NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2023
Why didn’t the Flyers trade James van Riemsdyk on deadline day? Were the Predators willing to move Roman Josi and Juuse Saros? What went on with the Hurricanes, Capitals and Sharks? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHY DIDN’T THE FLYERS TRADE VAN RIEMSDYK ON DEADLINE DAY?
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said he spoke with other clubs for three weeks leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. He was willing to take on a player with an expiring contract, one with a one-way contract in the minors and was also willing to retain salary but couldn’t find a buyer.
Fletcher said he didn’t get an offer for James van Riemsdyk until 1:40 pm ET on deadline day. He said it was a conditional offer that required the interested club to move one of its forwards to another team in order to finalize the deal for van Riemsdyk.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi cited reports claiming the Flyers had a deal with the Detroit Red Wings for van Riemsdyk but it fell through. Fletcher said he tried to move the winger to a playoff contender and hope to get a draft pick in return. The Seattle Kraken were rumored to be interested but nothing came of it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher was pilloried by Flyers fans on social media following the deadline. He said he’s not worried about his job but he and the front office have faced increasing heat since last summer from fans and pundits over the club’s questionable moves and an apparent lack of direction.
The Flyers finally admitted earlier this week that they weren’t going to make the playoffs and would be sellers at the deadline. They could finally admit to themselves that a much-needed roster rebuild is required. Whether Fletcher and his front-office staff will be part of it remains to be seen.
PREDATORS CONSIDERED JOSI AND SAROS AS UNTOUCHABLE
THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile said defenseman Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros were considered off-limits during trade discussions leading up to Friday’s deadline. He indicated that his club was making changes that he hoped were short-term “to make our long-term future very bright.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi’s name didn’t come up in trade rumors but a few pundits mentioned Saros as a possible trade candidate. Poile’s recent moves (shipping out Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Mattias Ekholm and Tanner Jeannot for draft picks and prospects) indicate his successor Barry Trotz will be rebuilding around Josi and Saros.
LATEST ON THE HURRICANES, CAPITALS AND SHARKS
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell indicated there was one major trade his club was in on but couldn’t pull off. He said that trade discussions often started with his club giving up a first-round pick or one of their younger players, which he was unwilling to do.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell limited himself to acquiring winger Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from Arizona. He said the front office believes the team is good enough to compete for the Stanley Cup led by head coach Rob Brind’Amour.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reports the Capitals received trade offers for winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk leading up to the deadline. GM Brian MacLellan opted to retain them because he sees the pending free agents as players his club could retain after this season.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller reports Sharks goaltender James Reimer was disappointed not to be traded to a playoff contender before the deadline. Sharks GM Mike Grier reported a trade was never close for the 34-year-old netminder. Once Jonathan Quick and Joonas Korpisalo got traded, Grier said there wasn’t a big market for goalies.