Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 4, 2016

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 4, 2016

Trade speculation is swirling around Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.

Trade speculation is swirling around Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.

The latest on Max Pacioretty, Ryan Spooner, Benoit Pouliot and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.  

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos wonders if the Montreal Canadiens might put left wing Max Pacioretty on the trade block. While there’s no indication Pacioretty wants out of Montreal, Kypreos claims “it’s clear from a few other teams that they want to watch this situation closely.” He claims there’s some friction between the winger and coach Michel Therrien.

Kypreos adds that a lot of teams are wondering if Pacioretty might get dealt to shore up the Habs blueline. Elliotte Friedman believes that’s a tough trade to make, as the Habs probably won’t get equal value in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Moving Pacioretty for a defenseman also weakens their offense. The Habs have struggled to score of late, so trading away one of their few natural scorers won’t help matters.  I think Pacioretty could land the Habs a quality blueliner, but that type of trade happens in the offseason. Difficult to pull off now.

Kypreos also believes it would make sense for the Boston Bruins to trade forward Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks. He cites the chemistry Spooner had last season on the power play with Loui Eriksson, who now plays in Vancouver. Canucks GM Jim Benning also has ties to the Bruins as a former assistant GM in Boston. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also think Spooner might be a good fit with the Canucks, but the Bruins could ask for a good young defenseman in return. 

Friedman notes the Edmonton Oilers made left wing Matt Hendricks a healthy scratch last night and wonders if the Wild might be a fit for the Minnesota native. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow is shopping around in hopes of landing a scoring winger for John Tavares’ line. Snow is also trying to move Nikolay Kulemin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow will have the same luck the Canucks had trying to land a scoring winger. Bad time of the year to be shopping for that type of player. If they do manage to find one, the trade will probably come too late to save their season, and it could cost them a defenseman.

A few weeks ago, the Isles were linked to Colorado Avalanche forwards Gabe Landeskog and Matt Duchene. If there was any truth to that chatter, you’ve got to figure the Avs will want Travis Hamonic in return.  

As for Kulemin, he’s earning over $4 million per season through 2017-18 and has only five points in 21 games. That’s another contract that is very tough to move. 

There’s talk Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is calling in search of a defenseman to pair with Shea Weber. 

Garrioch cited TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported it was Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka who made an offer for Dougie Hamilton that the Calgary Flames could refuse. Chayka is apparently overvaluing his players and that’s annoying some of his peers. 

The Edmonton Oilers aren’t shopping winger Benoit Pouliot, but they have spoken to a few teams to see if there’s any interest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pouliot’s earning a $4 million annual cap hit through 2018-19. Good luck moving that. 

The Philadelphia Flyers wouldn’t mind moving defenseman Andrew MacDonald, but his $5 million annual cap hit through 2019-20 makes that all but impossible. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Flyers can find a team with lots of cap space next summer willing to add MacDonald. Given how much term is left on his deal, however, that will be difficult to do. The Flyers would either have to include a terrific sweetener in the deal or agree to pick up a good chunk of his cap hit. 

The Boston Bruins also wouldn’t mind moving winger Jimmy Hayes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s earning $2.3 million per season through 2017-18. Considering he’s only score one goal this season, that contract isn’t easy to move. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs are offering around center Peter Holland and reportedly aren’t seek much in return.