Rumors from the Blogosphere – September 6, 2016

Rumors from the Blogosphere – September 6, 2016

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler remains a hot topic in the NHL trade rumor mill.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler remains a fixture in the NHL trade rumor mill.

 The Labor Day long weekend didn’t generate many NHL trade & free agent rumors from the media, so here’s a look at what’s been kicking around the blogosphere for the past week. Enjoy!

HOCKEY BUZZ: Eklund claims unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell could be close to signing with a team. He’s hearing the Calgary Flames are a possible destination, while the Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils are also in the mix. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also speculated last week that Russell could return to the Flames, but doesn’t see a fit there unless they free up some salary-cap space. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News recently dismissed the notion of Russell returning to the Stars (“that ship has sailed”). As for the Sens and Devils, I think they’ll evaluate their rosters during training camp before deciding if they need another defenseman. 

He also claims the Devils are in on St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Anaheim Ducks rearguard Cam Fowler, as well as UFA d-man Dennis Seidenberg. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think if the Blues were keen to move Shattenkirk in the offseason, they would’ve done so by now. GM Doug Armstrong last month indicated he expects Shattenkirk to be in the Blues lineup when the season begins. As for Fowler, the Ducks need a scoring left winger. Unless they’re willing to accept oft-injured and expensive veteran winger Mike Cammalleri, I don’t see a fit there. 

Eklund also adds the Buffalo Sabres continue to have some interest in Stars restricted free agent winger Valeri Nichushkin. The Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks also want to be kept in the loop if Nichushkin’s contract talks with the Stars breaks down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars GM Jim Nill recently said he expects to have Nichushkin re-signed and is looking forward to seeing the young winger improve this season. If that improvement fails to materialize, perhaps Nill shops Nichushkin at the trade deadline. I doubt that happens now.

THE HOCKEY PRESS:  The Vancouver Canucks could be interested Arizona Coyotes forwards Tobias Rieder or Martin Hanzal. The Canadiens also have interest in Hanzal and could shop center Tomas Plekanec.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Word out of Arizona is the Coyotes have no intention of moving Rieder or Hanzal. If the Habs were interested in the often-sidelined Hanzal, I doubt they’ll part with the healthier and more consistent Plekanec. 

The Edmonton Oilers are still shopping winger Nail Yakupov and were in contact with the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is also receiving interest. If the Oilers struggle this season, winger Jordan Eberle could also be moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers and Hurricanes have depth in defensemen, which could make them attractive trade targets for the Oilers. I don’t see Nugent-Hopkins moving right now. I expect they’ll keep him for the upcoming season and see how he performs on the third line. 

If the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ben Bishop to a team like the Dallas Stars, they could also try including center Valtteri Filppula into the deal in hopes of landing Patrick Sharp. They could then try to re-sign Sharp, a UFA next summer, to a short-term deal as a “Plan B” if for some reason RFA Nikita Kucherov doesn’t re-sign this year or Jonathan Drouin leaves next year. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov will be re-signed and Drouin won’t leave next year unless the Bolts decide to trade him. I don’t see Sharp fitting into the Bolts plans. In addition to Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat must be re-signed next summer.

Sources confirm” the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues sought winger Chris Kreider in “Fowler/Shattenkirk deals” but the Rangers aren’t willing to move him. The Rangers wish to move Rick Nash, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, with the Leafs interested in Girardi. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Leafs pursuing Girardi. He’s a fading asset and wouldn’t be a good fit in the rebuilding Leafs long-term plans. 

Rumors From The Blogosphere – August 28, 2016

Rumors From The Blogosphere – August 28, 2016

Is there interest from other clubs in Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov?

Is there interest from other clubs in Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov?

 It’s a quiet day for media-generated trade rumors and speculation, so here’s a look at what’s been recently kicked around by the hockey rumor bloggers. Enjoy!

HOCKEY BUZZ: Eklund claims a source says the Montreal Canadiens are “aggressively pursuing” Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov. Habs defenseman Alexi Emelin is believed in the deal along with a couple of less significant payers. The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals made serious inquiries. Eklund also claims the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders contacted the Oilers in the past, though the Isles were more interested in Jordan Eberle. 

After losing out on Jimmy Vesey, the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are talking again to the St. Louis Blues about defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The Canadiens and New Jersey Devils could also have interest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have sufficient depth on the right side (Brendan Gallagher, Alex Radulov, Andrew Shaw) so I don’t see where Yakupov is a fit there. The young Oilers winger can play on the left side and the Canadiens are thin there, but he’s predominantly used to play as a right wing. Dealing away their sole shutdown defenseman in Emelin doesn’t make sense for the Habs, unless they’re very confident one of their prospects can replace Emelin (unlikely) or they find a suitable replacement via trade or free agency. I’m not convinced the Bruins and Flyers are interested in Yakupov as he doesn’t seem like the type of player they want. The Capitals have sufficient depth on the wings for the upcoming season. 

As for the Isles, I also don’t see them pursuing Yakupov. They’ve already made their significant offseason moves by adding Andrew Ladd , P-A Parenteau and Jason Chimera. Their biggest issue right now is finding a taker for goalie Jaroslav Halak.

The Bruins would probably love to land Shattenkirk, but they will likely want assurances they can re-sign him before his eligibility next summer for unrestricted free agency. I don’t see the Leafs gambling on a blueliner who could bolt via free agency next July. 

THE HOCKEY PRESS: notes New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash has been a frequent topic of trade speculation this summer. He’s been linked to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, to the Anaheim Ducks for blueliner Cam Fowler and to the Buffalo Sabres for rearguard Rasmus Ristolainen. They claim the Blues haven’t been in contact with the Rangers, but say the Ducks “have discussed a POSSIBLE Cam Fowler/Hampus Lindholm for Rick Nash deal in the past week” They also claim the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have interest in Nash, while the Sabres and New Jersey Devils contacted the Rangers about Nash in the past week. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash-for-Shattenkirk has kicked around a while in the media. Nash-for-Fowler, less so. That’s because the Ducks are a budget team and I daresay Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit and his age (32) would concern them. If the Ducks do shop a defenseman, it won’t be Lindholm. 

I highly doubt the Sabres will part with Ristolainen, who was their best defenseman last season and has a very bright future. Nash has a 12-team list of acceptable trade destinations. I don’t believe rebuilding clubs, such as the Sabres and Devils, are on it. As per the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, no Canadian teams are on Nash’s list. If the Habs and Sens have interest in him, they’re wasting their time. 

In other speculation, the Ducks and Canadiens are “DEFINITELY” interested in Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin. They speculate the Stars want a defenseman or a starting goaltender on a cheap contract in return or picks and/or prospects. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars GM Jim Nill claims negotiations are going well with the Nichushkin camp and he’s looking forward to getting him signed. Nill expects a big year for the young winger. Doesn’t sound like he’s looking to move him.