NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2016
Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Evander Kane, Michael Stone & more in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Pittsburgh Penguins could listen to offers for Marc-Andre Fleury at some point before the March 1 trade deadline. He feels there’s “not enough net” for two No.1 goalies and they don’t want to expose Matt Murray in the expansion draft. He notes Fleury has a no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this season, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said he was fine with keeping his tandem of Fleury and Murray intact for this season. Still, a lot can happen between now and March 1 to change that.
Rutherford could still stick with the duo for the season, but he’ll have to act quickly to move Fleury before the expansion draft. Otherwise, he could try to cut a side deal with the Vegas Golden Knights to ensure they don’t select Murray if forced to leave him unprotected.
Bob McKenzie reports the Buffalo Sabres aren’t shopping left wing Evander Kane but they appear open to the idea if they get the right defenseman in return. McKenzie notes the Vancouver Canucks shut down talks with the Sabres last week and the New York Islanders kicked the tires but there’s nothing imminent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres apparently seek a top-four defenseman in return. Kane’s value, however, has plummeted in the trade market. He’s struggling to score, has some off-ice issues and carries a $5.25 million cap hit through 2017-18. Tough to get a quality blueliner for him right now.
Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to move center Peter Holland, who’s been in and out of their lineup. GM Lou Lamoriello seeks a shutdown defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As host James Duthie noted, a lot of clubs seek a shutdown defenseman right now. Holland won’t be sufficient bait to land one.
Dreger also reports at least three teams are interested in Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy. The Hurricanes recently sent Murphy to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint to get some playing time and perhaps showcase him to interested GMs. Dreger said one of the clubs was a Western Conference team, but didn’t know if it was the Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy might benefit from a change of scenery. He’s only 23, carries an affordable $787K cap hit and has a right-handed shot.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also weighs in on the Canucks’ apparent interest in Kane, saying the assumption was the asking price by the Sabres would be low, but that’s not the case. He’s heard the Sabres are looking for speed up front and on the blueline. Friedman also doesn’t believe the Canucks will part with a top prospect unless it’s for a massive return, and doesn’t think the Sabres are too interested in anyone off the Canucks main roster except perhaps for defenseman Chris Tanev.
Friedman also reports Colorado and Detroit are looking for defensemen, Calgary is open for business and Minnesota seeks a scorer. He also mentions Montreal looking for a defenseman and wouldn’t be surprised if they added a powerful forward or two, describing the Canadiens as “all in” this year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has pulled off some early-season deals in the past. However, I think he’ll have to wait until closer to the March 1 trade deadline to find what he needs this season.
Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said over the weekend if he adds anything, it’ll be a winger. However, he wants to take some time and evaluate his young forwards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently speculated Bowman might not be a heavy dealer at this year’s trade deadline compared to recent years. If those kids pan out as hoped, he’ll have little reason to go shopping.
EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson recently posted the following on Twitter: “Coyotes offensive D Michael Stone is apparently available. UFA in July. Would Edm be interested? Big shot.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone, 26, tallied a career-best 36 points last season with the Coyotes. Consistency, however, has been a issue and he’s been hampered by injury since last season. He’s got good size (6’3″, 210 pounds) and has a right-handed shot. If he is on the market, several clubs could look at him as a short-term investment this season.