NHL Rumor Mill – February 22, 2017
Updates on Claude Giroux and Jordan Eberle, blueline trade targets, latest on the Predators and more in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he believes there was some interest in Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle about a month or so ago. He said he knew of three teams – one of them he believes was the New York Islanders – inquired about Eberle but weren’t willing to take the bait.
Dreger said Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli told him about a week ago that things had cooled. While Dreger suggests that doesn’t mean there isn’t interest in Eberle or that he’s off the market, it maybe just a dull time for deals. He acknowledged Eberle’s contract could be a problem. The winger has two year left on a six-year deal worth $6 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Oilers are willing to pick up part of Eberle’s cap hit or take back a toxic contract as part of the return, I doubt he’ll be moved by the March 1 trade deadline. Interest in Eberle could increase this summer if he plays well down the stretch and into the playoffs, but that cap hit could still prove difficult to move if the cap ceiling doesn’t significantly increase for 2017-18.
Dreger also said he’s seen the trade rumors regarding Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux, but cannot find any evidence the Flyers are shopping their captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only media source I saw on the subject was a suggestion from Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi that Flyers management look into moving a core player like Giroux. He didn’t say Giroux was on the block.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Dallas Stars winger Patrick Eave’s career-best performance this season (21 goals, 37 points in 59 games) and affordable $1 million cap hit makes him an attractive commodity leading up to the March 1 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Playoff contenders seeking scoring depth on the wing, such as the Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings and Nashville Predators, could be among the suitors.
Bob McKenzie reports the Detroit Red Wings are getting lots of calls on defenseman Brendan Smith, who has a $2.75 million cap hit on an expiring contract. The Wings will talk to Smith about a contract extension. They’re also getting calls on forwards Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott.
LeBrun reports Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller has a five-team list of preferred trade destinations, three of them in California where he spends the off-season. He suggests the LA Kings could be a fit if starter Jonathan Quick’s recovery from a groin injury becomes uncertain. The Canucks, however, are open to bringing back Miller on a reduced salary.
McKenzie notes the early departure of defenseman Radko Gudas from Philadelphia Flyers practice yesterday sparked trade speculation, but he merely had a medical appointment.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty has Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog and St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk among his list of trade possibilities for the Boston Bruins. He considers the chances of the Bruins landing either guy to be slim or nonexistent unless the asking price is lowered. Other options include Buffalo Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, NY Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, Blues center Patrik Berglund, Stars winger Patrick Eaves, Oilers winger Jordan Eberle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty is merely spitballing here and isn’t saying the Bruins are definitely pursuing any of these players. Of the rentals, he feels the Bruins stand a chance with Eaves or Kulikov. He doesn’t see them landing Berglund or Eberle.
THE TENNESSEAN: Adam Vingan wonders if Nashville Predators GM David Poile intends to add a top-six winger before the trade deadline. He observers Poile has expressed interest in adding a forward and there’s a need for depth at right wing. He notes many of the right wings available in the trade market, such as Dallas’ Patrick Sharp and Arizona’s Radim Vrbata, are on expiring contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile pulled off two blockbuster moves last year, shopping defenseman Seth Jones to Columbus for center Ryan Johansen and dealing blueliner Shea Weber to Montreal for rearguard P.K. Subban. While he could swing a big move by the deadline, I think he’ll look at an affordable rental forward for the playoffs and perhaps seek longer-term options following the expansion draft in June.
ESPN.COM: Pierre Lebrun lists Philadelphia’s Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto, Buffalo’s Dmitry Kulikov, New Jersey’s Kyle Quincey, Detroit’s Brendan Smith and Carolina’s Ron Hainsey as defensemen who could attract interest leading up to the trade deadline. He suggests the Montreal Canadiens bring back Streit, considers Kulikov as an option for the Winnipeg Jets, feels the Pittsburgh Penguins look at Quincey, the Boston Bruins consider Del Zotto and the St. Louis Blues look at Smith. He things a young contender should take a chance on Hainsey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind LeBrun is only proposing those teams as fits for those respective blueliners. He’s not saying that those clubs will pursue them.
SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens yesterday sent out a league-wide memo indicating defenseman Greg Pateryn is available.