NHL Rumor Mill – October 21, 2016
Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Ryan Miller, Cam Fowler and Dylan McIlrath in your NHL rumor mill.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Sam Werner reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford dismissed the notion his club’s re-signing goaltender Matt Murray to a three-year, $11.25 million contract means it’s another step in the eventual departure of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury. Rutherford said he wants to see how things play out and cautions against the presumption Fleury is automatically out.
Werner observes the looming expansion draft means Rutherford can only protect one goalie. Fleury has a no-movement clause, meaning he has to waive it to agree to be left unprotected in the draft or traded before the end of the season if Rutherford hopes to protect Murray. Fleury’s also carrying a $5.75 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford doesn’t have to trade Fleury this season. He can wait until the days leading up to the June expansion draft to do that. Remember, Fleury has an 18-team list of acceptable trade destinations, so that gives Rutherford some room to work with here. If he can’t trade Fleury, he could also cut a deal with Las Vegas GM George McPhee to ensure an unprotected Murray isn’t selected in the expansion draft.
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford dismisses the notion the Vancouver Canucks might trade veteran goalie Ryan Miller to the Los Angeles Kings, who are in need of a short-term replacement for the sidelined Jonathan Quick. Botchford said Canucks GM Jim Benning doesn’t want to trade Miller. Botchford believes that move won’t happen unless the Canucks surrender the season. He doubts the Canucks would get more than a third-round pick for Miller at this point in the season. The Kings also lack the cap space to take on Miller’s $6 million cap hit, plus the Canucks don’t have a third goalie in their system to replace Miller this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are also off to a surprisingly strong start (4-0-0) on this season. There’s no reason to move Miller right now. As Botchford suggests, if that move comes, it’ll be later in the season if the Canucks are out of playoff contention.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports the Detroit Red Wings brass recently scouted Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler. However, the last asking price was said to include promising forward Anthony Mantha. The Wings are also loath to part with young forward Evgeny Svechnikov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks really can’t afford to take back much salary if they move Fowler and his $4 million cap hit to clear cap space for Hampus Lindholm’s eventual re-signing. However, they don’t want to just give Fowler away. It’s understandable that they’ll want one or two top prospects as part of the return.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the return from injury of Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein leaves the Rangers trying to figure out what to do with little-used defenseman Dylan McIlrath. “General manager Jeff Gorton would love to hear someone calling with an offer of a third-round pick, but that call hasn’t even come close to happening yet.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rival clubs could be waiting for the Rangers to place McIlrath on waivers in hopes of scooping him up that way, rather than part with an asset via trade to get him.