NHL Rumor Mill – September 9, 2022
In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: an update on the Rangers’ efforts to trade Nil Lundkvist, teams are calling the Penguins about their defensemen, and the Oilers could add another affordable forward.
UPDATE ON RANGERS EFFORTS TO TRADE LUNDKVIST
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reported a source claims there’s an 80 percent chance that Nils Lindkvist won’t report to New York Rangers training camp on Sept. 21. The 22-year-old defenseman is unhappy with his chances of cracking the Rangers’ top-six defense and is being shopped by the Blueshirts.
Lundkvist could remain in Sweden to continue his training if not moved by the time the Rangers open training camp. Staple believes there’s a spot waiting for him with Swedish Hockey League club Lulea, for whom the blueliner played for three seasons before joining the Rangers last season.
Two sources told Staple that the Rangers have received an offer of a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. However, it’s believed general manager Chris Drury is seeking a young player in return.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites an NHL scout telling him Lundkvist could be a “really logical target” for the Sharks. They could use more puck-moving depth on the right side of their blueline though his defensive game needs improvement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks have also been suggested as possible destinations for Lundkvist. So far, however, those reports have been merely speculative.
As Staple observed, Drury won’t just give away Lundkvist. He faced a similar situation with Vitali Kravtsov last season but the young Russian winger spent last season in the KHL awaiting a trade that never came because no one met Drury’s asking price. He’s now back with the Blueshirts attempting to earn a roster spot in training camp.
Lundkvist could end up loaned to a Swedish club for the season if Drury hasn’t received a suitable offer.
TEAMS ARE CALLING ABOUT THE PENGUINS’ DEFENSEMEN
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dave Molinari recently reported Penguins president Brian Burke confirmed some teams are calling to inquire about some of his team’s defensemen. He doesn’t rule out moving one of them though he indicated there haven’t been any recent active trade discussions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Molinari wrote that Burke didn’t appear to expect any deals of consequence before the preseason starts later this month. The Penguins carry nine defensemen under NHL contracts for the coming season. Brian Dumoulin and Marcus Pettersson have been mentioned this summer as potential trade bait.
THE OILERS COULD ADD ANOTHER FORWARD
THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman reports the Oilers are considering signing another free-agent forward to a professional tryout offer. A team source said Zach Aston-Reese, Riley Nash and Jake Virtanen are under consideration.