NHL Rumor Mill – August 4, 2020
Has Henrik Lundqvist played his final game with the Rangers? What’s the latest Devils’ speculation? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
NEW YORK POST: During his analysis of the Rangers’ 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of their qualifying-round series, Larry Brooks wondered if goaltender Henrik Lundqvist played his final game for the Blueshirts. The long-time Rangers starter has appeared in 129 consecutive playoff games.
With the Rangers facing elimination today, Brooks speculates Igor Shesterkin could get the start if healthy or backup Alexandar Georgiev could get the call.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist didn’t play badly in Game 2, but he wasn’t as sharp as in Game 1. As a team, the Rangers have struggled against the Hurricanes’ smothering forecheck. Head coach David Quinn could opt for Shesterkin or Georgiev as part of a lineup shake-up for today’s crucial Game 3.
Lundqvist has one year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $8.5 million. He also carries a full no-movement clause. Since Shesterkin joined the lineup there’s been growing speculation the Rangers could ask him to waive his clause. Their other option is buying out his contract.
The Rangers need to free up the cap room to re-sign or replace Georgiev, Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux, and Ryan Strome. They’re slated to become restricted free agents with arbitration rights at the end of the season. Trading or buying out Lundqvist could be the only solution.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked about the possibility of the New Jersey Devils moving defenseman P.K. Subban in the off-season. He doesn’t expect that will happen, suggesting Subban’s trade value is lower than it was a year ago when the Devils acquired him. His contract also runs through 2021-22 and carries an annual cap hit of $9 million. He doubts the Devils will give up on the blueliner after one bad season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s play declined over the past two seasons. Combine that with his cap hit and the Devils won’t find many takers unless they agree to pick up half of his AAV, and even then, they’ll probably have to add a sweetener.
Asked if Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn would be a fit with the Devils, Masisak believes he’d be a good trade target, provided the Devils aren’t on his 16-team no-trade list. He also likes the fact Killorn has three years remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn would be a terrific addition among the Devils’ top-six forwards. The Lightning could shop him to free up cap space to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. The sticking point, of course, is his modified no-trade, but if the Devils are on his list of preferred destinations, they should definitely explore that option.