NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022
NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022
The fallout from the Rangers shipping Nils Lundkvist to the Stars plus the latest on Jake Allen, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear and Brett Ritchie in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
FALLOUT FROM THE LUNDKVIST TRADE
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks weighed in on the Rangers trading Nils Lundkvist yesterday to the Dallas Stars for a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.
Brooks feels Rangers general manager Chris Drury “has acquired a critical asset he can move for immediate help” at the March trade deadline. He suggests Drury will have potentially two first-rounders to play the rental market, or what Brooks calls “the Patrick Kane derby”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks has suggested the Rangers should pursue Kane if the 33-year-old Chicago Blackhawks superstar becomes available by the trade deadline. Having that extra first-round pick could give Drury an advantage if he decides to get into the bidding. Something to keep an eye on depending on how the Rangers’ season shakes out.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports the Lundkvist deal is the first time Stars GM Jim Nill has traded a first-round pick for a player. He also thinks that move could affect efforts to free up salary-cap space.
“Perhaps the first-rounder rids the Stars of Anton Khudobin? Perhaps the fourth-rounder entices a team to bite on Radek Faksa?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundkvist could pan out for the Stars if the 22-year-old blossoms into a reliable puck-moving right-side defenseman. As for what else Nill could’ve used those picks for, maybe he’s working on something else that moves Khudobin or Faksa to clear the cap space necessary to re-sign restricted free agent Jason Robertson.
TEAMS CALLING ABOUT JAKE ALLEN
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports teams are continuing to ask Canadiens GM Kent Hughes about Jake Allen, who is in preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Given the interest in the 32-year-old goaltender, D’Amico’s source wonders if Hughes could be weighing the pros and cons of extending him.
D’Amico also reported Hughes continues working the phones in search of a defenseman. He’s reportedly willing to draw from his depth of forwards for trade bait. Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and (to a lesser extent) Christian Dvorak are those who could be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As D’Amico also observed, it would be shocking if the Canadiens traded Allen now with Carey Price expected to miss the coming season. Maybe that’s a move that happens later in the season (perhaps by the March trade deadline?) if Allen decides to test next summer’s free-agent market.
UPDATES ON PULJUJARVI, BEAR AND RITCHIE
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wonders if the Edmonton Oilers will move Jesse Puljujarvi if Jake Virtanen impresses during his professional tryout offer. The 24-year-old winger is earning $3 million this season. Spector doesn’t believe the Oilers can get anything of value for Puljujarvi and lack depth on right wing to deal for a draft pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Oilers GM Ken Holland handles this. They must clear cap space if they’re to sign RFA forward Ryan McLeod and become cap compliant when the season begins. They could ice fewer players for the coming season but it would be better to either demote or trade someone.
Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks could have Ethan Bear on their radar in their search for a defenseman before the start of the coming season. The 25-year-old blueliner is on a one-year contract worth $2.2 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled in his first season with the Hurricanes. He suffered a bout with COVID-19 that subsequently hampered his performance. If he’s no longer suffering any lingering ill effects, he could be a worthwhile pickup if available.
Eric Francis reported hearing the Flames are closing in on a one-year contract for Brett Ritchie.