NHL Rumor Mill Update – February 28, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill Update – February 28, 2017

Trade speculation continues to link Edmonton Oilers winger Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders.

Latest on the Islanders, Senators, Canucks, Flyers and more in your NHL rumor mill update.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the return of sidelined Islanders regulars Travis Hamonic, Cal Clutterbuck and Shane Prince could be the only additions they need at the trade deadline. Staple cites two sources claiming the Isles aren’t shopping for players who are on expiring contracts. While they’ve been liked to Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle, Staple said GM Garth Snow would have to hand over prospects plus a player or two off their current roster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN insider Darren Dreger last night suggested Hamonic might interest the Avalanche, who seek a good young NHL defenseman as part of the return for Duchene. As Staple points out, however, GM Garth Snow could be reluctant to move someone off his roster right now. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander considers it unlikely that Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis will move out some of his core players and make a major move. He instead expects pending UFAs such as forwards Jay McClement, Viktor Stalberg and Derek Ryan could be shopped. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson last week cited scouts claiming Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk is in play. He’s considered a core player, but Matheson suggests their depth in young defenders not longer makes Faulk the mainstay of their  blueline.  He’s signed through 2019-20 with an annual cap hit of over $4.83 million and could fetch the Hurricanes a good scoring center. Maybe there’s a link with the Colorado Avalanche and Matt Duchene? 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators might not be finished dealing after acquiring winger Alex Burrows yesterday from the Vancouver Canucks. He notes there’s talk the Sens have been shopping young forward Curtis Lazar for a first-round draft pick. One club reportedly offered up a second rounder. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks GM Jim Benning’s been taking calls on pending UFA goaltender Ryan Miller and winger Jannik Hansen, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agency. However, the recent trading of Ben Bishop to the LA Kings and winger Ryan White as part of the Martin Hanzal deal to the Minnesota Wild has shrunk the market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their respective lists of preferred trade destinations also hampers efforts to move them. Of the two, Hansen could have the most value. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers goaltenders Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, along with defensemen Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto, are among the Flyers generating trade interest. All are eligible for UFA status in July. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Amy Moritz reports pending Sabres free agents such as winger Brian Gionta, defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson and goaltender Anders Nilsson could be available in the trade market. Gionta has a list of five preferred trade destinations but declined to say who they were. 

NJ.COM: Andrew Gross reports the New Jersey Devils held defenseman Kyle Quincey out of last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Quincey, a pending free agent, could be dealt as a rental player by the trade deadline. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports the San Jose Sharks could be in the market for an experienced scorer. They currently sit in the middle of the pack offensively among the 30 NHL clubs. 

 












Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 26, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 26, 2017

Are the LA Kings looking into acquiring Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller?

Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Miller, Matt Duchene, Marian Gaborik, Justin Faulk and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports he’s hearing the Los Angeles Kings have interest in Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller and Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop as a rental backup for the recently returned Jonathan Quick. Peter Budaj held the fort for the Kings in Quick’s absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This doesn’t make any sense. Budaj played very well in Quick’s absence (27 wins, seven shutouts, 2.12 GAA, .917 SP). Those numbers are better than Bishop’s or Miller’s stats.  While I know those two are bigger names, I think Budaj’s proven himself as a reliable backup for Quick. Besides, they have a more pressing need to bolster their offense, not to waste time chasing a goalie.  

Elliotte Friedman noted Kings winger Marian Gaborik was a healthy scratch in yesterday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. While he has four years left on his contract, the Kings are trying to see if they can move him.

Good luck moving the declining, oft-injured Gaborik at the trade deadline. Maybe the Kings will have better luck dumping that contract ($4.875 million annually through 2020-21) this summer upon a club looking to reach the salary-cap floor in exchange for a draft pick and a prospect. 

Speaking of Miller, Friedman reports the Canucks starter, as well as winger Jannik Hansen, submitted their lists of preferred trade destinations. As for Alex Burrows, who could have a few teams with interest in him. His list of destinations could be less than the other two. The Canucks could approach him if they’ve got a good offer and see if he’ll approve it.

With the March 1 trade deadline approaching, Friedman said the Colorado Avalanche are telling teams they aren’t dropping their asking prices for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. They’re looking for three or four pieces, including a young defenseman or goaltender (depending on the age), and are willing to wait for the offseason to get what they want.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hope you all enjoyed the Duchene and Landeskog trade rumors this season. Looks like they’ll be carrying on into this summer. 

Kypreos said some are viewing St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk’s rejecting a trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning (which included a seven-year, $42-million contact offer) as his way of picking a preferred destination, rather than money being the priority. Friedman jokingly suggested it could be the New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Certainly seems like Shattenkirk wants to test the market this summer. It’s widely assumed the Rangers could be his preferred destination. If a deal can be worked out with the Rangers, perhaps they’ll take him on at the trade deadline. 

Kypreos said the Toronto Maple Leafs have some interest in Detroit Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan. who’s struggling this year. The Leafs could be looking to pick up the 25-year-old at a discount but Kypreos feels it could cost the Leafs a first rounder if they want him.  Friedman also noted Wings defenseman Brendan Smith had come up in trade talk but the Wings are trying to re-sign him and he doubts he’ll be dealt.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports New York Rangers forward and leading scorer J.T. Miller is garnering lots of interest as the trade deadline nears, but the Blueshirts have no interest in moving him. Brooks also feels the Rangers have no realistic shot at Kevin Shattenkirk unless the asking price significantly drops. The Rangers need a right-handed shot on the right side of their blueline. While they’ve been connected to Detroit’s Brendan Smith, he’s a left-handed shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still wouldn’t rule out Shattenkirk to the Rangers at the deadline. He’d address their need for a right-shooting mobile blueliner. The New Rochelle native could be keen to join them. But as Brooks notes, the asking price has to come down first. No way the Rangers part with Miller, who’s blossoming into a reliable scorer. 

Brooks also wonders if the Rangers might deal defenseman Kevin Klein, a recent healthy scratch, for a forward. They could keep Klein in order to expose him in the expansion draft. While the Rangers have gone big at recent trade deadlines, Brooks anticipates they could be low key this year. 

Brooks claims Boston, Toronto and Edmonton are among the most ardent Shattenkirk suitors. He also believes Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle could be a good fit with Minnesota or Edmonton and suggests Buffalo Sabres winger Brian Gionta could be an interesting option for the New York Islanders. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of those three cities suggest the Bruins, Leafs and Oilers could at best make minor moves. While I don’t doubt the Leafs could be interested, I don’t see them paying a big price for a rental player. 

EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson recently reported he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pittsburgh Penguins add another defenseman before the trade deadline. Last week, the Pens acquired Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, Matheson cites scouts claiming defenseman Justin Faulk is in play and notes the Canes need a center. He also expects them to dump forwards Jay McClement and Viktor Stalberg by the deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk’s only 24, is a right-handed shot and carries a reasonable contract ($4.83 million annually through 2019-20). While he missed some time to injury earlier this season, he still should attract lots of interest. He’s also on pace for over 35 points, which would mark the fourth consecutive season he’s netted over 30. If he’s in play, perhaps the Hurricanes wait until this summer to move him in hopes of finding a suitable return. 

Matheson can see the Buffalo Sabres moving defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, provided they pick up half of his $4.2 million cap hit. 

Prior to the Chicago Blackhawks acquiring Tomas Jurco from the Detroit Red Wings, Matheson said the prevailing view had the Hawks trying to bring back Patrick Sharp from the Dallas Stars. However, he doesn’t rule out the Florida Panthers chasing Sharp. 

Given Ben Bishop’s improvement play of late, Matheson doubts the Lightning will move him at the deadline. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to have held talks with the Blues regarding Shattenkirk, who’s now being shopped as a rental player. The Blues apparently want a first-round pick and a prospect as part of the return. It’s expected Shattenkirk will signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk to the Caps or Pens? Reports out of Washington claim the Caps aren’t expected to be major players at the deadline.  Pens GM Jim Rutherford has a history of making big moves, and could be in the market for another defenseman. However, I don’t think he’ll pay big for a rental. 

The Buffalo Sabres are willing to move defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson.

Five or six clubs, including the Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators, are apparently after Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, The Coyotes are said to be seeking a first-round pick, a prospect and another piece in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch also reported the Sens are linked to “Dallas forwards Patrick Sharp and Jiri Hudler along with Detroit’s Thomas Vanek, Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford”  and also mentioned New Jersey’s P.A. Parenteau. While he believes Sharp or Hudler might make the most sense given their playoff experience, I think Vanek could be a better option as he has better stats this season. Garrioch also noted young Senators forward Curtis Lazar has come up in the rumor mill but he’s not generating much interest because of his lack of offense.

As for that asking price for Hanzal, I’ll be shocked if the Coyotes find someone willing to pay that price. He’s not worth that much. 

There’s talk the Dallas Stars could trade defenseman Johnny Oduya back to the Chicago Blackhawks or perhaps to the Canadiens.

The Tampa Bay Lightning could move center Brian Boyle, with the Columbus Blue Jackets a possible suitor. While goaltender Ben Bishop has frequently surfaced in trade chatter, there’s a growing belief the Lightning could retain him as interested clubs could be unwilling to meet the Bolts’ asking price for a player they can sign via free agency in five months.

The Colorado Avalanche aren’t finding many suitors for the 39-year-old Jarome Iginla, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause for a playoff contender.

The Arizona Coyotes won’t trade captain Shane Doan unless he asks to be dealt. There’s a belief in league circle he might and Garrioch thinks the San Jose Sharks could be interested.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ve heard Doan’s name pop up before and nothing ever came of that speculation. Maybe this year will be different but I’ll believe it when I see it. 

 












NHL Rumor Mill – February 24, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – February 24, 2017

St. Louis Blue defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk recently rejected a trade.

Updates on Kevin Shattenkirk, Brian Boyle, Martin Hanzal, Jannik Hansen, Patrick Eaves & more in your NHL rumor mill.

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reports the St. Louis Blues had a deal in place to move defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk six weeks ago. However, the blueliner spiked the deal, which would’ve given him a seven-year, $42-million contract extension ($6 million annually). The Blues are now shopping Shattenkirk as a rental player. He also spurned a deal last summer that would’ve sent him to the Edmonton Oilers for winger Taylor Hall, who was eventually shipped to the New Jersey Devils. While Shattenkirk lacks a no-trade clause, these deals were dependent upon his willingness to re-sign with the gaining club. As a rental, the Blues are reportedly seeking a first-round pick, a top prospect and perhaps a lesser-tier NHL player. 

The Blues are also discussing a contract extension with pending unrestricted free agent center Patrik Berglund. Rutherford reports there’s mutual interest from both sides to get a new contract in place. He’s completing a three-year, $11.1 million contract. 

TSN:  Bob McKenzie also reports on three occasions the Blues had conditional deals in place to move Shattenkirk. While a sign-and-trade is still possible, it has to be the right city, the right team and the right contract offer.  Darren Dreger claims the Toronto Maple Leafs are an interested suitor, as are the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he and his colleagues believe St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is going to be traded. He feels the Blues want to avoid losing Shattenkirk to free agency in July, having seen Troy Brouwer and David Backes do the same last summer. Dreger has said the asking price for the Blues defenseman is a prospect and a first-round pick, and perhaps a third piece depending on the quality of that pick and prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The big question is whether a rival club is willing to pony up that asking price for a rental player. That’s a pretty stiff asking price for a player who could bolt via free agency in July.  If the Blues are really keen to move him at the deadline, they could end up accepting a lesser return. 

TSN:  Pierre LeBrun thinks the Arizona Coyotes would like to move center Martin Hanzal by the weekend, though that could change depending upon the offers. Hanzal’s getting interest from Western Conference teams, though the Montreal Canadiens are among the few Eastern clubs still looking at him. 

Dreger reports Dallas Stars winger Patrick Eaves is generating a lot of interest. Ten to twelve teams are said to be looking at Eaves and Dreger expects he’ll be gone before the deadline. 

McKenzie said the Calgary Flames are scanning the market for a goaltending upgrade, but if the prices are prohibitive they’ll stick with the current tandem of Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson.

LeBrun said the Florida Panthers are looking for a top-nine rental forward. 

McKenzie speculates the Chicago Blackhawks could be in the market for an affordable depth forward. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion, with the blessing of team owner Eugene Melnyk, is working the phones in search of players to help his club reach the playoffs. With three top forwards (Bobby Ryan, Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone) sidelined, Dorion’s getting lots of calls from rival GMs willing to help the Sens bolster their forward depth if they’re willing to pay the price.

Dorion’s already rejected the notion of sacrificing his future for a quick fix. It’s believed he’s expressed interest in Colorado Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, but they’re not rental players and the asking price are high. Garrioch speculates Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Dallas Stars winger Patrick Eaves, Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Red Wings winger Thomas Vanek and Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen could be on Dorion’s radar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eaves, Boyle and Vanek could be the best options. Hansen could also make an affordable pickup, provided his addition doesn’t complicate their expansion draft plans. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger’s recent appearance on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 saying the Vancouver Canucks are in position to do some business leading up to next week’s trade deadline. Goaltender Ryan Miller’s name is out there, but he has a five-team list of preferred trade destinations, three of those being California clubs. The Canucks haven’t close the door on re-signing him.

Winger Jannik Hansen has another season at $2.5 million left on his contract. Dreger said there’s been some interest, though not a tremendous amount. He feels Hansen could attract interest of teams such as the Ottawa Senators who are in need of an affordable scoring winger.

TSN:  Pierre LeBrun believes Canucks winger Jannik Hansen is garnering a lot of interest from many teams, in part because he still has a year left on his contract. If the Canucks move him, they want a young player or a top prospect for Hansen. The Minnesota Wild could have interest but they could look more at a bottom-six rental. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I really don’t see much of a market for Miller leading up to the trade deadline. Hansen certainly seems to be their best trade chip, perhaps netting them a second-round pick. But if they’re insistent on a young player or top prospect, they could find it difficult to move him.  Alex Burrows also reportedly got some interest but I think at best they get a third-round for him. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Edmonton Oilers will be keeping an eye on Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle leading up to the trade deadline. The Bolts could entertain offers for the versatile Boyle, who also has considerable playoff experience. The Oilers are the NHL’s worst faceoff team and could benefit by adding Boyle as their No. 3 center. Matheson notes the Lightning need Boyle if they’re to reach the playoffs, but they risk losing him this summer to free agency, especially with Tyler Johnson, Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat to re-sign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers won’t be the only club looking at Boyle. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs are also said to be interested, and I think he’ll be a good fit with the Montreal Canadiens. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is pondering his options as the trade deadline approaches. He acknowledged that improving his depth at forward could be his club’s biggest need to have sufficient depth for a long playoff run. Fletcher doesn’t want to add players with term remaining on their contracts because of the limited number of players he can protect in the June expansion draft. He also doesn’t have a lot of salary-cap space to work with at the trade deadline.

Fletcher admits he’ll have to get creative, such as getting a trade partner to retain some cap space or by trading a player or two from his current roster. Despite rumors suggesting defenseman Marco Scandella or winger Jason Pominville could be available, Fletcher said he doesn’t have interest in those sort of moves right now. Russo listed possible rentals options include Dallas’ Patrick Eaves or Tampa Bay’s Brian Boyle. Arizona’s Martin Hanzal could also make sense but the Coyotes set a high asking price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher’s made some notable moves in deadlines past, but I don’t think he’s looking at a significant acquisition this time. An affordable pickup like Eaves or Boyle seems the more likely options. Fletcher has the blueline depth to pursue bigger targets, but he’s already said he prefers to keep his defense intact for the playoffs. 












NHL Rumor Mill – February 16, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – February 16, 2017

Could the Los Angeles Kings pursue Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla?

Updates on the Avalanche, Coyotes, Canucks and Senators in your NHL rumor mill.

THE DENVER POST:  Terry Frei reports Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic isn’t saying what his plans are leading up to the March 1 trade deadline. However, he made it clear he’ll continue listening to offers, including those for right wing Jarome Iginla, provided he can be moved to a playoff contender.

Sakic hopes to boster his blueline depth both in the short term and for the future. He also said he won’t make a move just for the sake of doing so, and downplayed his recent scouting trip of several Eastern Conference clubs. Sakic also said first-year coach Jared Bednar’s job is safe and expects sidelined starting goalie Semyon Varlamov (hip surgery) to be fully healthy next season.

ESPN.COM:  Pierre LeBrun reports Iginla’s $5.33 million cap hit could make him difficult to move. A source said the Los Angeles Kings have “kicked around the merits” of acquiring the 39-year-old winger, but the Avs would have to pick up part of that cap hit. LeBrun speculates the Edmonton Oilers were rumored as a possible destination for Iginla, but he feels their focus is on adding a third-line center. He also speculates the Avs haven’t received much interest from rival clubs in the veteran winger. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Iginla was still on a 20-goal pace as he was last season, I believe the interest would be higher. But with only seven goals and 15 points in 54 games, it’s obvious that age and the wear and tear of 20 NHL seasons has finally caught up to him. 

In other trade speculation, LeBrun suggests Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle could be a good alternative for teams that fail to acquire center Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes. 

New Jersey Devils pending UFAs P.A. Parenteau and Kyle Quincey could hit the trade block before the deadline. 

The Calgary Flames need a top-nine forward to help their offense and a defenseman, “perhaps as a rental.”

The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t sacrifice assets for a short-term fix just because they’re in playoff contention this season. If they do decide to make a move, they could free up over $13 million by placing Nathan Horton, Joffrey Lupul and Stephane Robidas on long-term injured reserve. 

Not as much trade talk regarding the San Jose Sharks compared to previous trade deadlines. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports the Coyotes haven’t had substantive contract talks with pending UFAs Martin Hanzal and Michael Stone, making them the most likely to be dealt. Morgan believes it’ll take more than a mid-round pick to pry UFA winger (and the Coyotes’ leading scorer) Radim Vrbata away from Arizona. General manager John Chayka said there’s been no discussion whatsoever with captain Shane Doan about waiving his no-trade clause.

VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports veteran Canucks forwards Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen have some trade value, but their no-trade clauses complicates things. As a result, they will largely determine whether they’ll be dealt before the March 1 deadline. MacIntyre doubts goaltender Ryan Miller, who also has a no-movement clause, gets traded. He also considers defenseman Erik Gudbranson their most marketable commodity, but he’s currently sidelined by a hand injury. The June expansion draft could also make it difficult to do a straight hockey trade rather than a rental deal.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports trade rumors are swirling around young Senators forward Curtis Lazar, who was a healthy scratch in the club’s last four games. “Lazar’s agent J.P. Barry is meeting with Senators GM Pierre Dorion later this week, and TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Lazar requests a trade,” writes Garrioch, who said no such request has been made yet. If the Sens shop Lazar, Garrioch expects they’ll want “a high pick in return.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch reports today that Lazar and his agent are expected to meet with Dorion on Saturday to discuss the winger’s future and his options, which could include a trade. 












Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 12, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 12, 2017

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (left) and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene remain the most discussed trade candidates leading up to the March 1 trade deadline.

Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt Duchene, Martin Hanzal, Brian Boyle and Jannik Hansen in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is open to being dealt to a Canadian team. He thinks the blueliner has about 12 teams on his wish list where he’d sign a long-term deal, two of them being Toronto and Montreal. He’s doesn’t envision himself with the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames. 

OTTAWA SUN:  Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed the Blues gave an Eastern Conference club permission to speak with Kevin Shattenkirk about three weeks ago. Garrioch claims the Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning also made pitches, with the Bruins being the only team having the ability to sign Shattenkirk to a long-term contract. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports the Boston Bruins kicked the tires on Shattenkirk before the 2016 draft, but it likely would’ve cost them two first-round picks plus a roster player. Given the ongoing development promising Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, Shinzawa believes that lowers the possibility of the Bruins revisiting their interest in Shattenkirk. He points out it would not only cost the Bruins’ assets to pursue the Blues defenseman, but they’d also have to re-sign him to keep him off the UFA market in July. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of interesting trade chatter about Shattenkirk with the deadline just over two weeks ago. The sense is the Blues will move him before deadline day. Where he ends up could be determined by which club intends to pay the big bucks to re-sign him.

I still think many of these clubs should seriously consider passing on Shattenkirk and instead target clubs with depth in good young defensemen, such as the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild, to see if a deal can be made. Rather than possibly busting their budgets by paying Shattenkirk $7 million annually, it would certainly make more sense for a rebuilding club, such as the Leafs, or a team looking to revamp their blueline with young talent, such as the Bruins and Lightning, to entertain that option.

SPORTSNET: Kypreos reports some people are speculating Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford could take a run at Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. The Carolina Hurricanes are also believed in play. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic wants “a top draft pick, a prospect, and maybe even a top defenceman,”  He suggested someone such as Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot as part of the deal but Elliotte Friedman doubts that will work.

Friedman also pointed out Rutherford is willing to do whatever it takes to win and if he has to sort it out in the offseason he will. Rutherford prefer to retain goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the remainder of this season as insurance, but recognizes Fleury’s desire is to play. 

OTTAWA SUN: Garrioch reports the Carolina Hurricanes could make the biggest push for Colorado’s Matt Duchene, but the asking price could include young defenseman Noah Hanifin. Avs GM Joe Sakic reportedly wants “a young, established blueliner, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick as part of any package if Duchene is to be moved.” The Nashville Predators could also make a serious push. The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators were among clubs to express interest but found the price tag too expensive. It’s possible Sakic could wait until this summer to move Duchene. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford has swung a blockbuster before, acquiring Phil Kessel from the Leafs nearly two years ago. That move, however, took place in the offseason. Given concerns over a potentially flat salary cap for next season, Rutherford might not be so keen to pursue a Duchene deal right now. Pouliot as the centerpiece of an offer from the Pens will not interest Sakic. Packaging Pouliot with Fleury and a draft pick or prospect might be a better offer, but I still think the Avs pass on that.

The Hurricanes could be the best fit for a Duchene deal. They’re loaded with young defensemen to tempt the Avs, they need a proven scorer like Duchene and they have the cap room to pick up his $6 million cap hit. Not sure Canes GM Ron Francis would part with Hanifin, but there’s plenty of other possibilities there for the Avs to choose from. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the recent presence of Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka at a recent Minnesota Wild game sparked speculation the Wild could have interest in Coyotes center Martin Hanzal. The Montreal Canadiens are among several clubs also believed pursuing Hanzal, but Chayka seeks “two big pieces” in return. They’ll have to lower their price or be stuck with him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chayka could keep that price high right up to deadline day, but he’ll likely lower it before then, especially if more teams become sellers. 

If the Vancouver Canucks decide to make changes, winger Jannik Hansen could attract calls. Garrioch claims several teams like Hansen because of his decent contract ($2.5 million annually through next season), speed and ability to play with several lines. Hansen’s modified no-trade clause gives him some say in the matter. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could shed some pending UFAs such as Alex Burrows or Ryan Miller by the deadline, but I suspect they prefer retaining Hansen. That could change, of course, if they get a healthy offer for him. Earlier this season, GM Jim Benning said he wouldn’t approach his players carrying no-trade clauses to waive them, but recent reports suggest he could change his mind. 

SPORTSNET: Kypreos reports being told the Edmonton Oilers have interest in Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle, but the asking price is too high, possibly a first-round pick. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs could also be interested. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Canadiens could also look into Boyle’s availability, but I don’t see anyone parting with a first-round pick for a checking-line center. 












NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2016

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno celebrates his game winner against the Boston Bruins.

Game recaps, notable injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves and Nick Foligno tallied the game-winning goal as the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to 13 games by edging the Boston Bruins 4-3. 

Jared Spurgeon scored in overtime to give the Minnesota Wild their 11th consecutive victory by beating the Nashville Predators 3-2. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how long the respective streaks of the Jackets and Wild can last. The Jackets seemed to struggle against the Bruins last night. 

Sidney Crosby netted his league-leading 25th goal and Evgeni Malkin picked up his 800th career point to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 

Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund both scored two goals as the Calgary Flames doubled up the Colorado Avalanche 6-3. Gabe Landeskog also scored twice for the Avs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the losses mount for the Avalanche, there’s growing expectation general manager Joe Sakic could start shaking things up in the coming weeks. 

Derek Stepan and Nick Holden each scored twice and Ryan McDonagh collected three assists as the New York Rangers nipped the Ottawa Senators 4-3. 

Andrew Ladd scored twice and Jaroslav Halak kicked out 31 shots to give the New York Islanders a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals. 

Evander Kane potted two goals and Robin Lehner turned in a 40-save performance to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. Earlier in the day, the Sabres learned first-line center Ryan O’Reilly had an appendectomy on Christmas Day and will miss the next two-three weeks. 

Brent Burns scored and set up another as the San Jose Sharks squeezed past the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves backstopping the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Earlier in the day, it was announced Jets forward Mark Scheifele will have a walk-on part with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker on Dec. 30. Meanwhile, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa (upper-body injury) is expected to miss the next three games

Jason Spezza scored and set up another to lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. 

The Vancouver Canucks announced winger Jannik Hansen (knee injury) will miss the next four-to-six weeks. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (groin injury) will miss the next three games.