NHL Rumor Mill – June 4, 2020
Could the Canadiens pursue Torey Krug or Taylor Hall via free agency? Does Shayne Gostisbehere fit into the Flyers’ long-term plans? What’s the latest on the Kings? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
COULD CANADIENS TARGET KRUG OR HALL VIA FREE AGENCY?
The 29-year-old Boston Bruins defenseman is due to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. While Engels believes the Canadiens would love to have Krug’s skills in the lineup, he doubts the long-time Bruin will sign with the Habs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have plenty of cap space to make Krug a tempting offer. While the idea of Krug in a Montreal jersey could excite Habs fans and infuriate Bruins’ followers, I agree with Engels. If Krug hits the open market, it’s doubtful he’ll sign with the Canadiens.
Engels was also asked if Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall had any connections with the Canadiens that might tempt him to come to Montreal as a free agent after this season. Engels isn’t aware of any but acknowledged the Habs are among the few clubs that can afford to make Hall a maximum contract offer. He’d be the type of high-end offensive player the Canadiens need, but Engels wonders if Hall sees the makings of a winner in Montreal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have long struggled to entice UFA talent to Montreal, even during years when they had the cap space to do so.
Hall, 28, wants to play on a winner after years of skating with non-contenders in Edmonton and New Jersey. If the Coyotes can’t convince him to stay in Arizona, I anticipate he’ll try to land with a potential contender.
LATEST ON GOSTISBEHERE
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: In a recent mailbag segment, Sam Carchidi was asked about where Shayne Gostisbehere fits in long term in the Flyers defense corps. Carchidi observers the 27-year-old defenseman struggled over the past two seasons and could be moved in an off-season trade.
Carchidi expects Gostisbehere will have a difficult time getting into the lineup when this season resumes. While he’ll be healthy and has impressive speed and offensive skills, the Flyers defense has excelled and showed great chemistry without him.
If the Flyers shop “Ghost Bear”, Carchidi expects they’ll hold out for a first- or second-round pick, or a winger with 20-goal potential.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: The decline in Gostisbehere’s performance hurts his trade value. However, a strong bounce-back effort in the 24-team playoff tournament could make him more enticing to clubs seeking a mobile blueliner. That could improve the Flyers’ chances of landing a solid pick or a scoring winger in return.
Hearing D Nikita Nesterov is leaving CSKA in Russia and is being linked to the LA Kings.
Nothing new on the #Canucks and D Nikita Tryamkin, still in a holding pattern.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) June 3, 2020