NHL Rumor Mill – October 15, 2020
The latest on Mike Hoffman, Joe Thornton, Steven Stamkos, Patrik Laine, Jake Gardiner, Anthony Duclair and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports teams in the market for a scorer like Mike Hoffman include Boston, Carolina and Columbus.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss believes Hoffman would make sense for the Bruins on a one-year, $6 million contract. However, that would bite deeply into their $11 million in cap space and could mean trading winger Jake DeBrusk or a defenseman.
Meanwhile, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes Hoffman will make his decision within the next couple of days. He includes Edmonton and Nashville among the potential suitors.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are courting Joe Thornton but Friedman says not to underestimate the center’s loyalty to the San Jose Sharks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I respect Thornton and his Hall of Fame-worthy career, but he’s 41 years old and coming off his worst performance (31 points) since his rookie season in 1997-98. That’s right, he made his NHL debut 23 years ago. Thornton is not who the Leafs need to center their third line.
Friedman believes the Tampa Bay Lightning asked captain Steven Stamkos to consider waiving his no-movement clause. “There’s a wall of secrecy around it”. Stamkos is recovering from abdominal surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Stamkos waives his clause.
Friedman also wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets made a pitch for Alex Pietrangelo before he signed with the Vegas Golden Knights. Defenseman David Savard was available for a while but that appears to have changed with Pietrangelo going to Vegas.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blue Jackets have over $13 million in cap space. That’s enough to re-sign center Pierre-Luc Dubois and add another player via trade or free agency.
Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, Toronto and Winnipeg are among the clubs to check into the availability of Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. It’s believed the Leafs rejected a request for Travis Dermott/Andreas Johnsson. Tyson Jost of the Avalanche and Jack Roslovic of the Jets were also discussed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weegar recently filed for salary arbitration. Speaking of Roslovic, the Jets are reportedly gauging his value in the trade market. They’d like another established NHL defenseman before next season begins.
Speaking of the Jets, Friedman believes their re-acquisition of Paul Stastny means things remain “status quo” regarding winger Patrik Laine.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine isn’t going anywhere unless a team offers up a top-two defenseman similar to Columbus’ Seth Jones in return.
The Vancouver Canucks had an interest in free-agent defenseman Travis Hamonic before their acquisition of Nate Schmidt. They are looking for another defenseman, prompting Friedman to suggest Slater Koekkoek or Sami Vatanen. Hamonic had some interest from Eastern clubs like Philadelphia but prefers staying in the West.
The Flyers had talks with Arizona regarding Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes are examining trade options with blueliner Jake Gardiner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes could make Demers their cap-cutting trade candidate after failing to move Oliver Ekman-Larsson last week. The 32-year-old’s modified no-trade clause expired at the end of last season. He has a year remaining on his contract worth an annual cap hit of $4.5 million but his actual salary is $2.6 million after being paid his signing bonus for this season.
An interesting bit about Gardiner, who has three years left on his contract worth an AAV of $4.050 million with a seven-team no-trade list. I’m not sure how much interest he’ll garner in the trade market given how his performance declined over the last two years.
The Panthers are among the clubs that have talked to free-agent winger Anthony Duclair.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports five or six clubs have heard from Duclair, who’s representing himself in the free-agent market. The Senators haven’t shut the door on the winger, who rejected their two-year extension offer that would’ve doubled the $1.65 million he made last season.