NHL Rumor Mill – September 8, 2021
Some suggested moves for the Sharks, the latest Senators speculation, and the latest on the Coyotes in today’s NHL rumor mill.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien believes the San Jose Sharks should consider some trades as one way to reverse their declining fortunes. He feels they should consider all options with the exception of potential impact prospects such as William Eklund.
That includes considering offers for Tomas Hertl. An unrestricted free agent next summer, the 28-year-old center would be expensive to re-sign. O’Brien suggests selling high on Hertl. His three-team trade list would make that difficult but he might not want to linger in this bad situation for a full season.
O’Brien also suggests shopping Timo Meier. His inconsistent play over the past couple of years could affect his trade value but the 24-year-old winger is better than he looks, maybe a lot better.
Moving expensive veterans like Evander Kane, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson would be harder to do. Nevertheless, O’Brien feels they should consider it if an opportunity arises to trade one of them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl is the most likely Sharks trade candidate this season. Despite his limited trade clause, there would be considerable interest in him. He would likely widen his trade destinations for an opportunity to skate on a contender.
The only real concern is his injury history. The Sharks might prefer waiting until the March trade deadline when his value could be at its highest but that comes with the risk that he could be sidelined again by that point.
Meier’s struggles will affect his trade value but that would improve with a bounce-back performance this season. On the other hand, that could also make the Sharks keen to retain him.
Kane’s off-ice antics and his growing reputation as locker room poison make him untradeable. Vlasic’s decline and his $7 million annual average value through 2025-26 makes the 34-year-old defenseman a tough sell even if he were willing to waive his no-movement clause. Karlsson’s injury woes over the past several years, his no-movement clause and $11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27 ensures he’ll be a Shark for a long time.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators remain focused on signing Brady Tkachuk to a long-term contract extension. There’s unconfirmed speculation they’ve tabled an eight-year deal worth $8 million annually to the 21-year-old winger.
There’s also a rumor the Tkachuk camp seeks a short-term extension but no one knows where that’s coming from. He’s not sharing his contract status with teammates or friends. Despite reports to the contrary, negotiations are still going well.
The Senators might deal with Logan Brown’s situation before training camp opens. The 23-year-old center didn’t sign his qualifying offer and there’s talk he could head to Europe if he’s not traded. He’s eligible for waivers this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty of time remains for the Senators to sign Tkachuk and sort out Brown’s situation before training camp opens.
AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan denied a recent rumor floated on Twitter claiming Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun was on the trade block. “This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the Coyotes,” writes Morgan. “They want to build around (Chychrun).”
The Coyotes have to find a replacement at center for Christian Dvorak following his trade to Montreal last weekend. They also need to add a goaltender and a defenseman.
Morgan believes general manager Bill Armstrong could look to the waiver wire. Several teams in tough situations might end up exposing players they would otherwise prefer to keep.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong spent this summer shipping out veterans for draft picks and prospects as he commenced his rebuild of the Coyotes’ roster. It’ll be interesting to see how he plugs those gaps in his lineup for the coming season. Waivers are one option but he could also go the trade route, perhaps by using some of those picks or prospects as bait. Perhaps he gives the Senators a call about Logan Brown.