NHL Rumor Mill – August 27, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – August 27, 2019

The latest Islanders and Rangers speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently explored where the New York Islanders could turn to add a top-nine forward before the season begins. Free-agent options could include Brian Boyle, Tobias Rieder, Devante Smith-Pelly or former Isles winger Thomas Vanek.

Could Los Angeles Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk become a trade option for the NY Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).

Looking at the trade market, Goldman listed Nashville’s Kyle Turris, Vegas’ Cody Eakin, the Rangers’ Vladislav Namestnikov, Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli, or Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers. If Toronto needs to clear salary to re-sign Mitch Marner, perhaps Kasperi Kapanen or Zach Hyman become available.

Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson could be on the move if the Canucks need to free up cap space for Brock Boeser. LA’s Ilya Kovalchuk or Boston’s Charlie Coyle are other possibilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello could evaluate his roster during training camp and preseason play before deciding if additional moves are necessary. Cap Friendly indicates the Isles have over $6 million in cap space though that’ll shrink a bit once Anthony Beauvillier is re-signed. That will still leave sufficient room if Lamoriello decides to bring in an affordable UFA forward.

Many of the aforementioned trade options carry expensive contracts, meaning the Isles must give up a salaried player to make the dollars fit. Some of the players on Goldman’s list (Nashville, Vegas, Rangers) have limited cap space.

The Leafs could part with Kapanen or Hyman if necessary to sign Marner. As we’ve seen, however, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has juggled his cap space this summer without hurting his roster.

The Canucks could part with Pearson but he improved in Vancouver after struggling in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh last season. They might prefer shipping out someone like Loui Eriksson or Brandon Sutter.

The Kings would love to move Kolvachuk but I don’t think Lamoriello is keen on a reunion with the aging winger. The Bruins could put Coyle on the block to free up room to re-sign Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, but talk out of Boston suggests they’ll consider other trade options.

Winnipeg could be a possibility once they get Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor under contract. They need depth on the right side of their defense and Ehlers has frequently come up in this summer’s trade chatter. Goldman suggested Nick Leddy as an option but he’s a left-side defender.


THE ATHLETIC: Rick Carpinello believes New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider is more like than not to be traded before he goes to free agency next summer. Carpinello suggests Kreider’s UFA value could be in the range of seven years at $7 million annually. He doubts the Blueshirts will invest that much in a player turning 29 next year.

Carpinello also dismissed the possibility of an offer sheet for Brendan Lemieux or Anthony DeAngelo. He feels the Rangers would walk away and accept the low compensation of a third-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect this summer’s Kreider trade chatter to carry over into this season, provided he’s not moved before then. One way or another, this season could be his last with the Rangers.

As for Lemieux and DeAngelo, I think any club interested in either guy will go the trade route instead of the offer sheet. If a team wanted to use the latter, they could sign away either player for under $1.3 million without giving up anything in compensation.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 30, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – October 30, 2018

More “Nylander to Hurricanes” speculation plus the latest on the Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday told the NHL Network he believes contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander are at a total standstill following a week of optimism following two meetings between Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and Nylander’s agent Lewis Gross.

Friedman believes the Leafs prefer not to trade the young forward but wonders if they’ll soon reach a point where they have to consider it. Noting Dubas’ recent travels to see games in “Los Angeles, Minnesota, Carolina, Philadelphia”, he suggests “those are some of the teams I think that makes the most sense as a potential Nylander destination.”

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce is popping up in trade speculation regarding Toronto Maple Leafs free agent William Nylander. (Photo via NHL Images)

During an appearance yesterday on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said there still appears a wide gap in both term and money between the Leafs and the Nylander camp. With the Leafs facing a Dec. 1 deadline to get the young forward under contract, he feels the Leafs might have to at least consider a trade.

Dreger adds there’s no shortage of interest in Nylander and puts the Carolina Hurricanes right near the top of the list. Show host Carlo Colaiacovo suggested Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce as someone he’d like to see the Leafs target in a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Dec. 1 deadline for signing Nylander a month away, the longer this stalemate drags on the more he’ll appear in trade speculation. I believe the Leafs want to get him signed to a new deal but they could consider fielding trade offers if there’s no resolution in contract talks by late-November.

The Hurricanes have been linked to Nylander and the Leafs for some time but they could be reluctant to part with Pesce, preferring perhaps to offer up Justin Faulk. The Hurricanes are also off to a good start to this season. If that continues, they could remain patient with their lineup. If they wish to keep their defense corps intact but still seek a scoring forward, maybe they’ll look at more affordable trade options than Nylander. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the rebuilding New York Rangers shouldn’t wait until February to stage a fire sale of veterans such as Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, and Adam McQuaid. If management knows they’re not re-signing those pending unrestricted free agents, he feels they should be aggressive at shopping those players “when the pool of interested parties might be deeper than at the deadline and clubs are willing to make player-for-player hockey exchanges rather than enter into pure lend-lease operations. ” Doing so would also allow younger players to get more ice time. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During an appearance Monday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, Elliotte Friedman said he thinks the Rangers are a team to watch in the trade market. He noted Vladislav Namestikov could be out there, cited colleague Nick Kypreos suggesting the Winnipeg Jets could a good fit for Hayes and also acknowledged Zuccarello could be available.

Friedman wondered how long the Rangers will be willing to wait. He also thinks people are waiting to see what the Toronto Maple Leafs do with William Nylander. He speculates the Rangers could pursue Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin via free agency next summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers can get good returns now for Hayes, Zuccarello, Namestnikov, and McQuaid they probably wouldn’t hesitate to trade them. However, I don’t think there’s much of a trade market right now for those players. I’m not suggesting they don’t have any value, but teams are still evaluating their rosters at this point and there might not be as much interest in making moves.

Once we get closer to late-November, the trade market should start to improve. Still, the Rangers might prefer waiting until the calendar flips to January before shopping those guys.