NHL Rumor Mill – November 6, 2020
The latest on Dustin Byfuglien, Matt Dumba and MacKenzie Weeger in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST ON BYFUGLIEN AND DUMBA
THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo considers it the notion of Dustin Byfuglien signing with the Minnesota Wild a long shot. The 35-year-old defenseman has shown no interest in returning to action after missing last season and terminating his contract with the Winnipeg Jets.
Talk of Byfuglien joining the Wild was sparked in part by speculation they were on the verge of trading Matt Dumba. However, Russo reports the Dumba trade talk has quieted while the Wild’s cap space has shrunk to $1.775 million.
Russo feels if Wild general manager Bill Guerin attempted to trade the blueliner now he won’t get a first- or second-line center in return. Teams aren’t moving those types of players right now, Dumba’s coming off a down year and the expansion draft is slated for next summer. Guerin isn’t in any rush to trade the rearguard, who’s got three years remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly also indicates Dumba carries an annual average value of $6 million, which is now tough to move with only seven teams carrying over $6.9 million in cap space. As for Byfuglien, Russo also noted his agent remains hopeful his client might one day decide to sign with the Wild. For now, however, the big blueliner doesn’t seem keen to return to NHL action.
UPDATE ON WEEGAR
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards was asked about the trade speculation regarding MacKenzie Weegar. Richards said the Florida Panthers were working to sign the restricted free agent defenseman to a four-year contract before his arbitration hearing on Nov. 7. He acknowledged the Panthers are listening to offers but teams thinking they can get him for nothing will be disappointed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Richards expects Weegar will return on the top defense pairing alongside Aaron Ekblad. The blueliner’s hearing would be the last one in this year’s arbitration schedule.
Byfuglien again? Really??? Russo must be desperate for column content. Amidst this repeated conjuring up of his name have any of these columnists – or anyone anywhere – even mentioned seeing him skating this past year? Or even seen him at all.
The guy is 35 with a listed playing weight of 260 lbs and last played a meaningful game in April 2019 – some 18 months ago. By the time a training camp rolls around – if there’s one any time soon – it could be going on 22 or 23 months. He could be 300 lbs for all we know!
Put it to rest. Please.
Completely agree. Beating a dead horse on Buyfuglien. I suppose the author needs to write something to justify his paycheck though. lol
I guess we are in he dog days of Autumn . November the new August?
No offense but does anyone know if Byfuglien is still in shape? For all we know, Dion Phaneuf might be in better shape than him. I’ve put on quite a few pounds myself lately.
It’s really sad when teams like MIN are contemplating trading a stud all around defenseman like Dumba or a good up and coming defensive stalwart like Weegar to shore up scoring up front. Defensemen take longer to develop and are a valued commodity during playoff runs. Aren’t there other avenues to go?
I think in MIN case they are looking to shed salary but isn’t there enough dead weight up front that should be considered to clear some room? I know a lot of teams are in that same boat, but using that same analogy…why create another hole while plugging the other?
Frank, as per above, I think the reason is they were looking for a 1st or 2nd line center for Dumba.
On D they have Suter, Spurgeon & Brodin signed long term as well.
Simply dealing from a position of depth (D) for a position they need. A center.
They also know he will be Kracken bound in a year & that is just good asset management
Not to mention NO ONE is relinquishing a Top C for Dumba. NO ONE.
Now, IF Guerin is looking to the future, perhaps he might get a top C prospect out of someone, along with a usable 5/6 D capable of filling in at 3/4 here and there. Otherwise, wait for the expansion draft – IF there is one next year.
Weegar got more than I expected but I am happy for the kid. He has come a long way. I watched him as a 16 year old in the EOJHL and as a 17 year old in the CJHL. Not spectacular but noticeable …. very steady, good positioning, made smart plays and he was strong on his skates. As a 16 year old he played with the smarts of a 20 year old.
Head Heart Legs in that order