Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 16, 2016



Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 16, 2016

Can the Anaheim Ducks find sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Hampus Lindholm?

Can the Anaheim Ducks find sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Hampus Lindholm?

Latest on Jacob Trouba, Hampus Lindholm, Kevin Shattenkirk and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

OTTAWA SUN: With the Anaheim Ducks carrying just over $300K in salary-cap space, Bruce Garrioch suggests they should be careful that a rival club doesn’t sign restricted free agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm to an offer sheet. It’s believed Lindholm seeks over $6 million per season on a long-term deal. To re-sign him, the Ducks must shed salary. Cam Fowler is considered a trade target, but Garrioch believes the Ducks would prefer moving Kevin Bieksa (who has a no-movement clause) or Clayton Stoner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I agree the Ducks’ limited cap space makes Lindholm a tempting target for an offer sheet, I don’t see it happening. Only five teams (Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes) have sufficient cap space to pitch an offer sheet worth $6 million per season to Lindholm. The Panthers added Keith Yandle and Jason Demers last summer, so they’re not in the market for a defenseman. The Jets are dealing with Jacob Trouba’s trade request and the Hurricanes are deep in talented young blueliners. I doubt Senators general Pierre Dorion and Devils GM Ray Shero will go the offer sheet route. 

Ducks GM Bob Murray can get $1.6 million in cap relief by placing the sidelined Nate Thompson on long-term injured reserve, but that’s not going to free up sufficient room to re-sign Lindholm. He can demote waiver-exempt players such as Jacob Larsson, Nick Ritchie and Nick Sorensen to free up a combined $2.5 million. Even that won’t be enough. Murray must move a salaried player via trade, and I don’t believe he’ll get much interest in Bieksa or Stoner. It’ll be interesting to see how the Ducks GM can pull this off without giving up a significant roster player such as Fowler. 

Garrioch believes Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba could be waiting a while to be traded. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won’t move Trouba unless he gets exactly what he wants in a deal. Garrioch claims the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes have held trade talks with the Jets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cost of re-signing Trouba must also be an issue for these interested teams. None of those listed above have sufficient cap room to re-sign him. I suspect his asking price is over $5 million per season. Even for $3 or $4 million per, those clubs must move out some salary in the deal to clear space for his new contract. 

Next June’s NHL expansion draft has some teams already having discussions with each other about moving goaltenders. Under the expansion draft rules, teams can only protect one goalie. Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury are considered possible trade candidates, but Garrioch speculates there could be more. 

The Calgary Flames unsuccessfully attempted to trade defenseman Dennis Wideman this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wideman’s $5.25 million cap hit, his no-movement clause and decline in performance last season obviously hampered those efforts by the Flames to move him.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk hasn’t appeared in the trade rumor mill of late, but Garrioch speculates a rival club seeking blue-line help could try to swing a deal with the Blues by offering up a forward. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also reports on Jacob Trouba’s trade request, noting the Jets aren’t saying much, He said teams are “kicking the tires”, including Detroit, Arizona, Florida and Los Angeles. The Jets, however, have a very high asking price and are willing to make Trouba wait. Nick Kypreos notes the Jets are shopping Trouba as if he’s a No.1 or No. 2 defenseman, and if they’ve got eyes on someone like Los Angeles’ Jake Muzzin, that’s not going to happen as it’s a non-starter for the Kings. Kypreos advises Trouba should return to the lineup, reach a contract resolution with the Jets and hope for a sign-and-trade in the future. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t facing any pressure right now to move Trouba. That could change, however, if the Jets stumble from the gate and struggle through October and November. 

Friedman reports the Anaheim Ducks and Hampus Lindholm were believed to be about $700K per season apart. He now feels they may be getting closer. He notes Cam Fowler’s name is out there in the rumor mill, However, the Ducks want to win the Stanley Cup this season, and moving Fowler for a prospect and a draft pick sends the wrong message to the rest of the team. He thinks GM Bob Murray is trying to find a way to make this work without making a move that hurts his roster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I mentioned earlier, I don’t see how Murray can pull this off without parting with a higher-salaried player such as Fowler to free up cap room for Lindholm. It’ll be interesting to see how he addresses this issue. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (groin injury) could require surgery sidelining him up to four months. He suggests that could offer a solution to the New York Islanders three-goalie logjam if Kings GM Dean Lombardi is willing to pay to land former King Jean-Francois Berube, who was plucked off waivers by the Isles a year ago. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming the Isles want to part with Berube. 

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Dallas Stars are quietly shopping defenseman Jamie Oleksiak.