NHL Rumor Mill – August 25, 2016
Latest on Buffalo Sabres winger Tyler Ennis, unrestricted free agent defenseman Eric Gryba and the Ottawa Senators in your NHL rumor mill.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Buffalo Sabres winger and Edmonton native Tyler Ennis hopes to put his concussion-shortened 2015-16 campaign behind him. Matheson notes Ennis’ name came up in trade speculation at this year’s NHL Draft because of his talent level and the Sabres pursuit of a defenseman. His injury history, however, was a red flag to other clubs.
Ennis acknowledged his name came up at the draft, claiming it’s the first time he’s heard trade talk. He pointed out he lacks a no-trade clause, but hopes remain part of the Sabres future. Matheson speculates Ennis could play on their second line this coming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: When healthy, Ennis is a very effective top-six forward, with three seasons of over 20 goals and 40-plus points. If his recent concussion injuries are in the past, he should regain his offensive form. However, that doesn’t ensure he won’t be traded in the upcoming season.
The Sabres were linked to Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler in this summer’s rumor mill, and the Ducks need scoring depth at left wing. If Ennis has a good performance in 2016-17, perhaps there’s a fit there. Then again, the Ducks could balk at his $4.6 million cap hit through 2018-19.
EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson also reported former Oiler and current unrestricted free agent defenseman Eric Gryba continues to search for an NHL contract. Matheson claims three teams have offered Gryba training camp tryouts, but his first choice is to return to the Oilers.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reported via Twitter the Senators could sign another defenseman. “Pierre Dorion (Senators GM) told me last week may also invite a guy on a PTO.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gryba spent parts of three seasons with the Senators before being acquired last summer by the Oilers. Maybe the Senators are one of those three clubs offering him a PTO.