NHL Rumor Mill – October 3, 2020
The latest on Patrik Laine, the Sharks and Wild are working on a trade involving Devan Dubnyk, plus the latest on the Oilers and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.
JETS GM ACKNOWLEDGED LAINE COULD BE TRADED
NHL.COM: Tim Campbell reports Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff acknowledged Patrik Laine could be traded when asked about the recent trade rumors swirling about the 22-year-old winger. “So we’re looking at all our options, including potentially trading different players,” said Cheveldayoff.
The Jets GM added there are some holes to fill in his roster, due in part to the uncertainty over center Bryan Little’s injury status and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien’s departure. Their defense corps was further depleted last summer when Jacob Trouba was traded to the New York Rangers and Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot departed via free agency.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there will be no shortage of suitors for Laine if the Jets decide to trade him. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens are two clubs in need of a scoring forward, but Garrioch speculates the asking price could be a top defenseman or a second-line center plus a prospect and a pick. Other interested clubs could include the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine would be a very attractive trade chip for the Jets, but just because they could trade him doesn’t mean they will. Their asking price could be more than most are willing to pay.
For example, I don’t see the Blue Jackets giving up Seth Jones or Zach Werenski, while the Canadiens could be reluctant to part with promising Nick Suzuki. The Habs could offer up Max Domi but the Jets will probably want a lot more in the package.
WILD COULD SHIP DUBNYK TO THE SHARKS
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Ali Thanawalla cites TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting of trade discussions between the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild regarding Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Dreger called the talks “promising” but not done. Pierre LeBrun added it could take a few days before a deal is done.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo tweeted Wild winger Ryan Donato could also be part of this proposed deal. No indication yet what would be heading the Wild’s way.
It’ll be interesting to see how this deal could shake out. Dubnyk and Donato carry a combined annual average value of $6.23 million for 2020-21. With the Sharks already having $67.3 million invested in 14 players, they could insist on the Wild taking a player in return or retaining some of that cap hit.
LATEST OILERS SPECULATION
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wondered about what it would cost the Oilers to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The 26-year-old forward is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility and is earning $6 million per season on his current contract. Matheson speculates it could be a five- or six-year contract. The Oilers could offer up $6.5 million annually using St. Louis Blues forward Brayden Schenn as a comparable, but Nugent-Hopkins’ agent could seek something similar to the $8 million annually being earned by Matt Duchene of the Nashville Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m guessing $7 million per season on a six-year deal for Nugent-Hopkins. What say you, Oilers fans? Too much? Not enough? Just right?
Matheson notes the Oilers will have too many right-wingers if Jesse Puljujarvi returns. He’ll join Kailer Yamamoto and Josh Archibald, who Matheson believes aren’t going anywhere. The others include Zach Kassian, Alex Chiasson and James Neal. “Something’s got to give there,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And it could be Kassian, Chiasson or Neal, though the latter’s $5.75-million cap hit is tough to move.
David Staples, meanwhile, notes there’s plenty of talk linking the Oilers to Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie. Slated to become a UFA on Oct. 9, the puck-moving Barrie struggled last season with the Leafs. Staples feels he would be a more affordable acquisition than trying to trade for Arizona Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Ekman-Larsson carries an $8.25-million annual average value for seven more years. The Oilers would also have to give up some assets, including a good young player or two, to pry him away from the Coyotes if he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause.
Barrie, on the other hand, will be more affordable as a UFA signing and could regain his offensive form with the Oilers. We’ll find out by the end of next week if he ends up in Edmonton or elsewhere.
UPDATE ON THE CANADIENS
THE SCORE: Brandon Maron cited The Athletic recently reporting Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is willing to make his first-round pick (16th overall) in the upcoming draft available for the right price. He indicated he’d be interested in a player who can help the Canadiens right away with more than a year remaining on his contract. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Bergevin seeks a top-six forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect Bergevin to get into the bidding for Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine. In a recent interview, TVA Sports reported the Habs GM said it would take emptying his team to acquire a player of that caliber, sending them sideways or backward. He also doesn’t intend to overpay for a big-ticket free agent like Taylor Hall. It sounds like he could target clubs looking to shed salary before next season.