NHL Rumor Mill – May 11, 2020
Check out recent goaltending speculation involving the Penguins and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill.
AVALANCHE INTERESTED IN MURRAY?
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski recently reported Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford received calls about his goaltenders before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. While Rutherford had no intention of moving Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry at that time, the conversations were aimed at doing a deal at or before the 2020 NHL Draft.
Kingerski cited multiple sources claiming Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic had expressed interest, with his likely target being Murray. While the 25-year-old netminder struggled earlier in the season, his performance improved during the second half of the schedule. Kingerski pointed out Avalanche starter Philipp Grubauer had an 18-12-4 record and an “acceptable” .916 save percentage, prompting Sakic to seek a change between the pipes.
While the two sides talked, Kingerski said they weren’t close to a deal. He also indicated a lot could happen to change things.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL schedule resumes in some form in July, the Penguins and the Avalanche will use that period to further evaluate their goaltending before deciding if changes are required. Murray to the Avalanche would mean shipping out Grubauer or the recently re-signed Pavel Francouz to make room.
If Murray carries the Penguins on another deep playoff run, Jarry could be the one hitting the trade block. Then again, Rutherford could free up salary elsewhere from his roster to re-sign Murray and Jarry.
LATEST ON THE FLYERS’ BACKUP GOALTENDING
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: In a recent mailbag segment, Sam Carchidi was asked who might replace Brian Elliott if the Philadelphia Flyers backup departs via free agency at season’s end. He expects Elliott will re-sign, pointing out he’s been a good mentor to young starter Carter Hart.
If Elliott does depart, Carchidi observed Corey Crawford, Thomas Greiss, and Cam Talbot are among the free-agent possibilities, but their salary demands will be key. Dallas’ Anton Khudobin would be a terrific backup, but probably too expensive.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott could be back on a one-year, bonus-laden deal. Crawford and Talbot likely still see themselves as starting goalies, so I doubt they’re a fit for the Flyers. Talbot also had a short, unmemorable stint with the Flyers last season and probably doesn’t want to repeat that experience. Greiss and Khudobin would be better options, but they’ll cost more than Elliott.
Sakic appreciates the importance of top goaltending . Without Roy the Avalanche would have won much less. He may make a move in net for a Holtby or Murray but he is a patient GM .He has been building through the draft for the most part except Burakovsky Nichushkin and the Kadri trade.
Buyer beware when it comes to Murray. His injury history makes him a risky option.
I agree about his injury history, but in a 1A, 1B situation, like when MAF was in Pittsburgh, could help push Murray.
Also could give him more days off, to help prevent some of the injuries he sustained.
But the price must be right, to make any deal, and the length and AAV could be a concern going forward, for Avs.
Agreed. He is pretty injury prone. I would attempt to go after Lehner, Markstrom or Holtby if I were Sakic (depending on their price; I assume Lehner would be the most affordable option).
Markstrom had a very good season. Played much better than I thought he would. Canucks porous defence hung him out to dry on a regular basis. Without him Vancouver would be a lottery team.
Have to figure Lundqvist will be a free agent this summer. There’s no way Rangers keep 3 goalies and they don’t appear to be moving Gorgiev. Even without compliance buy-outs, Rangers could save 3 mil in a Lundqvist buyout of final year of his contract. I can see Lundqvist going back to Sweden and playing out his career with his twin bro. Or, maybe signing a cheap one year deal with a contender like AV’s for one last shot at a cup. Even if he’s not a true #1 option, he can still split time and could be a valuable option in playoffs with his experience.
So many goalies in the market. Gms needing goaltending are snackin their lips.