NHL Rumor Mill – December 12, 2020
Check out some recent speculation on the Red Wings, Bruins and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.
KUKLA’S KORNER: cites The Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan listing several players the Red Wings could be interested in before the start of this season.
Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde and Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty are Kulfan’s suggested trade options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Red Wings’ trading Dmytro Timashov to the New York Islanders yesterday, general manager Steve Yzerman could make another addition to his roster before the season begins.
A swap between the Wings and Lightning has potential. The Lightning must shed salary to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak. The Wings have plenty of cap space and general manager Steve Yzerman knows Killorn, Johnson and Gourde from his days as Lightning GM.
Killorn, however, has a modified no-trade list while Johnson and Gourde have full no-trade protection. If the Wings aren’t on their lists of preferred destinations they won’t be going to Detroit.
Pacioretty, meanwhile, has a 10-team no-trade list which could include the Wings. Besides, Yzerman might not be keen to invest in a 32-year-old winger carrying a $7 million annual average value for the next three seasons.
Unrestricted free agent targets could include Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, Anthony Duclair, Sami Vatanen, Andy Greene and former Red Wing Andreas Athanasiou.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman is willing to accept a one-year contract worth between $5.5 million and $6.5 million. I don’t think Yzerman will go that high for him. Granlund or Duclair might be affordable options, with Granlund perhaps the better choice depending on his asking price.
Vatanen could be a good addition to the Wings’ defense corps on a reasonable short-term contract. Greene is believed to have a deal with the Islanders that will be made official once they get Mathew Barzal under contract. I doubt Yzerman will bring Athanasiou back to Detroit given his disappointing performance during his contract year.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked about the possibility of the Bruins bringing in a player on a professional tryout offer during training camp. He suggested former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner as one option. UFA like Anthony Duclair and Mikael Granlund could become PTO candidates but Haggerty feels they’ll eventually sign guaranteed contracts rather than tryouts for training camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely be aging veterans like Alzner, Ron Hainsey, goaltenders such as Jimmy Howard and Craig Anderson, and forwards like Justin Abdelkader and Michael Grabner could end up signing professional tryout options with the Bruins and other clubs.
Asked if the Bruins are done making moves, Haggerty speculates a trade is more likely than a free-agent signing. If they go the trade route, it’ll be for a top-four defenseman to plug the gap on the left side of their blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty noted the Bruins’ efforts to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson before the blueliner’s Oct. 9 deadline brought that attempt to an end. GM Don Sweeney could attempt a trade for a left-side defender but it probably won’t be a move for someone like Ekman-Larsson at this stage.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently examined what could be a crucial season for the Calgary Flames. With two years remaining on the contracts of winger Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano, he feels the Flames are reaching a pivotal moment.
Another disappointing playoff performance could put pressure on general manager Brad Treliving to shake things up. Nevertheless, O’Brien feels blowing things up could make things worse.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The majority of Flames fans (and some Calgary pundits) were calling for change over the summer when the club was bounced from the first round of the 2020 playoffs. Defensemen T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic departed via free agency but general manager Brad Treliving ignored the cries for Gaudreau to be shopped following a disappointing postseason effort.
The Flames will face increased pressure this season to shake their recent reputation as a playoff underachiever. Another early exit could prompt a shakeup of the roster core.