NHL Rumor Mill – February 22, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – February 22, 2017

Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle isn’t attracting much interest in the trade market.

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. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2016

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price punches New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price punches New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri.

Game recaps, injury updates, Board of Governors news & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com:  Torrey Mitchell scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price lost his temper with New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri for crashing into him, throwing several punches with his blocker at Palmieri.

The Habs also got defenseman Nathan Beaulieu back from injury, but announced blueliner Greg Pateryn will miss eight weeks with a broken ankle. Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty also revealed he played most of November with a broken foot, but it’s fully healed now. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price was fortunate he wasn’t tossed from the game for his uncharacteristic loss of temper. The Habs injury woes continue, as Pateryn joins Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais (knee injuries) on the sidelines. A broken foot explains Pacioretty’s offensive struggles last month. 

Claude Giroux scored twice and added an assist while Michael Raffl scored the winner late in the third period to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, giving their Flyers their seventh straight win.

Following the game, Oilers captain Connor McDavid claims Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning told him he deliberately tripped him in a game last season that resulted in McDavid being sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken clavicle. Manning denied this, maintaining that it was an accident. 

Sidney Crosby scored his league-leading 18th goal and collected an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. 

Jamie Benn scored his 200th career NHL goal and added two assists as the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 5-2. 

Jayson Megna and Jack Skille each scored twice while Ryan Miller made 38 saves to give the Vancouver Canucks a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

David Pastrnak’s two goals weren’t enough to prevent the Boston Bruins from falling 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs hoped to have captain Gabriel Landeskog (lower-body injury) back in action but he was sidelined by illness

Dougie Hamilton’s overtime goal lifted the Calgary Flames to their fifth straight win by edging the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. 

Anders Lee scored twice as the New York Islanders nipped the St. Louis Blues 3-2. 

Kevin Hayes’ late power-play goal gave the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. 

Derek Ryan scores twice as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. 

OTTAWA SUN:  Erik Karlsson set a franchise record for points by a defenseman (411) during the Senators’ 4-2 win on Wednesday over the San Jose Sharks. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (head injury) will miss Friday’s game against the New York Rangers. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen (upper-body injury) will miss tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks blueliner David Schlemko remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

USA TODAY:  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said there was “strong negative sentiment” among the league board of governors toward participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. No vote was taken on the matter, but it appears likely the league won’t be sending players to the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea. The International Olympic Committee’s unwillingness to pick up the transportation and insurance costs of the players plus the risk of injuries are among the reasons behind the BoG disenchantment. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Bettman also revealed the NHL salary cap for 2017-18 could rise by $2 million over the current cap of $73 million, but was vague in his overall comments on the matter. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s merely a projection by Bettman. As we’ve seen in recent years, those predicted numbers usually don’t match the actual amount. It could go up by $2 million but I wouldn’t be surprised if it only goes up by half that amount. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER:  The Anaheim Ducks placed forward Ryan Garbutt on waivers. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: “Jamie Daniels, son of Detroit Red Wings television play-by-play broadcaster Ken Daniels, died in his sleep Wednesday morning, the team announced today. He was 23.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Daniels family.