NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2019
Latest on the Senators, Hurricanes, Red Wings, Canadiens, Kings, Oilers, and Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie report preliminary contract discussions are ongoing between the Ottawa Senators and pending unrestricted free agents Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. With the Feb. 25th NHL trade deadline approaching, a decision will have to be reached soon if they’ll be re-signed or traded.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing yesterday on Edmonton’s TSN 1260, Dreger believes Senators center Ryan Dzingel could be traded. Like Duchene and Stone, Dzingel is due to become a UFA in July. Dreger thinks the Senators can get a decent return and feels teams looking for an upgrade up front, such as the Edmonton Oilers, have to be considering Dzingel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Duchene and/or Stone haven’t’ re-signed by the time the calendar flips to February I believe the Senators will try to move them. If that happens they could push to re-sign Dzingel. I think the Sens prefer to re-sign Dzingel but if Duchene and Stone are re-signed they won’t have enough cap space to keep him.
TSN: Bob McKenzie said the Carolina Hurricanes’ acquisition yesterday of winger Nino Niederreiter won’t prevent them from shopping one of their defensemen for a forward. Dougie Hamilton is frequently mentioned of late as a trade candidate but McKenzie feels any of their right-shot blueliners other than Jaccob Slavin is available for the right price.
McKenzie also noted the Hurricanes still have to decide what to do with pending UFA winger Micheal Ferland. It’s believed team owner Tom Dundon recently met with Ferland. In an interview earlier in the day with Edmonton’s TSN 1260, Darren Dreger said the Hurricane’s preference is to re-sign the winger but it depends on the cost. There’s speculation Ferland’s seeking $6 million per season but Dreger said he doesn’t believe the winger’s agent has submitted that request.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slavin is a left-hand shot but it’s believed he’s the sole untouchable on the Hurricanes’ blueline. Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Justin Faulk have popped up in trade speculation since last summer. One of them seems likely to be deal for a scoring forward. If they can’t get Ferland re-signed, he’ll be shopped before the trade deadline.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Detroit Red Wings could have some interesting commodities to dangle in the trade market. Goaltender Jimmy Howard, winger Gustav Nyquist, winger Luke Glendening, and defenseman Niklas Kronwall could be of interest to playoff contenders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings reportedly seek a first-round pick for Howard or Nyquist. Kronwall, who could retire at season’s end, has a 10-team trade list and I think he prefers finishing his career in Detroit.
TSN: Darren Dreger appeared on Montreal’s TSN 690 yesterday discussing possible moves by the Canadiens. While GM Marc Bergevin recently expressed his reluctance to trade draft picks and prospects this season, Dreger wonders if the growing number of quality players in the trade market might change his mind, especially with the Habs jockeying for a playoff spot. He noted players such as Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli of the Los Angeles Kings and Brayden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues could be tempting targets for the Canadiens or any other club.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Bergevin doesn’t intend to be a buyer or a seller this season. The Habs GM could make a move if it’s a hockey trade for a player with term left on his contract that makes sense for his club. Noting the Canadiens have plenty of salary-cap space, he speculates a team looking to shed salary could come calling. Speaking of Muzzin, LeBrun reports the Kings’ asking price is a first-round pick and a prospect.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens need help on the left side of their blueline and Muzzin could be a great fit. If Bergevin remains resistant over moving his picks or prospects, however, he’ll have to look elsewhere for a left-side defenseman.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Darren Dreger told Edmonton’s TSN 1260 his sources say the Oilers are reluctant to move Puljujarvi, who’s seeing limited playing time and doesn’t want to return to the AHL. While there are rumors the Oilers could move their 2019 first-round pick for a top-four defenseman or top-six forward, Dreger said he doesn’t think they’re aggressively shopping that pick.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites a report by a Finnish sportswriter blaming the Oilers for hurting Puljujarvi’s development. The young winger also acknowledged he’s heard the trade speculation but said he’s not thinking about it. The writer, however, believes Puljujarvi would benefit from a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi is only 20 and still has plenty of time to become a scoring winger. I can understand the Oilers’ reluctance to give up on him and risk seeing him blossom elsewhere. However, this situation could reach a point where they’ll have no choice but to move him, especially if they get a decent offer that can help them right away and over the long term.
WGR 550: cited a report by TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie indicating Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is unhappy over the decline in his playing time. He and his agent have requested a trade. Beaulieu said he likes Buffalo but he wants more playing time.