NHL Rumor Mill – August 31, 2019
Should the Leafs part ways with Mitch Marner? Could the Blues shop Brayden Schenn? Should the Flames ship Michael Frolik to Columbus for Riley Nash? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SHOULD THE LEAFS TRADE MARNER?
TORONTO STAR: With the Maple Leafs facing the possibility of a protracted contract standoff with Mitch Marner, Damien Cox suggests it might be best to trade the 22-year-old winger. While acknowledging that’s “a crappy scenario,” Cox feels this might be the way to go if they hope to win the Stanley Cup rather than having Marner sit out part or all of the season.
If a rival club is willing to give up “two quality players under the age of 27 that have two or more years left on their contracts”, Cox feels the Leafs should look hard at that deal. One of those players must be “a defenceman capable of playing in Toronto’s top four and the other a forward capable of scoring 30 goals.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cox isn’t saying the Leafs are exploring a Marner trade. He’s merely suggesting they consider it if they can’t get the winger under contract before this season opens. Based on several comments on this site, some Leafs followers share that view.
If, and that’s a big if right now, another club pitched that offer Cox suggested, the Leafs could seriously consider it. The problem is there aren’t many teams with the cap space to pay Marner’s hefty salary asking price, believed to be around $11 million per season.
Yes, that club could free up sufficient cap space for Marner by trading two assets to the Leafs. Few general managers, however, will part with the type of package proposed by Cox at this point in the offseason.
Yes, a Marner trade is possible, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it.
LATEST ON THE BLUES
STLTODAY.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Jeff Gordon was asked if St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will trade forward Brayden Schenn or let him walk via free agency. Gordon doesn’t believe Schenn hits the trade block this season.
While re-signing Schenn could prove expensive if he has another 70-point campaign, he’s a valuable member of their roster. Gordon thinks Armstrong will let this season play out and assess things before the free-agent market opens next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Schenn has an annual average value of $5.125 million on his current contract. Another 70-point season could push him toward $7 million annually.
With captain Alex Pietrangelo also due for a big raise next summer, Armstrong might not be willing to go that high for Schenn. If the Blues are out of playoff contention as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches, perhaps he’ll consider shopping Schenn at that point.
If the Flames want to create more cap space than $7.7M to sign Tkachuk & Mangiapane, trade Frolik (1yr@$4.3M) to Columbus for overpaid Riley Nash (2yr@$2.75M). Frolik is the better player but right shot Nash can stopgap on 4th line. Clb retains $500G, saving Cgy $2M. Yay or nay?
— Brian Costello (@bcostellothn) August 29, 2019
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So what say you, Flames and Blue Jackets fans? Yay or nay? Let us know in the comments section below!