NHL Rumor Mill (Trade Deadline Edition) – February 24, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill (Trade Deadline Edition) – February 24, 2020

The NHL 2020 Trade Deadline is today at 3 pm ET. Here’s the latest on Chris Kreider, Joe Thornton, Tyson Barrie, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and more in the rumor mill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be evaluating today’s notable deals in the Soapbox following the deadline. While we’re waiting for today’s activities, check out TSN’s updated Trade Bait list.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports it appears the New York Rangers will move Chris Kreider before today’s deadline as contract talks reached an impasse. The Rangers offered a six-year extension worth just under $7 million annually, but the Kreider camp seeks a seven-year term.

The Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Vegas Golden Knights could have an interest in Kreider. The New York Islanders may have also checked in, but Brooks feels they have no chance of landing Kreider.

The New York Rangers are expected to move winger Chris Kreider before today’s 3 pm ET trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).

The Blueshirts could also entertain offers for Marc Staal and Brady Skjei. Brett Cyrgalis believes Jesper Fast could garner the Rangers a second- or third-round pick.

TSN (via Forever Blueshirts): Darren Dreger last night reported the Rangers have an offer of a first-round pick on the table. The expectation is they could get a first-round pick and a prospect or a first and an NHL player.

**UPDATE** The Rangers announce they’ve re-signed Kreider to a seven-year extension worth an annual average value of $6.5 million. 


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports there’s still no confirmation San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton will waive his no-movement clause. Four clubs (Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning) are thought to be on his shortlist of trade destinations. It’s believed Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has been granted permission to at least explore what he could get from those clubs.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope believes Erik Gustafsson will almost certainly be traded today after the Blackhawks left the defenseman in Chicago as they departed on their current road trip. Other Blackhawks trade candidates could include goaltender Robin Lehner or winger Brandon Saad. Trade partners could include the Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Florida Panthers.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus report the Hurricanes aren’t willing to part with one of their two first-round picks in this year’s draft for Lehner. Two team sources claim three or four clubs could be interested in Gustafsson. The Golden Knights were thought to be among them, but that no longer seems to be the case. If Lehner isn’t moved today, contract talks with Hawks management could resume.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators are still believed trying to re-sign Jean-Gabriel Pageau to a contract extension before today’s trade deadline. While they’ve listened to trade offers, other clubs realize the Sens wish to keep him. Meanwhile, forward Vladislav Namestnikov and Tyler Ennis were recent healthy scratches as there’s interest in both players from other teams.

What happens with the Rangers’ Chris Kreider could determine the fates of Pageau, Namestnikov, and Ennis. The Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and Calgary Flames are all seeking forward depth.


TSN’s Rick Dhaliwal reported yesterday talks were ongoing between the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs regarding Leafs blueliner Tyson Barrie.


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings held Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green out of yesterday’s game against the Calgary Flames. With Green subsequently traded to the Edmonton Oilers, Athanasiou could be next.

The Oilers are rumored as a potential destination for Athanasiou. The Wings are trying to stock up on draft picks, prospects, and young players.


THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford reports the Anaheim Ducks held Derek Grant out of the lineup in last night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks as a precautionary measure. It’s a clear sign Ducks GM Bob Murray has at least one offer for the 29-year-old center.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2020

The Penguins are still seeking a top-six winger, the Rangers are expected to be trade-deadline seller, plus the latest on Josh Anderson in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford remains keen to acquire a top-six winger. While acknowledging there’s no replacing Jake Guentzel, the sidelined winger’s absence leaves a big hole on their scoring lines. “If the right one is out there, then yes, that’s what we’re looking at,” Rutherford said.

There are rental players expected to be available, such as New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider. There are also players with term on their contract that might be obtainable for the right price.

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins pursue NY Rangers winger Chris Kreider before the NHL trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Penguins GM isn’t looking to add a defenseman, pointing out Brian Dumoulin will return soon from an injury. He’s also pleased with the play of Jack Johnston, John Marino, and Marcus Pettersson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford has a well-earned reputation as a wheeler-dealer. I expect he’ll make a move before the trade deadline.

Speculation links the Penguins to potential rentals like Kreider and the LA Kings’ Tyler Toffoli. They’re also tied to players signed beyond this season such as Minnesota’s Jason Zucker.

I also believe Rutherford still wants to move Alex Galchenyuk. That could be difficult, given the winger’s UFA status this summer and his disappointing numbers this season.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks expects the Rangers will be sellers at the Feb. 24 trade deadline, regardless of where they are in the standings. He believes the front office is looking years down the road. “No one in the front office believes the future is this June,” he said.

Brooks expects pending UFAs Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast will be traded if they’re not re-signed by deadline day. He also feels the standings won’t determine if they keep restricted free agents like Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. He expects management will weigh the value of potential trade returns against the value of having those players in the lineup in the coming years.

Brooks doesn’t expect the Rangers will buy out the contracts of veterans Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal, but perhaps they’ll consider it with Brendan Smith.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks’ analysis is based on what Rangers management has done over the past two years and their salary-cap payroll. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $64 million tied up in 13 players for 2020-21. Re-signing Kreider could push that payroll to nearly $70 million, leaving little room to re-sign or replace their other free agents.

DeAngelo’s having a terrific season, but he’s also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who was forced to accept a cheap one-year contract last summer. He’ll be looking for a big raise this year. They could shop DeAngelo if they anticipate a difficult contract negotiation.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline says the contract status of Josh Anderson is behind the recent trade speculation swirling around the Columbus Blue Jackets’ winger. He said rival general managers have inquired into Anderson’s status for some time.

While Anderson’s agent claims there’s no lingering resentment toward Jackets management following their difficult 2017 contract negotiations, the 25-year-old winger holds the hammer this time around. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. That’s why most NHL executives contacted by The Athletic expect Anderson could be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline or during this summer, perhaps at the NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson’s performance this season has been hampered by injuries, but he steadily improved over the previous three years, tallying 27 goals and 47 points in 82 games last season. With the Jackets jockeying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, they could retain Anderson for the remainder of this season. Should they slide in the standings, however, they could entertain serious trade offers.