NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2021

A list of several clubs possibly interested in Tony DeAngelo plus the latest on Keith Yandle and Derek Stepan in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLAMES, RED WINGS, KINGS AND DUCKS LINKED TO DEANGELO

Several teams are reportedly interested in New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

NBC SPORTS (via Mike Gould of Flames Nation): Bob McKenzie reported at least four or five teams were “kicking tires” and doing due diligence to see if Tony DeAngelo is a worthwhile reclamation project. The Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are among the clubs potentially interested in the 25-year-old New York Rangers defenseman.

McKenzie said the Rangers’ Plan B if a trade isn’t possible is to buy out DeAngelo at the end of the season. They’re not prepared to retain a huge portion of his $4.8 million annual average value nor are they willing to take on a huge contract coming back the other way. They’d only face a $300K penalty for buying him out next season and $800K the season after that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo was banished from the Rangers following an altercation with teammate Alexandar Georgiev over the weekend. He’s at home while his agent and the Blueshirts attempt to find a suitable trade partner.

Gould also cited Sportsnet 960’s Dean Molberg reaching out to the Flames regarding McKenzie’s report. Based on that conversation, Molberg doesn’t expect they’ll make a move to acquire DeAngelo.

The Red Wings and Kings are rebuilding while the Ducks should be. The Wings and Ducks desperately need more offensive punch, which the puck-moving DeAngelo could provide from the blue line. The Kings could use some more experienced skill on their blueline, though DeAngelo’s shaky defensive game might not fit into their plans.

Cap Friendly indicates the buyout numbers are over $383K in 2021-22 and over $883K in 2022-23. Because he doesn’t turn 26 until October, his buyout is calculated at one-third the remaining value over twice the remaining term.

LATEST YANDLE SPECULATION

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards said he thinks one reason the Panthers would like to move Keith Yandle is his no-movement clause means he’d be among the three defensemen they’d have to protect in this summer’s expansion draft. They could ask him to waive it thinking Seattle wouldn’t claim him because of his contract.

Richards was also asked about the possibility of the Panthers swapping Yandle for St. Louis’ Vince Dunn or Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere. He said the veteran blueliner doesn’t want to leave the Panthers, pointing out his NMC gives him full control. While there’s been talk linking Yandle to the Flyers, Richards doesn’t know if he’d agree to be traded to Philadelphia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The more likely scenario could be the Panthers asking Yandle to waive his clause for the draft. Given what transpired last month when they were reportedly thinking of benching him before the start of the season, he could be unwilling to oblige them.

COULD STEPAN BE ON THE MOVE AGAIN?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch cites a report from Nick Kypreos indicating the Senators are willing to move Derek Stepan. The 30-year-old center was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes before training camp but hasn’t made the impact the Senators would like.

Former NHL GM Doug MacLean wondered if Stepan might want to be moved because he’s not happy with his role under Senators coach D.J. Smith. He also mentioned perhaps the veteran center is missing his family back in Arizona.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan lacks no-trade protection so the Senators could send him anywhere they want. If he does want out of Ottawa, perhaps they’ll try to deal him to a team closer to his Arizona home. It won’t be the Coyotes as they moved him to shed salary.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

Are the Flyers in the market for a defenseman? What does the Jets’ acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois mean for Paul Stastny? What’s the latest on the Ducks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor believes the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t going to rush into the trade market to address their recent struggles. Two-way center Sean Couturier is sidelined while the defense is bereft of puck-moving blueliners beyond Ivan Provorv and Travis Sanheim.

O’Connor points out it is only two weeks into the season and the only players on the trade market are those demanding to be moved or those who’ve been available for months because of bad contracts or poor fits with their current teams.

Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That last blurb is probably aimed at recent speculation tying the Flyers to Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle and Detroit Red Wings blueliner Danny DeKeyser. Philadelphia rearguard and South Florida native Shayne Gostisbehere were linked to Yandle but O’Connor indicates the Flyers intend to use him in the lineup once he’s off the COVID-19 protocol list.

SPORTSNET: In the wake of the Winnipeg Jets shipping Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to Columbus for center Pierre-Luc Dubois last Saturday, Luke Fox is curious about where the Jets and current second-line center Paul Stastny go from here.

The Jets brought back Stastny last fall in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s beloved by teammates and the coaching staff but the 35-year-old center becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fox wonders if Stastny will take a pay cut to stay with the Jets as a No. 3 center or try to find a second-line center role elsewhere via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny’s had a long and production NHL career but he’s also at the age when skills and speed inevitably erode. If he has a decent performance this season he might be wise to consider sticking with the Jets. I doubt many teams will be in the market for a center turning 36 in December seeking second-line work.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens points out Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray attempted to acquire Justin Faulk, Kasperi Kapanen and Pierre-Luc Dubois over the past 18 months. He was also linked to Patrik Laine before the winger was shipped to Columbus. Fairly or not, it could reflect poorly on Murray’s ability to close a big trade.

Stephens wonders if the asking price for Dubois was top prospect Trevor Zegras. If so, Murray might be proven right not to part with Zegras or promising defenseman Jamie Drysdale. He doubts the Ducks GM could’ve put together a sufficient package to land Laine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are at a point right now where they’ll have to gut it out with what they’ve got this season and hope for the best.

Stephens also pointed out the Ducks lack sufficient cap space to part with inexpensive assets to land expensive, established young talent. Trading away Zegras and/or Drysdale would’ve been gutting the pieces necessary for their long-overdue rebuild. They also lack suitable talent to do a dollar-for-dollar swap that could improve their roster.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2021

Are the Flyers looking at Keith Yandle or Danny DeKeyser? Should the Leafs use Travis Dermott as a trade chip for a forward? Should the Avalanche upgrade their goaltending? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLYERS LINKED TO YANDLE, DEKEYSER

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports there’s been some trade chatter regarding Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Florida Panthers blueliner Keith Yandle since last fall’s NHL Draft.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (NHL Images).

Gostisbehere is a South Florida native while Yandle surfaced in recent trade speculation. An NHL source told Murphy this rumor has “more than legs” to it, suggesting the Flyers could “eat some money there” and would be better with Yandle.

Murphy said Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher could be active in the trade market sooner rather than later. He also said the Flyers are scouting Detroit Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have stumbled out of the gate this season. They’ve struggled defensively, giving up 35.5 shots-against per game with a bloated 3.50 goals-against per game and a sickly penalty-kill percentage of 63.6. Having Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier and top-four defenseman Philippe Myers sidelined by injuries doesn’t help.

Gostisbehere’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for some time so it wouldn’t be shocking if the Flyers traded him this season. However, I don’t see Yandle or DeKeyser as a fit with the Flyers.

Yandle, 34, is a skilled puck-moving blueliner but he’s not renowned for his defensive play. He carries an annual average value of $6.35 million through 2022-23 with a full no-movement clause. The 31-year-old DeKeyser, meanwhile, missed most of last season recovering from back surgery. His annual cap hit is $5 million through next season with a 10-team no-trade list.

SHOULD THE LEAFS DERMOTT FOR A FORWARD?

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel acknowledged Saturday’s report by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to improve their forward depth with Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson sidelined by injuries.

Siegel wondered if the Leafs might draw upon their apparent surplus of defensemen. He suggested Travis Dermott as the likely trade candidate citing his limited ice time this season.

That could be a risky move, as Dermott could be worth retaining in case injuries strike the defense corps. Trading him would also leave the Leafs having to expose another defenseman at this summer’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could keep an eye on the waiver wire at this point rather than make a trade. Nevertheless, they could consider making a trade if the concern over the forward depth adversely affects their performance. Dermott does seem the most likely trade chip if they intend to deal from their roster.

SHOULD THE AVALANCHE UPGRADE BETWEEN THE PIPES?

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers recently suggested the Colorado Avalanche’s goaltending remains shaky entering this season. He feels it hasn’t improved over last season. Pavel Francouz is sidelined, forcing them to go with inexperienced backups for starter Philipp Grubauer. He feels the Avalanche might have to shop around for help if Francouz’s absence is longer than expected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a situation worth monitoring. Francouz missed his third straight game on Sunday. As long as Grubauer remains healthy they’ll likely wait for Francouz to heal up and return. However, they could be forced into the trade market if Grubauer struggles or gets hurt.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 17, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – December 17, 2020

Could the Flyers attempt to acquire Jets winger Patrik Laine? Will the Bruins sign Mike Hoffman? Should the Senators bring back Anthony Duclair? Travis Hamonic to Vancouver? Corey Perry to Toronto? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall cites a source claiming the Flyers “have had interest” in Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine. He also pointed out The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported in early October the Flyers and Jets held trade discussions but those talks cooled.

Could the Philadelphia Flyers revisit their interest in Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine? (NHL Images)

Hall expects the Laine trade speculation will continue throughout 2020-21 due to the winger’s restricted free agent status at season’s end. He anticipates the Flyers’ interest could pick up depending on team needs, the value of trade chips and a greater feel for the season in general.

Landing Laine won’t be easy because of the Jets’ asking price and the Flyers’ ability to make room for the sniper. The flattened salary cap will complicate things, especially with goalie Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim due for new contracts next summer and Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier eligible for UFA status in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The struggles of the Flyers’ leading scorers during the 2020 playoffs could account for general manager Chuck Fletcher’s rumored interest in Laine. He’d be a good replacement for Giroux if the Flyers let him depart via free agency in 2022.

The Jets will set a high asking price for Laine, especially if he has a strong performance this season. It’s believed they’ll want a top-pairing defenseman in return or a young blueliner with top-two potential as part of a package deal.

Cap Friendly shows the Flyers with over $2.2 million in cap space. They’ll have to give up a salaried player to create room for Laine’s $6.75 million cap hit. Flyers fans will pitch Shayne Gostisbehere but Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could ask for Ivan Provorov straight up or Philippe Myers as part of a package deal.

The Jets could move Laine before the season opens in mid-to-late January, but I believe they’ll hang onto him and see how things unfold during the 2021 offseason. His unhappiness over his second-line role with the Jets could change once he’s reunited with Paul Stastny as his center.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan wonders what’s taking so long for the Boston Bruins and Mike Hoffman to hook up. He believes a one-year deal would suit both sides well, citing TSN’s Dave Poulin considering Hoffman a good fit with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk on the Bruins’ second line. Brennan acknowledged they’ll have to shed some salary to make room for Hoffman but believes GM Don Sweeney could pull it off.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brennan and Poulin aren’t the only pundits floating the notion of Hoffman signing with the Bruins. Wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak could miss the start of the season recovering from offseason injuries but they won’t be out of action for long.

The Bruins have over $2.9 million in cap space but he’s reportedly seeking a one-year deal starting at $5.5 million. That explains why the two sides haven’t “hooked up” yet. The bigger concern for the Bruins could be a blueline weakened by the departure of Torey Krug to St. Louis and uncertainty over Zdeno Chara’s status.

Brennan also cited Poulin suggesting Anthony Duclair should pick up the phone and call Senators GM Pierre Dorion. He agrees with Poulin that the Senators remain the best fit for the 25-year-old winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out Duclair returning to the Senators but it’ll certainly be on their terms. He had his chance to get a reportedly reasonable short-term deal in Ottawa but decided to act as his own agent and test the market. Maybe he’s already got a deal lined up with another club that’s awaiting word on the start of the season before officially announcing the contract. We’ll find out soon enough.

Poulin also sees UFA defenseman Travis Hamonic joining the Vancouver Canucks and advised UFA winger Corey Perry to home to the Toronto Maple Leafs. “Join Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton and have some fun. They won’t need you until the playoffs anyway.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could get some wiggle room to sign Hamonic by placing Micheal Ferland ($3.5 million AAV) on LTIR. They could also demote trade or demote one of their 15 forwards in a cost-cutting move for Hamonic. However, I still think the Manitoba native could end up signing with the Jets when they place Bryan Little ($5.29 million AAV) on LTIR.

The Leafs have Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Wayne Simmonds and Jimmy Vesey as their right wingers for this season. Nylander or Vesey could shift to left wing to make room for Perry, but the Leafs are already above the cap by over $1.04 million. They’ll get under the cap by demoting a player or two but that still won’t leave room for Perry unless they do some more cap juggling, maybe by acquiring an LTIR contract or a cost-cutting trade.










Activity Slows In The NHL Offseason Trade Market

Activity Slows In The NHL Offseason Trade Market

 










Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2020

A look at some intriguing offseason trade candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman recently listed 6 intriguing players who could still get traded this offseason.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (NHL Images).

He begins with Shayne Gostisbehere, noting the Philadelphia Flyers reportedly made the puck-moving defenseman available earlier in the offseason. Matt Niskanen’s sudden retirement and the Flyers’ subsequent addition of Erik Gustafsson (who plays a similar style to Gostisbehere) leaves the 26-year-old blueliner’s status uncertain in Philadelphia. Wegman suggested the Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings as potential landing spots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ and Jets’ limited cap space means the Flyers would have to take back some salary to move Gostisbehere to either of those clubs. Cap Friendly indicates he has three years remaining on his contract worth $4.5 million annually. The Kings can afford him but general manager Rob Blake already acquired Olli Maatta from Chicago and could be content to promote from within.

Wegman noted the trade speculation swirling around Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine. He pointed out Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will want either a top-six center or top-four defenseman as part of the return. The Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild are possible destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres landed Taylor Hall via free agency so I doubt they’re in the market for Laine. The Hurricanes could be a good fit but I don’t see them parting with any of their top-four defensemen plus they lack the depth in centers to pry Laine away from the Jets. The Wild need a proven top-line center, not a left-winger, so I don’t think they’re a fit.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they reportedly placed Jake Gardiner on the trade block. He’s tumbled down their depth chart and carries a $4.05 million cap hit, but could be a top-four defenseman for clubs like the Jets, Florida Panthers or New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner’s contract runs through 2022-23 so the Hurricanes will either have to absorb part of that cap hit or take back salary to make this work. The Panthers and Jets are looking for more defensive-minded options, plus the latter has limited cap space. I don’t see the Rangers taking on his contract.

Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been frequently mentioned in trade rumors for some time, prompting Wegman to wonder if new Sabres GM Kevyn Adams might find a taker for him. The Sabres have a logjam at right defense and moving one of their right-side blueliners to the left side isn’t ideal. Wegman suggested the Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Jets as possible landing spots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most reports out of Buffalo on Ristolainen suggested he was no longer on the trade block because head coach Ralph Krueger thinks highly of him. If so, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s need to shed salary to re-sign Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev have Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson on Wegman’s list. Killorn has a 16-team no-trade list, making him somewhat easier to move. Johnson has a full no-trade clause but is willing to work with the Lightning to work out a trade, but there were no takers for his $5 million AAV when he was placed on waivers. They’ll have to include a sweetener to move him. The Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators or Panthers could be destinations for one of them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Detroit has the salary-cap space plus former Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is now the Red Wings’ GM. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if Killorn or Johnson would accept a trade to a rebuilding club like the Wings or the Senators.

The Panthers also have the cap space but could be unwilling to spend much higher than they already have. They could also be trying to woo back free agent Mike Hoffman. We also don’t know if Killorn or Johnson would accept getting traded to the Lightning’s less-successful rival.