NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2019

The latest Maple Leafs speculation plus an update on Josh Ho-Sang in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran wonders what’s next on the trade front for the Maple Leafs. If they need to get something, and McGran feels a backup goaltender is a priority, they’ll have to move someone off their roster or from their AHL affiliate. General manager Kyle Dubas could be reluctant to trade any more draft picks after giving up his 2020 first-rounder to Carolina in June’s Patrick Marleau deal.

Is a reunion possible for Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators? (Photo via NHL Images)

McGran also points out Dubas will have to move a player or two or three to free up salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s imminent return. Nic Petan was recalled into the lineup against the Los Angeles Kings. McGran suggests perhaps he was being showcased for a trade. He also wonders if Dubas “can package two or three of his spare parts and get something more meaningful than cap space back.”

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas could put one or two players (like Jason Spezza) on waivers but one of them could be plucked away for nothing by another club. He could try to peddle Petan for a backup goalie but there might not be many decent options available right now. He could end up waiting until the New Year before the market improves.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported teams contacted the Leafs to see if they were willing to move a big contract. However, they want to evaluate their roster when it’s fully healthy before making any decisions on a larger move. I don’t see him moving one of his expensive players. A forward like Alexander Kerfoot, Kaspari Kapanen, and Andreas Johnsson will draw more interest and fetch a better return. They’re all signed beyond this season with reasonable annual average salaries.

Spezza’s been a good solider thus far but he’s been a frequent healthy scratch with the Leafs. The Senators are reportedly seeking another experienced forward. Maybe they’ll consider a reunion with Spezza. His contract (one-year, $700k) is affordable for the budget-conscious Sens.

LATEST ON HO-SANG

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has been your weekly Ho-Sang update. Tune in again next week for probably more of the same.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2019

Recent speculation on the Rangers, Sharks, Oilers, and Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DEANGELO AND STROME PLAYING THEIR WAY OUT OF NEW YORK?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the more points Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome collect this season, the more likely they’ll price themselves out of the New York Rangers. The pair are restricted free agents next summer with salary arbitration rights.

Could defenseman Tony DeAngelo prove too expensive for the New York Rangers to re-sign? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Rangers could be squeezed again for salary-cap space, especially if the cap only rises by 2.5 percent as it did for this season. Brooks speculates DeAngelo could seek an annual average value between $4 – $4.5 million on a two-year contract while Strome could ask for a one-year deal worth between $4.5 – $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Strome (10 points) sits third among Rangers scorers while DeAngelo (eight points) is their highest-scoring defenseman. It’s still early and their production could decline throughout the season. But if they put up decent numbers, the Rangers could have a difficult time re-signing them. That could make one or both of them trade candidates. 

SHARKS NEED HELP BETWEEN THE PIPES

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton believes the San Jose Sharks must find a solution to their goaltending problem before it’s too late. Martin Jones and Aaron Dell have struggled since last season.

Clinton acknowledged there’s no blue-chipper available in their system and no clear-cut option in the free-agent market. They also have limited salary-cap space. Jones’ contract ($5.75-million annual average value) and declining play makes him difficult to move. Nevertheless, Clinton feels they must do something to address this problem, even if it’s a cheap short-term solution.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings is the only noteworthy goalie mentioned in recent trade rumors. Unfortunately, he’s performing no better than Jones and Dell. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson could be forced to remain patient in hope better options become available in the coming weeks.

TWO-WAY CENTER TRADE OPTIONS FOR THE OILERS

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell believes the Edmonton Oilers are in need of another two-way center. Possible trade options include the Ottawa Senators’ Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the Winnipeg Jets’ Mathieu Perreault or Jack Roslovic, the Calgary Flames’ Mark Jankowski or the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Nic Petan. Mitchell considers Jankowski the most attractive choice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pageau is slated to become a UFA next summer. if the Senators shop him it’ll likely be closer to the Feb. 24 trade deadline when they could find more suitors and possibly better offers.

Mitchell suggested dangling a defenseman like Kris Russell or Matt Benning to the Jets. I doubt either one will entice the Jets to part with Perreault or Roslovic. They won’t improve the Jets’ porous defense. 

Calgary seems an unlikely trade partner but they did swap Milan Lucic and James Neal during the offseason. It would depend the Flames’ roster needs and whether the Oilers are willing to meet that price.

Mitchell wrote this piece before Petan was assigned to the minors. He’s not on the Oilers’ radar.

SABRES NOT PLANNING TO MOVE A DEFENSEMAN

THE BUFFALO NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski was asked which defenseman the Buffalo Sabres will trade when Brandon Montour returns from injury. Lysowski doesn’t believe any of them will be moved for the time being. They have no salary-cap restrictions with Zach Bogosian on long-term injury reserve. He acknowledged they might have to create room at some point but there’s no rush.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rasmus Ristolainen was a frequent subject of trade chatter this summer. However, his improved play under new coach Ralph Krueger could make the Sabres reluctant to part with him. Marco Scandella was recently floated as a trade option. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2019

The Islanders collect their eighth straight win, John Carlson leads the stars of the month, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders collected their eighth straight win by downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Isles captain Anders Lee scored a goal and added two assists while goaltender Thomas Greiss made 33 saves. The Lightning is 1-2-1 in their last four games.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves and Nikolaj Ehlers scored the winning goal late in the third period as the Winnipeg Jets edged the San Jose Sharks 3-2. The Sharks have dropped four consecutive games.

A four-goal first period powered the Washington Capitals to a 6-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jakub Vrana scored twice while Michal Kempny and Tom Wilson each had three points.

Sebastian Aho, Dougie Hamilton, and Jaccob Slavin had three points each to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the Detroit Red Wings 7-3. Hurricanes’ goaltender Petr Mrazek picked up his 15th consecutive home victory. Anthony Mantha scored two goals for the Red Wings.

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit to nip the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. David Perron tallied the winner and also collected an assist. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand each tallied a goal and an assist.

Ryan Getzlaf’s overtime goal lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 2-1. Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes left the game in the first period with an ankle injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks recalled Sven Baertschi while Micheal Ferland (concussion) was placed on injured reserve.

Roope Hintz scored two goals and Anton Khudobin kicked out 38 shots as the Dallas Stars defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored to extend his points streak to 13 games.

Sean Couturier tallied a goal and an assist and scored the winner in a shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Taylor Hall also had a goal and an assist for the Devils. Earlier in the day, the Devils acquired goaltender Louis Domingue from the Lightning in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021.

HEADLINES

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, and Edmonton Oilers winger Leon Draisaitl are the NHL’s three stars for October 2019.

THE SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was activated off injured reserve. He’s expected to be in the lineup for today’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

SPORTSNET: Hall-of-Famer Doug Gilmour is rejoining the Toronto Maple Leafs as a community representative.

TSN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ve loaned forward Nic Petan to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

 










NHL Rumor Mill – November 1, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 1, 2019

A review of TSN’s first trade-bait board of the season in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Martin Marincin, and Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi top Frank Seravalli’s first NHL trade-bait board of this season. Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka and Calgary Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic fill out the top-five spots.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tops TSN’s first NHL trade-bait board of this season (Photo via NHL Images).

Kreider is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. With the Rangers still feeling its rebuilding pains, Seravalli wondered if the speedy winger might be a good fit with the St. Louis Blues now that Vladimir Tarasenko’s sidelined for five months.

Marincin could be moved as the Leafs clear salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s return. Seravalli said Oilers general manager Ken Holland will be in Finland to check on Puljujarvi’s progress. The winger will be taking part in the Karjala Cup next weekend.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Rangers get an enticing offer I believe they’ll hang onto Kreider until February. The trade deadline is Feb. 24 and that means more suitors and better offers. Marincin could end up getting waived.

Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract. Holland can take his time and evaluate offers for the 21-year-old winger. If Puljujarvi isn’t re-signed by Dec. 1, he’ll be ineligible to play the remainder of this NHL season. Nevertheless, Holland could be content to let him play the season in Finland and try again to re-sign or trade him next summer.

Honka’s status is similar to Puljujarvi’s, except there might not be as much interest in the young blueliner. Seravalli wonders if the Flames uneven start might prompt GM Brad Treliving to shake things up. He also suggests Hamonic, an unrestricted free agent next summer, could finish the season in Calgary if the Flames get back on track.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, Leafs winger Nic Petan, Detroit Red Wings winger Andreas Athanasiou, New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick fill spots six to 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray’s currently sidelined three-to-four weeks with a broken hand. The Leafs are reportedly trying to trade Petan. Given their need to make room for Hyman, they could be forced to put him on waivers if not takers are found in the trade market.

Athanasiou’s slow start and restricted free agent status next summer are behind the chatter about his future with the Wings. However, reports out of Detroit indicate they’re optimistic he’ll snap out of his scoring funk soon. The Islanders are trying to move Ho-Sang but so far there are no takers.

Quick’s poor start has prompted trade conjecture. His hefty contract, declining performance and injury history makes him a tough sell.

Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie, Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris, Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Samuel Morin, Winnipeg Jets forward Jack Roslovic, and New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall round out the bottom five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Hamonic, Brodie’s a UFA next summer. Despite the Flames’ recent struggles, I doubt either blueliner hits the trade block this fall. That could change, however, if they’re still struggling in the New Year.

The Predators reportedly tried moving Turris during the summer. Signed through 2023-24 with a $6-million annual salary, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Morin’s struggled to crack the Flyers lineup. He might benefit from a change of scenery.

Roslovic frequently surfaces in the rumor mill as trade bait for a defenseman. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s shown no interest so far in making that move.

Hall is the biggest name potentially available in next summer’s UFA market. With the Devils stumbling from the gate there are growing questions over his future in New Jersey. As long as he remains unsigned he’ll be a fixture in this season’s rumor mill.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2019

The New Jersey Devils need a goaltending upgrade, the Senators could acquire another forward, and the Leafs need to make room for Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SHOULD THE DEVILS PURSUE COYOTES’ RAANTA?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the New Jersey Devils need a goaltending upgrade as Cory Schneider and MacKenzie Blackwood struggle between the pipes. He wonders if the Arizona Coyotes could be enticed to part with Antti Raanta, who’s recovered from the lower-body injury that sidelined him for most of last season. Raanta has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million and is backing up Darcy Kuemper.

Should the New Jersey Devils pursue a deal for Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks is speculating here. He’s not saying the Devils are pursuing Raanta or that the Coyotes are willing to part with him. Still, it might be worthwhile for Devils general manager Ray Shero to inquire into Raanta’s availability. When he’s healthy he’s outstanding but his injury history is an issue. Coyotes GM John Chayka isn’t under any pressure to move Raanta and could keep his goalie tandem intact for the season.

SENATORS SEEK ANOTHER FORWARD

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is searching for a forward who can help their roster. Calling up Filip Chlapik means little-used winger Mikkel Boedker’s days in Ottawa are numbered.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boedker could draw some interest from clubs seeking depth at right wing. Cap Friendly indicates he’s carrying an annual salary-cap hit of $4 million. Dorion might have to pick up part of that to move the 29-year-old winger.

THE LEAFS MUST MAKE ROOM FOR HYMAN AND DERMOTT

TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski reports the Maple Leafs must make room for the return of sidelined winger Zach Hyman and defenseman Travis Dermott. Trading winger Nic Petan ($775K) could be one option as he’s appeared in just four games this season. Petan and defenseman Kevin Gravel both cleared waivers earlier this month and could be assigned to the Marlies. Fourth-liners Jason Spezza, Dmytro Timashov, and Nick Shore “live with the possibility that they could be moved at any time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petan would probably attract more interest in the trade market. So what do you think, Leafs fans? Which fourth-liner should be traded or demoted to make room for Hyman and Dermott? Weigh in with your opinions in the comments below.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 20, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 20, 2019

More Taylor Hall to Edmonton speculation, two suggested forward options for the Bruins and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

LATEST MUSINGS OVER A HALL-OILERS REUNION

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes the Oilers should try to bring back Taylor Hall if the opportunity arises. The 27-year-old New Jersey Devils left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Leavins points out the people who traded Hall to the Devils are gone now. He also reminds us Hall never asked to be traded and enjoyed playing in Edmonton.

Can the Oilers afford to bring Taylor Hall back to Edmonton? (Photo via NHL Images)

Leavins acknowledged it’s up to Hall and his group of advisors to determine where he wants to play beyond this season. However, the Oilers have a core of comparable young talent, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, that could make them an enticing destination.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis suggests the Oilers’ limited salary cap space makes it difficult to bring Hall back to Edmonton. Assuming an $83.5-million salary cap for 2020-21, the Oilers would have $26 million to fill 13 roster spots. Hall could command $11 million annually, leaving just $15 million to re-sign defenseman Darnell Nurse and fill in the rest of the roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Hall would be open to rejoining the Oilers, I don’t see how they can afford him. If they shed salary to make room for Hall’s expensive new deal they risk gutting their overall depth. The Oilers still have questions regarding their goaltending, defense corps, and checking-line depth. Better to invest their cap space addressing those issues than handcuffing themselves to another high-salaried scorer. 

SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE HO-SANG OR PULJUJARVI?

NBC SPORTS: Joe Haggerty points out the Boston Bruins lack depth on the right wing beyond first-liner David Pastrnak. He suggests kicking the tires on New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang or Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi. Both players have requested trades. Ho-Sang already cleared waivers earlier this month so it wouldn’t cost much to acquire him.

Puljujarvi struggled in Edmonton but Haggerty feels it’s difficult to judge those numbers based on the “dumpster fire” the Oilers were before cleaning house earlier this year. They reportedly seek a top-nine player and a draft pick, which Haggerty believes the Bruins have in abundance. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins off to a 5-1-2 start, GM Don Sweeney probably isn’t feeling much pressure to swing a trade right now. That doesn’t mean he’s ignoring his club’s need for secondary scoring. If he is monitoring the trade market it’s unlikely he sees anything worth pursuing right now. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’S “HEADLINES” SEGMENT

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston believes the New York Islanders hope to re-sign Mathew Barzal before next summer. The 22-year-old center is in the final season of his entry-level contract. Johnston doesn’t think contract talks have started yet. He points out Barzal has more points in his first two seasons than Toronto’s Mitch Marner had over the same period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After seeing contract talks drag on into preseason for this year’s crop of talented youngsters coming off their ELCs, the Isles understandably want to avoid that fate with Barzal. Other clubs aren’t wasting time getting similar players under contract. Since July 31, Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller, New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier, Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot, and Colorado Avalanche blueliner Samuel Girard all signed new contracts.

Elliotte Friedman reports Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin has received calls from rival GMs wondering if he’s looking to shake things up. Guerin said he’s not making an emotional move or a deal simply for the sake of doing so. 

Johnston believes the Toronto Maple Leafs must move at least four players to become salary-cap compliant when defenseman Travis Dermott returns to the lineup. Nic Petan and Kevin Gravel already cleared waivers and can be sent directly to their AHL affiliate. Others who could move include Jason Spezza, Dmytro Timashov, Martin Marincin, Justin Holl, and Nick Shore. Friedman adds the Leafs are looking to trade him.

More speculation about Taylor Hall returning to the Oilers, two suggested forward options for the Bruins and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

LATEST MUSINGS OVER A HALL-OILERS REUNION

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes the Oilers should try to bring back Taylor Hall if the opportunity arises. The 27-year-old New Jersey Devils left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Leavins points out the people who traded Hall to the Devils are gone now. He also reminds us Hall never asked to be traded and enjoyed playing in Edmonton.

Can the Oilers afford to bring Taylor Hall back to Edmonton? (Photo via NHL Images)

Leavins acknowledged it’s up to Hall and his group of advisors to determine where he wants to play beyond this season. However, the Oilers have a core of comparable young talent, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, that could make them an enticing destination.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis suggests the Oilers’ limited salary cap space makes it difficult to bring Hall back to Edmonton. Assuming an $83.5-million salary cap for 2020-21, the Oilers would have $26 million to fill 13 roster spots. Hall could command $11 million annually, leaving just $15 million to re-sign defenseman Darnell Nurse and fill in the rest of the roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Hall would be open to rejoining the Oilers, I don’t see how they can afford him. If they shed salary to make room for Hall’s expensive new deal they risk gutting their overall depth. The Oilers still have questions regarding their goaltending, defense corps, and checking-line depth. Better to invest their cap space addressing those issues than handcuffing themselves to another high-salaried scorer. 

SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE HO-SANG OR PULJUJARVI?

NBC SPORTS: Joe Haggerty points out the Boston Bruins lack depth on the right wing beyond first-liner David Pastrnak. He suggests kicking the tires on New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang or Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi. Both players have requested trades. Ho-Sang already cleared waivers earlier this month so it wouldn’t cost much to acquire him.

Puljujarvi struggled in Edmonton but Haggerty feels it’s difficult to judge those numbers based on the “dumpster fire” the Oilers were before cleaning house earlier this year. They reportedly seek a top-nine player and a draft pick, which Haggerty believes the Bruins have in abundance. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins off to a 5-1-2 start, GM Don Sweeney probably isn’t feeling much pressure to swing a trade right now. That doesn’t mean he’s ignoring his club’s need for secondary scoring. If he is monitoring the trade market it’s unlikely he sees anything worth pursuing right now. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’S “HEADLINES” SEGMENT

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston believes the New York Islanders hope to re-sign Mathew Barzal before next summer. The 22-year-old center is in the final season of his entry-level contract. Johnston doesn’t think contract talks have started yet. He points out Barzal has more points in his first two seasons than Toronto’s Mitch Marner had over the same period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After seeing contract talks drag on into preseason for this year’s crop of talented youngsters coming off their ELCs, the Isles understandably want to avoid that fate with Barzal. Other clubs aren’t wasting time getting similar players under contract. Since July 31, Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller, New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier, Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot, and Colorado Avalanche blueliner Samuel Girard all signed new contracts.

Elliotte Friedman reports Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin has received calls from rival GMs wondering if he’s looking to shake things up. Guerin said he’s not making an emotional move or a deal simply for the sake of doing so. 

Johnston believes the Toronto Maple Leafs must move at least four players to become salary-cap compliant when defenseman Travis Dermott returns to the lineup. Nic Petan and Kevin Gravel already cleared waivers and can be sent directly to their AHL affiliate. Others who could move include Jason Spezza, Dmytro Timashov, Martin Marincin, Justin Holl, and Nick Shore. Friedman adds the Leafs are looking to trade him.