Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 4, 2020
The latest on Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Taylor Hall, Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Murray, Henrik Lundqvist, Alex Pietrangelo and more in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
EKMAN-LARSSON, HALL, FLEURY, MURRAY & LUNDQVIST
SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson isn’t willing to expand his list of preferred trade destinations beyond the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. It’s believed the Coyotes like the prospects in Boston better than those in Vancouver, but the Canucks are more eager to get a deal done than the Bruins, who can always try to re-sign Torey Krug. However, the Canucks have salary-cap issues.
Friedman believes the Coyotes would like to get a deal done similar to the one in which the Buffalo Sabres trade Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues two years ago. Some salary was exchanged along with the Blues getting a prospect plus a first and a second-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s $8.25 million annual average value for seven more seasons is the sticking point. The Coyotes must retain part of that cap hit or take back some salary in return to make it work for the Canucks.
Chris Johnston believes Coyotes winger Taylor Hall will be open to one- or two-year deals from suitors in the upcoming unrestricted free agent market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hall camp would likely prefer a lucrative long-term contract but that might not be available in the current economic climate. Accepting a short-term deal with a contender would give Hall the opportunity to test the market again in a year or two when it could improve while he’s still in his playing prime.
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers noted the Colorado Avalanche had an interest in Hall before he was traded to the Coyotes by the New Jersey Devils. He wondered if Avs GM Joe Sakic might be among the suitors if Hall is willing to accept a one-year contract.
Johnston believed Marc-Andre Fleury has played his final game with the Vegas Golden Knights following their re-signing of Robin Lehner on Saturday. One of the Golden Knights’ options could be to attempt a three-way trade in which an intermediary third team retains part of Fleury’s $7 million annual cap hit to facilitate moving him to another club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be difficult pulling off a three-way trade but not impossible. How much of Fleury’s salary would be retained by a third party could depend on the sweetener the Golden Knights or the other team sends their way.
Friedman believes the Chicago Blackhawks have an interest in Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. He also suggested the Washington Capitals as a destination for former New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell suggests Vegas could be a good destination for Lundqvist. He points out the Golden Knights will need a backup if Fleury is traded or bought out. With the Minnesota Wild reportedly attempting to trade Devan Dubnyk to the San Jose Sharks, Campbell wonders if Murray or Fleury could be targeted by Wild GM Bill Guerin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman last week expressed optimism about getting long-time starter Corey Crawford re-signed before Oct. 9. Murray could be his Plan B if Crawford walks.
I wouldn’t be surprised Murray or Fleury headed to Minnesota. Guerin knows both goalies well from his years with the Penguins.
Lundqvist to Washington would be an interesting move. He could be a good mentor to young starter Ilya Samsonov, but we don’t know if the Capitals are interested.
Speaking of the Sharks and Devan Dubnyk, GM Doug Wilson doesn’t want to part with any of his picks in the upcoming draft in the reported deal.
LATEST ON PIETRANGELO
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s been a lot of talk suggesting St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo could be heading to the Golden Knights as a free agent on Oct. 9. So much so, Brooks claims he’s heard “substantial talk” the Blues might be prepared to file tampering charges if that’s the way it shakes out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Proving it would be challenging. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go by the end of this week.
UPDATE ON THE SENATORS
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s significant interest around the league in the Senators’ 28th overall pick in the upcoming draft. He speculates they might be able to use it as trade bait to bring in a forward or defenseman who can provide immediate help to their roster.
Garrioch also believes the Senators could be in the market for a goaltender. They could be among the talks that have held talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets regarding Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets could be trying to use one of those goalies as bait to land a scoring forward. Maybe they could swap one of them for that 28th overall pick and use that in a package deal to acquire a scorer from another club.