Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 21, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 21, 2020

Check out the latest on the Devils and Stars plus an update on Jesse Puljujarvi in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

DEVILS DEFENSE SPECULATION

THE ATHLETIC (Subscription required) In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak speculated Andy Greene could return to the New Jersey Devils if they see a veteran defenseman to mentor their young blueliners. He also doubts they’ll pursue this summer’s top UFAs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Greene spent nearly 14 full seasons with the Devils before he was shipped last February to the New York Islanders. If he’s still available later in the off-season perhaps he’d be willing to return to New Jersey on a one-year, bonus-laden deal.

Could the New Jersey Devils target a defenseman like Anaheim’s Josh Manson in the off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

Turning to the trade market, Masisak looked at several defensemen that could be on the Devils’ off-season radar. His list of good options included Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Buffalo’s Colin Miller, Columbus’ David Savard, St. Louis’ Vince Dunn, and Tampa Bay’s Mikhail Sergachev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Masisak published a long list of options, but I wanted to focus on the notables.

I believe it’ll cost the Devils a scoring forward to acquire Manson, Miller, or Savard because their respective clubs need secondary scoring. Dunn and Sergachev made his list largely because of the cap constraints faced by their respective teams. However, it’s assumed the Blues and Lightning will make cost-cutting moves to free up salary-cap space to re-sign those two.

UPDATE ON PULJUJARVI

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes Jesse Puljujarvi will sign a one-year contract extension with Karpat of the Finnish Professional League. He expects that deal will include an NHL opt-out clause.

Puljujarvi spent this season in Finland after requesting a trade from the Edmonton Oilers. While the young winger hasn’t ruled out returning to the Oilers, Leavins wondered if his recent change of heart was to rehabilitate his trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt it’ll make Puljujarvi more attractive in the trade market. The Oilers reportedly listened to trade offers but didn’t get anything worthwhile.

Most teams consider the former fourth-overall pick to be at best a third-line winger. They’re unwilling to part with a first-rounder or a good young player to get him. Puljujarvi will likely have to return to the Oilers if he hopes to salvage his NHL career and boost his trade value.

STARS COULD TRY TO RE-SIGN KHUDOBIN.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Sean Shapiro said he believes the Stars will do everything they can to re-sign goaltender Anton Khudobin. They know they won’t make the playoffs next season without a competent backup for Ben Bishop.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $62 million invested in 15 players (stick tap to Cap Friendly), the Stars have sufficient cap space to re-sign Khudobin.

They must also re-sign RFAs Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, and Radek Faksa. Hintz and Gurianov lack arbitration rights, giving Stars management sufficient leverage to re-sign both to affordable bridge deals.

Assuming Khudobin isn’t seeking a significant raise over his current $2.5 million, I wouldn’t be surprised if he stuck around in Dallas for at least another year.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 24, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 24, 2020

Check out the latest on the Detroit Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings season may be over, but general manager Steve Yzerman faces a busy off-season.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman (Photo via NHL.com).

One of his first decisions will be whether to pick up the option year in head coach Jeff Blashill’s contract or find a new bench boss. Gerard Gallant and Lane Lambert (former Yzerman teammates) could be among the candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year for guiding the Vegas Golden Knights to the 2018 Stanley Cup in their expansion season. He could become the front-runner if the job becomes available.

In addition to deciding which of his free agents to re-sign, Khan speculates Yzerman could look to this year’s unrestricted free agent market for affordable second- and third-tier talent on short-term deals as stop-gap measures during the roster rebuild. He believes the Wings need a winger with scoring ability, a pair of defensemen, and a backup goaltender.

Khan also anticipates Yzerman will make low-risk value trades similar to his acquisitions of Robby Fabbri and Brendan Perlini.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Fabbri acquisition worked out well, but Perlini struggled throughout this season and probably won’t be back. Nevertheless, Yzerman will likely keep his eye open for once-promising players struggling with other clubs who could benefit from a fresh start elsewhere.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan recently posted a three-part series examining potential UFA targets to address the Red Wings’ roster needs.

He doubts Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall or Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby will be interested in joining a rebuilding clubs like the Wings. He also expects the St. Louis Blues will re-sign Alex Pietrangelo while Michigan native Torey Krug could be re-signed by the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits suggested Krug might be willing to return home if he can’t sign with the Bruins. While we shouldn’t rule it out, I think he’d prefer playing for a contender.

Kulfan’s list of proposed forward options includes Colorado’s Vladislav Namestnikov, Florida’s Evgenii Dadonov, Mike Hoffman, or Erik Haula, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund, Vegas’ Tomas Nosek, or the New York Rangers’ Jesper Fast.

Blueline possibilities could include Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz, Washington’s Brenden Dillon, or the New York Islanders’ Andy Greene.

Goaltending targets could include Vegas’ Robin Lehner, but the term and price would have to be worked on). Others include Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, the Islanders’ Thomas Greiss, and Calgary’s Cam Talbot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Wings have over $46.2 million invested in 11 players. Once Yzerman re-signs key free agents like Fabbri, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Anthony Mantha, he’ll have plenty of cap room to bring in a couple of quality veteran free agents on short-term deals.

With the salary cap remaining around $81.5 million and several clubs looking to pinch pennies, that could work in Yzerman’s favor. If he sticks to affordable short-term options, he’ll have plenty to choose from once the notable names are snapped up.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 17, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 17, 2020

A look at several players facing uncertain futures in this summer’s free-agent market in the Sunday’s NHL rumor roundup.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently examined several of this summer’s 30-or-older UFA  goaltenders, as well as several veteran UFA defensemen and forwards facing uncertain futures.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford is among several pending UFAs facing uncertain futures (Photo via NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford isn’t far removed from recent career-threatening injuries and there appears to be some front-office turmoil in the organization. He’s also 35, which will hamper efforts for a multi-year term. Nevertheless, the Blackhawks could re-sign him.

Jimmy Howard’s days with the Detroit Red Wings are likely over. Despite a brutal season, he could become a backup option for another club. Meanwhile, 38-year-old Mike Smith’s NHL career could be winding down after two sub-par seasons, though his size and puck-handling skills could still make him enticing.

O’Brien expects Anton Khudobin and Thomas Greiss will attract considerable interest. Ryan Miller’s future depends on his choices and his wish to remain in California. Brian Elliott must keep his expectations modest to stay in the NHL. Maybe 39-year-old Craig Anderson regains some of his form on a more hopeful team. Aaron Dell’s struggles over the past two seasons could hurt his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Blackhawks land an established starter via trade or free agency, they’ll probably re-sign Crawford to a 35-plus, bonus-laden deal. Howard’s experience could help him land a backup role. Some Edmonton pundits suggest Smith could return for one more season with the Oilers.

I expect Khudobin and Greiss will be quickly signed if they hit the open market. Elliott could return for another season with the Flyers. It’s probably the end of the road for Miller and Anderson, while Dell could have difficulty finding a new NHL club. 

O’Brien wondered if former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will resume his NHL career and at what cost. Questions about his injured ankle will also be a factor.

Age and declining performance could hurt the stock of blueliners Mike Green and Roman Polak. Andy Greene, however, could have some value as a defense-first rearguard, while puck-moving Kevin Shattenkirk could be worth a low-risk contract.  O’Brien wondered if a desperate club might take a chance on Dmitry Kulikov or Zach Bogosian.

UFA blueliners who could retire due to age or health issues include Jonathan Ericsson, Jay Bouwmeester, Deryk Engelland, or perhaps Andrej Sekera.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien will attract lots of attention if he decides to return. He won’t get an expensive long-term deal, but probably a 35-plus contract full of bonus clauses. Shattenkirk revived his career with the Lightning and shouldn’t have much difficulty finding another NHL team. Greene will also probably get a one-year deal.

Green and Polak, on the other hand, are likely done as NHL defensemen. The same goes for Kulikov, Bogosian, Ericsson, Bouwmeester, Engelland, and Sekera.

Aging former star forwards like Corey Perry and Jason Spezza also face uncertain futures following this season. Spezza’s defensively responsible play could earn him another contract.

Ryan Reaves’ gritty style could also ensure he remains in the NHL for another season. Carl Soderberg’s underlying stats were underwhelming this season. O’Brien noted 35-year-old checking-line forward Nate Thompson still remains in demand. Questions about Patrick Maroon’s health could leave him twisting in the wind for another off-season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry’s no longer as effective as he once was. The Stars took a chance on him this season and it didn’t pan out. He might not get another opportunity elsewhere. Spezza, on the other hand, earned praise for his leadership and defensive skills with the Leafs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to bring him back for another season.

Soderberg is 35 and his best seasons are behind him, but he still managed decent offensive stats with the Coyotes. He’ll probably get a one-year deal elsewhere. Reaves’ style of play will help him land another contract with another club. Despite his age, Thompson’s style of play should ensure he gets another NHL deal. I also wouldn’t rule out Maroon landing with another team. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2020

Updates on Thomas Greiss, Andy Greene, Peter Laviolette, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

New York Islanders defenseman Andy Greene hopes to return for another season (Photo via NHL Images).

THE SCORE: New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is offering food, toilet paper, and other items to people in need during this coronavirus pandemic.

NEWSDAY: Islanders defenseman Andy Greene expects to continue his NHL career next season. Whether it’s with the Isles, however, remains to be seen.

The 37-year-old Greene was acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 16. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer.

NBC SPORTS: Peter Laviolette hopes to return to the NHL coaching ranks. With 637 wins, he’s only the fourth coach in league history to guide three different teams (Carolina, Philadelphia, Nashville) to the Stanley Cup Final. He was selected to coach Team USA at the 2020 World Championships, but that tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Laviolette’s record, he’ll return behind an NHL bench at some point within the next year or two.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are among the only four players remaining from the Jets’ 2011-12 roster. Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little are the other two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Judging by recent reports, that number will be down to three whenever next season opens. Byfuglien’s contract is expected to be terminated soon.

 

 










Evaluating The Latest Notable Trades Before the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline

Evaluating The Latest Notable Trades Before the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline

 










Devils Trade Greene to Islanders, Coleman to the Lightning

Devils Trade Greene to Islanders, Coleman to the Lightning

The New Jersey Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders for prospect defenseman David Quenneville and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. The Devils also shipped winger Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for left wing prospect Nolan Foote and a conditional first-round pick (originally belonging to Vancouver) in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The New Jersey Devils trade Andy Greene to the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just over a week before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Devils interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald is wasting little time getting started on rebuilding his roster. Greene and Coleman were recent fixtures in the NHL rumor mill.

Greene, the now-former Devils captain, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello knows him well, as Greene played for Lamoriello during his tenure as the Devils GM. He’ll bring invaluable defensive experience to the Isles’ blueline as they jockey for playoff positioning down the stretch. The 37-year-old rearguard also indicated he intends to continue playing next season. Perhaps he’ll earn a bonus-laden one-year deal with the Isles if he plays well.

Quenneville, 21, was a seventh-round pick by the Isles in 2016. He spent last season with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport and this season with Worcester in the ECHL. The real prize for the Devils is the second-round pick, replacing the one they traded to Nashville last summer in the P.K. Subban deal.

Coleman, 28, is a versatile two-way forward with 21 goals this season, putting him on the verge of eclipsing last season’s career-high of 22. He’s no playoff rental, as he has a year remaining on his contract at an affordable annual salary of $1.8 million. This move is a bit of a surprise, as it was assumed the Bolts were more in the market for a defenseman with Ryan McDonagh and Jan Rutta on injured reserve. Nevertheless, Coleman will be a solid addition to their already deep forward lines.

The return for Coleman is better for the Devils than the one they got for Greene. Selected in the first round (27th overall) by the Lightning in last year’s draft, the 19-year-old Foote is the son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote. He’s a promising scoring winger currently with the Kelowna Rockets. He tallied five points in seven games for Canada’s gold-medal team at the 2020 World Junior Championships.

The Devis also picked up the Canucks’ conditional first-round pick that the Bolts acquired last year in the J.T. Miller trade. They now have potentially three picks in the first round of the 2020 draft.