Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 12, 2020
Could the Panthers pursue Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington? Should the Senators shop Anthony Duclair? Check out the recent speculation in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
PANTHERS PURSUING BINNINGTON?
THE ATHLETIC: During a recent mailbag segment, George Richards was asked about a rumor claiming the Florida Panthers would trade for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington. Richards dismissed the notion, pointing out the Blues wouldn’t trade a Stanley Cup-winning goalie entering his playing prime.
Richards was also asked which Panther might be a buyout candidate. He noted there’s a rumor suggesting compliance buyouts could be implemented to help cap-strapped teams for next season, provided the NHLPA agrees to it.
Defenseman Keith Yandle, who has three years left on his contract, could be a candidate, but Richards pointed out Panthers owner Vinnie Viola hates the notion of paying a player not to play for his team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t know where that rumor of the Panthers trading for Binnington came from, but it’s among the silliest I’ve read this season. It just makes no sense.
Maybe somebody compared Binnington’s stats to backup Jake Allen’s, saw Allen’s were better (though he’s played half as many games as Binnington), and assumed the Blues would peddle their starting goaltender to free up salary-cap room to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo. If they shop one of their goalies, it’ll be Allen on the move.
SHOULD THE SENATORS PART COMPANY WITH DUCLAIR?
THE ATHLETIC: Graeme Nichols recently wondered whether it was time for the Ottawa Senators to move on from Anthony Duclair. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights following this season. After tallying 21 goals and 33 points in his first 47 games, Duclair managed just two goals and seven points in the 19 games leading up to the season’s postponement.
If the Sens intend to re-sign the winger, Nichols believed they must be careful how many years they intend to invest in him. He cited analytical data indicating Duclair might be capable of flirting with 30 goals, but not on the pace of a reliable top-six forward. His defensive shortcomings are also a concern.
Nichols felt the Sens are well-positioned to part with Duclair. He suggested packaging the winger with draft picks and/or prospects to bring in a better player and/or address a roster weakness.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Senators general manager Pierre Dorion shares Nichols’ assessment, shopping Duclair while his trade value is high could be a wise decision. Perhaps a club with more defensive depth looking for offense up front would be interested. Dorion could also offer Duclair to teams with limited cap space looking to unload an expensive contract.