top-four blueliner.
Pierre LeBrun believes San Jose Sharks rearguard Brenden Dillon could be among the Jets’ trade targets. He said half-a-dozen teams have expressed interest in Dillon, including the Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes. He suspects the asking price will be a second-round pick and perhaps a prospect.
LeBrun also reported there haven’t been any contract discussions between the Ottawa Senators and pending UFA Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He doubts the Senators can get a first-round pick for Pageau if he’s put on the trade block, but suggested perhaps a conditional second-rounder that becomes a first if Pageau re-signs with the acquiring club.
The Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and maybe the Calgary Flames could pursue Pageau. None of those clubs are guaranteed to make the playoffs, so they’ll be leery about overpaying for a rental player.
LATEST ON THE DEVILS
THE ATHLETIC: Corey Masisak reports Travis Zajac and Andy Greene recently met with New Jersey Devils interim GM Tom Fitzgerald to discuss their respective futures. Zajac has a year remaining on his contract while Green is an unrestricted free agent. Both have no-trade clauses. Zajac confirmed he rejected a recent trade opportunity, adding he wants to remain with the Devils.
Masisak also explored the trade market for pending UFA defenseman Sami Vatanen. The Devils could get a second-round pick and perhaps another asset in return. He speculates the Vegas Golden Knights and Nashville Predators could be suitors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vatanen lacks no-trade protection and will be the easiest of the three to move if he’s not re-signed before the trade deadline. If Zajac and Greene don’t want to leave, there’s nothing Fitzgerald can do unless he tells them they won’t be re-signed. Even that might not sway them.
SABRES STILL SHOPPING
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski reports Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill will push to add to his roster ahead of the trade deadline if his club gains ground in the standings over the next three weeks. He said he’s still trying to add to his roster, hoping to add a forward with speed.
Doing so won’t be easy, as the Sabres have limited salary-cap space. They also haven’t found any takers for defenseman Zach Bogosian and forward Evan Rodrigues, who’ve both requested a trade.