NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2020
BRUINS CHASING PALMIERI OR ANDERSON?
NJ.COM: Mike Rosenstein cited a report from Boston’s WEEI Radio claiming the Boston Bruins could be interested in New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri. He’s signed through next season, and it would make more sense to give up assets to land a player who can help them through two playoff runs. Palmieri leads the Devils with 22 goals and 41 points.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports sources are claiming the Bruins are very much interested in Josh Anderson. The 25-year-old winger has been sidelined by a shoulder injury since December, but he recently resumed practicing. Haggerty believes Anderson will have to return to the lineup before the Bruins move on him. If healthy, the big, physical forward could be the next player on their priority list behind New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were linked to Tyler Toffoli and Blake Coleman before they were recently traded to the Canucks and Lightning respectively. There’s growing pressure on Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to address his club’s need for secondary scoring depth. As more players come off the market, the higher the asking prices for those available.
ARE THE CANADIENS EYEING THE AVALANCHE OR LIGHTNING?
TVA SPORTS: The presence of Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and assistant Scott Mellanby in Colorado last night watching the Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning sparked speculation over what moves he could make with either club. The Avs are said to be dissatisfied with young center Tyson Jost, while the Lightning has limited salary-cap space for next season. The Habs are expected to move Ilya Kovalchuk and Nate Thompson, while goalie Charlie Lindgren could be in play.
THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla wonders what Avalanche GM Joe Sakic will do to boost his injury-ravaged roster, especially with top-line winger Mikko Rantanen now sidelined by a shoulder injury. Sakic could be forced to mortgage part of his club’s future if he were to pursue someone like Montreal’s Tomas Tatar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens play the Lightning on March 5, so that probably explains Bergevin was watching the Bolts in Colorado. They also face the Avs on March 21. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t fully dismiss the possibility of Bergevin scouting either club for a possible deal before the trade deadline.
UPDATE ON THE RANGERS
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers face an impossible situation with veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who’s dropped behind Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev among their three netminders. He’s only received two starts since Jan.11 and Brooks considers a trade unlikely. A buyout in June of the final year of his contract seems possible.
Brooks doesn’t expect the Rangers to move Georgiev unless they get a “sure-shot top-six or a top-end first-rounder.” Unless blown away by offers, they’re not in a rush to move defenseman Tony DeAngelo. If they don’t re-sign Chris Kreider, it’ll give them the salary-cap space to re-sign DeAngelo. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports of little progress in Kreider’s contract talks and he remains very much in play in the trade market. If Kreider gets traded by the deadline, the Rangers will have sufficient cap room for DeAngelo and Georgiev.
As for Lundqvist, some consider it disrespectful that he’s now their third stringer, but the Blueshirts must give playing time to their young netminders. His expensive $8.5 million annual average value through 2020-21 and no-movement clause makes him almost impossible to move.
LATEST ON THE DEVILS
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Abbey Mastracco reports Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald said Travis Zajac won’t be going anywhere by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. The 34-year-old center insists he wants to stay and help his club on and off the ice. Zajac has refused to waive his full no-movement clause.
Mastracco also reported the Devils have not had a conversation with the agent for Sami Vatanen, but Fitzgerald said that could change. The 28-year-old defenseman is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for all the recent musings about Zajac reuniting with former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello with the New York Islanders. And speaking of the Isles…
WHAT NEXT FOR THE ISLANDERS?
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple examined what other moves could be in store for the New York Islanders after acquiring defenseman Andy Greene on Sunday. With Casey Cizikas three weeks away from returning to action and no firm deadline for Cal Clutterbuck’s return, Staple suggests adding a third-line center.
Anaheim’s Derek Grant, San Jose’s Melker Karlsson, Los Angeles’ Trevor Lewis, Buffalo’s Conor Sheary, or Ottawa’s Tyler Ennis could fit that role. If they want to go big, Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau could be in play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello always plays his cards close to the vest. Nevertheless, he’s got over $18 million in deadline cap room to make another move if he wishes.
POTENTIAL RED WINGS TRADE BAIT
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan lists center Andreas Athanasiou and goaltender Jonathan Bernier as possible trade options for the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings. Young defenseman Dennis Cholowski has struggled to stick with the Wings. If he’s moved, Khan believes it would be as part of a larger deal in which the Wings get a young blueliner in return. Oft-injured rearguard Trevor Daley could be difficult to move.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James also listed Luke Glendening, Mike Green, and Darren Helm among the Wings’ trade candidates. Poor seasons by veterans Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, and Valtteri Filppula will adversely affect their trade value.