Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 5, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 5, 2017

Are they any suitable trade destinations for Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop?

Latest on Bishop,Shattenkirk, Duchene, Doan, Eberle, Halak and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

OTTAWA SUN; Bruce Garrioch reports a limited number of sellers (only the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche at this point) is affecting the NHL trade market. He anticipates that will grow in the next couple of weeks as the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning could join that list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Dallas Stars and maybe the Winnipeg Jets could also join that list. 

If the Tampa Bay Lightning move goaltender Ben Bishop they’ll want a goalie in return. Garrioch believes “the Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Kings and Blues” all need help between the pipes. He also reports the Bolts are thought to be among the clubs with interest in Colorado’s Matt Duchene.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Except for the Kings, those other clubs could be suitable trade destinations for Bishop. The Kings are doing very well with Peter Budaj, who last night picked up his league-leading seventh shutout of the season. Sidelined starter Jonathan Quick is expected to return within the next several weeks, so they have no reason to pursue a goaltender. 

If Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan accepts a trade, he doesn’t want to go far. Garrioch claims the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are the top contenders for Doan’s services. The Sharks have apparently tried to land him for the past several years. The Coyotes are shopping center Martin Hanzal, winger Radim Vrbata, defenseman Michael Stone and forward Ryan White, but so far general manager John Chayka’s asking prices are unrealistic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chayka’s prices are high because only the Coyotes and Avalanche are sellers right now. He’ll be seeking more reasonable returns by the trade deadline. Doan could move, but I’m not really expecting it to happen. We’ve heard this talk many times before. 

Sooner or later, Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic must lower the asking price for center Matt Duchene. Though they’re seeking up to five pieces, they could accept a young defenseman, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick for Duchene. The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are thought to be among the clubs that kicked tires on the Avs center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see playoff contenders such as the Habs and Sens parting with that type of return at the trade deadline for Duchene. This summer, maybe. Not now. Hey, if it does happen, it’ll provide a much-needed jolt of excitement to an otherwise stagnant trade market, but I’m not getting my hopes up. 

There’s talk the St. Louis Blues gave an Eastern Conference club permission to talk contract with pending free-agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk a couple of weeks ago but the discussions apparently broke down. Garrioch lists the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks all needing help on defense, but suggests Shattenkirk’s better off waiting until free agency as he’s the top blueliner available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers, Rangers and Sharks likely prefer Shattenkirk as a rental player, provided the asking price isn’t extreme. The Devils are pretty much out of the postseason chase so I don’t see them chasing any quick fixes. Unless they can get a sign-and-trade done, I don’t expect Shattenkirk lands in New Jersey. 

On the coaching front, Garrioch speculates the reason Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien hasn’t been fired yet is because he still has the support of Bruins owner Jeremy Jacob. Meanwhile, former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant and former New York Islanders bench boss Jack Capuano could be on the Vegas Golden Knight’s list. The Knights could wait until after the first round of the playoffs to announce their coaching hire.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Edmonton Oilers don’t want to risk losing defenseman Brandon Davidson in the June expansion draft. He believes there’s some interest in the trade market in Davidson.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Speaking of the Oilers, Friedman last week also spoke with Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Friday regarding trade rumors involving wingers Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot. He believes the Oilers tried to trade the duo but doubts there’s a market for them, pointing out concern over a potentially flat salary cap next season makes it harder for players carrying significant salary to be dealt. Friedman also thinks Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli wants to ensure he has sufficient long-term cap room to re-sign stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could end up waiting until this summer to move Eberle or Pouliot in cost-cutting deals. Teams will want to wait and see what the cap ceiling for next season will be. Of the two, Eberle would have the most value in the trade market, but his $6 million annual cap hit remains a serious sticking point. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin recently speculated over which teams could become trade destinations for former New York Islanders starter Jaroslav Halak, who’s currently toiling with their AHL farm team in Bridgeport. Larkin suggested the St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings as possible options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to “Jason” for this link. Larkin claims Halak has a $3.55 million cap hit through 2017-18, but CapFriendly.com lists it as $4.5 million. Regardless, I don’t think there’s much of a market for Halak now. There could have been some interest at the start of the season following his strong performance in the World Cup of Hockey, but his inconsistency since then has likely scared off potential suitors. The Isles could be looking at buying him out if he’s not selected by Vegas in the expansion draft.