NHL Rumor Mill – May 25, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 25, 2020

​In today’s NHL rumor mill, we take a look at the latest Blues speculation plus several suggested second-line center and defense targets for the Jets.

LATEST ON THE BLUES

STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat, Tom Timmermann was asked if the St. Louis Blues could trade Jaden Schwartz, Jake Allen, or both as cost-cutting measures.

Could the Blues trade Jake Allen after this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

He feels trading Allen would be the easiest solution to freeing up salary-cap space to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo. The improvement in his play this season could improve his trade value.

If Schwartz intends to seek a significant raise on his next contract in 2021, the Blues could be forced to move him. Trading him early when a team can get a full season out of him before his contract expires would improve his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $79.4 million invested in 20 players, with Pietrangelo and RFA blueliner Vince Dunn their priorities to re-sign. Shedding Schwartz ($5.35 million through 2020-21, 15-team no-trade list) and Allen ($4.35 million through 2020-21) would free up $9.7 million in cap room. That’s enough to re-sign Pietrangelo, but not for Dunn.

Unless Blues management intends to let Pietrangelo walk after this season, they’ll probably have to dump around $14 million to retain their cap, re-sign Dunn, and leave sufficient cap space for other roster moves next season.

SECOND-LINE CENTER & DEFENSE OPTIONS FOR THE JETS

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Murat Ales suggested 16 candidates to address the Winnipeg Jets’ second-line center position for 2020-21.

In-house options include Bryan Little, Andrew Copp, and Jack Roslovic.

Unrestricted free agent possibilities include re-signing Cody Eakin or pursuing the Islanders’ Derick Brassard, Minnesota’s Alex Galchenyuk, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund, Arizona’s Carl Soderberg or Florida’s Erik Haula.

Trade options include Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson, Montreal’s Max Domi, or Dallas’ Roope Hintz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic could be the most likely in-house option. He wants to move up into the Jets’ top-six. It might be worthwhile to give him that opportunity. If it doesn’t work, they can turn to the in-season trade market.

Granlund might be the best of those proposed UFA options, though he’s spent more time on the wing in recent years. Unless Johnson waives his no-trade clause, he’s not going to Winnipeg. Despite the speculation in the Montreal media over Domi’s future with the Habs, I think they’ll re-sign him. The Stars aren’t moving Hintz, as the big 23-year-old sophomore winger is blossoming into one of their core forwards.

Ken Wiebe (subscription required) looks at 10 defense options via the off-season free-agent and trade markets. The UFAs include Washington’s Brenden Dillon, Calgary’s Travis Hamonic, Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Shattenkirk. His trade targets include Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Carolina’s Jake Gardiner, New Jersey’s Damon Severson, and Minnesota’s Matt Dumba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dillon, Hamonic, and Barrie could be reasonable options. Hamonic is a Manitoba native and could be keen on returning home if the Flames don’t re-sign him.

I don’t see the Ducks parting with Manson, the Devils with Severson, or the Wild with Dumba. Given the state of their respective bluelines, they need those rearguards if they hope to be competitive next season. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, might gladly listen to offers for Gardiner, but I doubt the Jets’ management would be interested in him.










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Dallas Stars

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Dallas Stars

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2020

Alex Ovechkin reaches another goal-scoring milestone, the Leafs set a team scoring record, the Oilers re-sign Zack Kassian, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 693rd career goal, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club falling 5-4 to the Nashville Predators. The Capitals capitalized on three Predators’ blunders to take a 4-3 lead into the third period, but goals by Ryan Johansen and Yannick Weber sealed the deal for the Preds. Ovechkin moved past Steve Yzerman for ninth on the all-time goals list, one goal behind Mark Messier.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is ninth on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list (Photo via NHL Images).

Fists were flying as the Calgary Flames picked up a 4-3 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers in the latest round of the Battle of Alberta. Oilers winger Zack Kassian and Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk squared off for the second time in as many games, while the most surprising bout featured Calgary center Sean Monahan and Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Andrew Mangiapane scored twice in regulation for the Flames while Monahan potted the only shootout goal. Speaking of Kassian, he signed a four-year, $12.8-million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s critics will claim his new deal is too much for too long. It’s actually right around where a winger of his skills would be. The $3.2 million salary-cap hit isn’t that bad, nor is a four-year deal for a 29-year-old physical forward with decent offensive ability.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Dallas Stars 5-3, setting a club record with four-or-more goals (discounting shootouts) in eight straight road games. Auston Matthews and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. Alexander Radulov tallied twice for the Stars, who learned earlier in the day that winger Roope Hintz is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Quinn Hughes and Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks picked up their fourth straight win by downing the San Jose Sharks 5-2. The Canucks (62 points) maintain a three-point lead over the Flames for first place in the Pacific Division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Steven Stamkos led the way with two goals and an assist. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s ironman streak ended at 460 games as he sat out this contest with an undisclosed injury.

Adam Henrique scored twice to give the Anaheim Ducks a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, who are 1-5-1 in their last seven contests.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark will miss three-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.










Midseason NHL Sophomore Stock Watch for 2019-20

Midseason NHL Sophomore Stock Watch for 2019-20

 










An Early Look at the Top 2019-20 NHL Sophomores

An Early Look at the Top 2019-20 NHL Sophomores

 










Breakout Candidates in the NHL Central Division

Breakout Candidates in the NHL Central Division