NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2020
Blackhawks center Dylan Strome reportedly available, plus recent speculation on the Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill.
BLACKHAWKS SHOPPING STROME?
WGR 550 (via SECOND CITY HOCKEY): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman told “The Instigators” show he believes Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome is available in the trade market. He doesn’t think the asking price is prohibitive, though he didn’t elaborate as to what that might be. Strome, 23, is slated to become a restricted free agent at season’s end and lacks arbitration rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Strome has struggled with his offensive consistency. He netted 51 points in 58 games with the Blackhawks in 2018-19 following a trade from the Arizona Coyotes but managed only 38 points in the same number of games this season. Injuries have hampered his performance in this campaign.
With over $74 million invested in 18 players for next season and two goalie spots to fill, the Blackhawks will be pressed for cap room next season. If they won’t dump a salaried player, perhaps they’ll move an RFA like Strome.
WILL THE DEVILS PURSUE A DEFENSEMAN IN THE OFF-SEASON?
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Abbey Mastracco recently wondered if this is the year the New Jersey Devils throw a ton of money at a free-agent defenseman. “Maybe a new GM will see it necessary to bring in some more established NHL players instead of waiting on talent to develop,” she writes.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak explored how the Devils could use the trade market to address their need for experienced blueline depth. He suggested targeting clubs squeezed for salary cap space. He felt Mikhail Sergachev is an obvious choice, but the Tampa Bay Lightning could attempt to move other players to make room for him.
Maybe the St. Louis Blues shop Vince Dunn or Colton Parayko if they re-sign Alex Pietrangelo. Perhaps the Boston Bruins peddle Brandon Carlo if they re-sign Torey Krug. The Buffalo Sabres have extra defenseman, though Masisak doesn’t advocate acquiring Rasmus Ristolainen. The Anaheim Ducks also carry lots of good young blueliners.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Devils have over $55 million invested in 13 players. They’ll still have plenty of cap space once they re-sign RFAs like Mackenzie Blackwood, Jesper Bratt, and Mirco Mueller to make a big move via trade or free agency.
I agree that Sergachev likely won’t be available. The Blues could face a difficult choice between Dunn or Paraysko if they re-sign Pietrangelo, but they could also move someone like goalie Jake Allen to free up the cap room. If Krug accepts a hometown discount of around $6 million annually, the Bruins won’t need to move Carlo.
The Sabres ($47 million tied up in 10 players) won’t be squeezed for cap room, but they could part with a defenseman like Brandon Montour for a top-six forward in return. The same goes for the Ducks.