NHL Rumor Mill – May 30, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 30, 2020

Recent speculation on the Red Wings, Sharks, and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD RED WINGS TARGET KRUG, BARRIE, OR LEHNER?

THE DETROIT NEWS: Bob Wojnowski recently reported Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman acknowledged he might be slightly more aggressive in shaping his roster this off-season via trades and free agency. He wants to build up the supporting cast around Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Tyler Bertuzzi as the young core improves.

The Detroit Red Wings could have interest in Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug if he hits the UFA market (Photo via NHL Images)

Yzerman stressed he won’t go into the free-agent market to make a splash. He’ll instead focus on “sensible signings”. He remains confident he’ll re-sign restricted free agents like Mantha and Bertuzzi. “We’re not gonna let them go anywhere, we’ll get deals done,” he said.

Wojnowski speculated the Wings might be interested in pending UFA defensemen like Boston’s Torey Krug and Toronto’s Tyson Barrie or a goalie like Vegas’ Robin Lehner. “But who knows if they’d be interested in the Wings, who have decent young players and lots of draft picks, but few guaranteed stars,” said Wojnowski.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite having plenty of salary-cap space, Yzerman remains focused on a patient rebuild. I expect we’ll see more trades akin to last fall’s Robby Fabbri deal with St. Louis, targeting struggling young players on other clubs. He could be very interested in Krug, Barrie, or Lehner if they express interest in coming to Detroit, but he’ll likely have to settle for affordable second-tier depth talent on short-term deals.

SHARKS FACE BUSY OFF-SEASON

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Marcus White recently reported San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson faces a busy off-season. He must hire a full-time head coach, shore up his goaltending, add scoring depth on the wings, supplement his aging, expensive core with young NHL talent, and do it all with a limited budget.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Resolving the coaching situation seems the easiest of Wilson’s tasks this off-season. Wilson seems to be leaning toward removing the interim tag from head coach Bob Boughner’s title. The rest will be challenging. 

Wilson could peddle the 2020 first-round pick he acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning before the trade deadline to bring in an established young NHL player. However, that would leave him without a pick in the opening round.

Most of his core veterans have no-trade protection and hefty contracts. Wilson could shop restricted free agent winger Kevin Labanc, but then he’d have to find someone to replace him. He could pursue a UFA backup like Dallas’ Anton Khudobin or the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss, but he’ll have competition from other clubs for their services.

NO LONG-TERM UFA SIGNINGS FOR THE SENATORS

NHL.COM: Mike G. Morreale reports Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion is unlikely to sign any unrestricted free agents this year to long-term contracts. He could instead add some veteran depth on short-term deals.

The draft order could also determine how busy Dorion might be in the UFA market. He could have three picks in the first round, seven in the opening two rounds, and 13 over seven rounds. “If you’re going to pick Nos. 1-2, it’s different than picking Nos. 5-6,” Dorion said. “The players going 1-2 probably have a higher chance of playing in the NHL next year. At the same time, we know we’re going to take two good players with our first two picks.”

Morreale speculates Dorion could use some of those picks as trade bait leading up to the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion has sufficient cap room next season to add a couple of decent UFA depth players on short-term deals. He could make his biggest splash at the draft, using some of those extra picks to perhaps pry a quality talent away from a cap-strapped club.

If the Senators win the draft lottery, perhaps Dorion will be tempted to dangle the conditional first-rounder he got from the Islanders in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau deal as trade bait.










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Ottawa Senators

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Ottawa Senators

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2020

The latest on plans to resume or cancel the 2019-20 season, an update on the Senators, plus the latest on Mitch Marner and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL has yet to set a firm deadline to announce the resumption or cancellation of the 2019-20 season. If the schedule is to resume, the league will need at least two weeks for players returning from Europe to be quarantined, followed by two-three weeks of training camp, potentially some exhibition games followed by some regular-season contests before starting the playoffs. One league governor suggested they should have an idea by late-May, while another though mid-June would be the earliest.

Still no deadline on when to resume or cancel the 2019-20 NHL season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer the restrictions on crowd sizes, the slimmer the chances of finishing the regular season or staging the playoffs. Again, I don’t fault the league and the NHL Players Association for examining every option, but I’m not optimistic this season can be completed.

THE SCORE: The NHL yesterday extended the self-quarantine period for its players to April 30. It’s the third time the period has been extended.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if there’s another extension to May 15.

SPORTSNET: U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a conference call with the major-league sports commissioners today, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. They’re part of a committee of 200 business leaders advising the president on when to re-open the American economy.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said his club has made three proposals to Bettman on possible scenarios for resuming the draft lottery, the regular season, and the playoffs. The Senators hold three picks in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, including what could be the second- and third-overall selections. Overall, the Senators hold 13 picks in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Sens have three first-round picks, four in the second round, two in the third round, one in each of the fourth and fifth rounds, two in the sixth, and none in the seventh.

TSN: Dorion also said the five Senators players and the one staff member who contracted COVID-19 have recovered.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner is using his charitable organization to solicit for donors to organizations providing food, shelter and aid to front-line services.

NBC SPORTS: Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise raised $1 million to assist those affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

WGR 550: The owners of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits are issuing furloughs and layoffs. Executive pay is also being temporarily reduced.

TSN: Colby Cave’s family and the Edmonton Oilers have set up a memorial fund to support mental health initiatives and programs providing access to sports for underprivileged children. The fund will be headed by Cave’s wife, Emily. Cave passed away last week at age 25 following emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.

NHLPA: Kris Versteeg announced his retirement as a professional player, which include 11 NHL seasons. He spent five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2015.

Versteeg also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, and Calgary Flames. In 643 career NHL games, he scored 149 goals, 209 assists, and 358 points. He also had 18 goals and 48 points in 93 playoff contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Versteeg in his future endeavors.










What Are Pierre Dorion’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The Ottawa Senators?

What Are Pierre Dorion’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The Ottawa Senators?

 










NHL 2019-20 Season Preview: Ottawa Senators

NHL 2019-20 Season Preview: Ottawa Senators

 










What Will The Ottawa Senators Do This NHL Off-Season?

What Will The Ottawa Senators Do This NHL Off-Season?