NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2020
The latest on Alec Martinez. Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin plus updates on the Wild, Islanders, Devils, and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill
WILD GM FACES TOUGH DECISIONS AS DEADLINE NEARS
THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo believes Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin must decide if he’ll be a seller by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Teams are showing interest in defensemen Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin and winger Marcus Foligno, though Russo wouldn’t be surprised if Foligno stays put. He believes Toronto, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Vegas, Winnipeg, Columbus, and Montreal are among the teams with interest in Dumba or Brodin.
The Maple Leafs seem the most interested in Dumba, but Russo feels they’ll have to part with a center like Alexander Kerfoot, and Russo doubts he’d be enough. The asking price from the Lightning could be Anthony Cirelli.
Russo doesn’t see the Hurricanes parting with Martin Necas for either rearguard. He also thinks the Canadiens could part with Max Domi for Brodin as they have a surplus at Domi’s position and need a left-shot defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since trading Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh earlier this week, Guerin has warned his players that other moves could be coming if they fail to play up to his expectations. Nevertheless, he’s not going to move Dumba, Brodin, Foligno or anyone else simply for the sake of making a trade.
Unless someone offers up a first-line center or a second-line center and something else for Dumba, he’s not going anywhere. The asking price for Brodin could be a second-line center. If Guerin doesn’t get any suitable offers, he’ll wait until the off-season for something he likes.
COULD INJURIES FORCE ISLANDERS INTO THE TRADE MARKET?
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently suggested the pressure could be on New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello to make a move as injuries pile up. Staple suggested Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau as one option, but doubts Lamoriello would part with a first-round pick to get him.
New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac could be another target. Lamoriello drafted and signed him to his current contract when he was Devils GM, but Zajac already rejected a trade offer and could remain reluctant to move. More affordable options could include Anaheim’s Derek Grant, Los Angeles’ Trevor Lewis, or Detroit’s Luke Glendening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello is the NHL’s most secretive GM, so we have no idea what he’s planning. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a move before the deadline. With over $23 million in projected deadline cap room, he has more than enough to swing a significant deal. We’ll find out soon enough what he has in store.
UPDATE ON THE DEVILS
TSN: Bob McKenzie cites colleague Pierre LeBrun’s recent report claiming the Vancouver Canucks might have interest in New Jersey Devils winger Wayne Simmonds. However, that could depend upon the performance of physical winger Micheal Ferland when he returns to the lineup. Ferland is currently skating with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate as he works his way back from an upper-body injury.
Darren Dreger expects Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald will be busy leading up to the trade deadline. There could be “a ton of activity” involving pending UFAs such as Simmonds, Andy Greene and perhaps Sami Vatanen. There’s also interest in players signed beyond this season, such as Kyle Palmieri and Blake Coleman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NJ.com’s Chris Ryan acknowledged teams could call about Palmieri and Coleman, but he feels the Devils would need a big incentive to move them. In other words, you won’t be getting either guy at rental prices.
LEAFS COULD RE-SIGN MUZZIN BEFORE TRADE DEADLINE
TSN: Darren Dreger speculates the Toronto Maple Leafs could re-sign Jake Muzzin before the upcoming trade deadline. The 28-year-old defenseman is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade rumor and the Leafs aren’t a seller as the deadline nears. Nevertheless, whatever Muzzin’s gets on his next deal will affect the Leafs’ salary-cap payroll for 2020-21. They already have over $71.3 million invested in 15 players, with notables such as Tyson Barrie, Travis Dermott, and Jason Spezza to re-sign or replace. Muzzin’s new contract won’t leave much room to fill out the rest of the roster.
LATEST ON MARTINEZ
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Los Angeles Kings’ asking price for defenseman Alec Martinez appeared to be a second-round pick and a prospect. He said the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes have varying degrees of interest in Martinez, who has a year remaining on his contract.
LIMITED INTEREST IN SENATORS UFAS.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports there hasn’t been as much interest as we might think in the Ottawa Senators’ pending UFAs. Contract talks between Senators GM Pierre Dorion and a couple of those UFAs, like Mark Borowiecki, could pick up next week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those UFAs include Borowiecki, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Craig Anderson, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ron Hainsey, Tyler Ennis, and Dylan DeMelo. Perhaps the limited interest is due to the Senators’ intention to re-sign some of them. It could also be that those players are low down on the priority list for most buyers.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) February 13, 2020