NHL Rumor Mill – May 13, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 13, 2020

In today’s NHL rumor mill, we’ll review Sportsnet’s list of one off-season trade candidate for each team.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen yesterday compiled a list identifying one trade candidate for each team whenever the off-season rolls around. He excluded pending unrestricted free agents, as their rights could be moved after the conclusion of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m encapsulating each of Boylen’s explanations behind his selections. I recommend you check out the link above for further details.

Anaheim Ducks: Adam Henrique. If Ducks general manager Bob Murray decides to shed salary, Henrique could be a prime candidate. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value just shy of $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Henrique’s modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list) could complicate things, as could Henrique’s $5.825-million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes: Derek Stepan. The Coyotes must free up cap space if they hope to re-sign Taylor Hall. Moving Stepan could require picking up part of his salary or packaging him with another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan lacks no-trade protection but his $6.5 million AAV through 2020-21 will be tough to move without following one of Boylen’s suggestions. They can’t take back a toxic contract because they’re trying to shed salary.

Boston Bruins: Nick Ritchie. Though just acquired, Ritchie might not fit into their plans after this season, especially with two goalies due for new deals next season, as well as Ondrej Kase and Brandon Carlo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen points out the Bruins’ cap situation is manageable for now, even if they re-sign Torey Krug. Ritchie has an affordable cap hit, so the Bruins could hang onto him and see how things unfold next season.

Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Ristolainen. He’s been a frequent subject of trade speculation. The blueliner could fetch a return that helps the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen receives lots of criticism for his defensive play. His $5.4 million AAV through 2021-22 could also be a concern under a flat salary cap. Nevertheless, he’s been suggested as a trade option to bring in a depth scorer.

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau. It’s believed Gaudreau could be shopped if the Flames fail to reach the playoffs or make another early post-season exit.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but I don’t believe Flames GM Brad Treliving will put the blame for his club’s difficulties on the shoulders of his biggest star, especially when he’s still got two more seasons on his contract at a reasonable $6.75-million AAV.

Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Gardiner. Despite his diminished role and seven-team no-trade list, Boylen feels Gardiner can still be an effective offensive blueliner. He also carries a manageable $4.05 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner also has three more years left on his contract. His declining performance could be tied to last season’s back injury. Those factors hurt his value in the trade market.

Chicago Blackhawks: Brandon Saad. He surfaced in rumors near the trade deadline and could pop up again. He’s a year away from UFA status with a $6 million cap hit for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be surprising if Saad is playing elsewhere next season. The Blackhawks are rebuilding on the fly and must restock their prospect cupboard.

Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars: first-round pick. The Avs will have plenty of cap room to target clubs looking to shed salary, while the Stars are built to win now and could peddle their pick for more immediate help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost has been mentioned as a trade option. I’ve seen some suggesting the Stars should peddle a defenseman for a scoring forward. That would mean moving Esa Lindell or John Klingberg and I don’t see that happening.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Josh Anderson. A restricted free agent with arbitration rights, Anderson missed all but 26 games to injury this season. A big winger with scoring ability, he frequently appeared in trade chatter this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I overlooked Anderson in my original post. My apologies. Anyway, his future with the Jackets could depend upon his contract negotiations in the off-season, and how much interest he garners in the trade market. 

Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha. Boylen feels it’s less likely he’ll be moved but doesn’t rule it out. He suggests Mantha could fetch a haul of futures if they decide not to re-sign the restricted free agent to a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha admitted his contract negotiations could get complicated. He also has arbitration rights. I think the Wings want to re-sign him, but he could be shopped if talks bog down.

Edmonton Oilers: Jesse Puljujarvi. He’s requested a trade and spent this season in Finland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi’s situation has been well-documented here and elsewhere. As Boylen pointed out, he remains the Oilers’ No. 1 trade candidate.

Florida Panthers: Michael Matheson. Changes could be coming for the disappointing Panthers. Matheson’s signed through 2025-26 but lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson appeared in media rumors before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He has a reasonable $4.875 million AAV and could be tempting for clubs seeking experienced blueline depth.

Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Carter. Despite the decline in his production, Carter could attract some interest if the Kings picked up part of his salary-cap hit. He lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter has two more years left on his contract. He’ll turn 36 in January and his best seasons are behind him. Maybe a contender takes a chance on him, but I doubt it. 

Minnesota Wild: Matt Dumba. He and Jonas Brodin appeared in trade speculation before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Maybe the Wild’s improved play before the pause might tempt GM Bill Guerin to keep his roster intact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba would draw plenty of interest in the trade market, but it would be a mistake to move him. Guerin may have listened to offers, but it’ll take a significant pitch to convince him to move Dumba.

Montreal Canadiens: Max Domi. A decline in Domi’s production, his RFA status this summer, and the promising centers (Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling) on the Habs roster and within their system could make him expendable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the other hand, several Habs players struggled this season, Domi loves playing in Montreal, and much of the chatter about his future seems to originate from some in the Montreal media unhappy over his play. Nevertheless, he could get moved if contract talks become contentious.

Nashville Predators: Kyle Turris. The Predators would love to move his $6 million AAV through 2023-24. However, they could be forced to pick up part of that salary or include another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. GM David Poile hasn’t retained salary in a trade, but he could be forced to if he intends to move Turris.

New Jersey Devils: Pavel Zacha. “If a trade makes sense to add to their prospect base, and if the team drafts another forward this year, a Zacha move should be explored.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha’s future will depend upon who’s the Devils’ general manager after this season. Tom Fitzgerald holds the role on an interim basis, but the team ownership reportedly interviewed former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis for the role.

New York Islanders: Johnny Boychuk. He’s lost a step and his role is in decline. His $6 million AAV through 2021-22 is a concern for a club with limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those factors, as well as his eight-team trade list, also make moving him a difficult challenge.

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist. Trading him is a big “if” and would require Lundqvist waiving his no-movement clause. The Rangers can’t go into next season carrying three goalies again.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the speculation out of New York on Lundqvist suggest a buyout is more likely than a trade. Perhaps he’ll surprise everyone and retire.

Ottawa Senators: Anthony Duclair. He’s an RFA with arbitration rights, but this could be an opportunity to sell while his value is high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair’s streaky production could make the Senators leery about signing him to a long-term deal. If they do shop Duclair, they could seek a promising young NHL-ready player in return. They’re already loaded with picks and prospects.

Philadelphia Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere. He’s frequently appeared in this season’s rumor mill and could surface in off-season speculation. He’s slipped to third-pairing duty this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A club in the market for a puck-moving rearguard could gamble on Gostisbehere regaining his form with a change of scenery.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry. Both goaltenders are restricted free agents with arbitration rights. Keeping them both could mean shedding salary elsewhere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford could surprise us by re-signing both netminders. However, I think he’ll move one of them and promote Casey DeSmith into the backup role.

San Jose Sharks: Martin Jones. He’s struggled in goal the last two years and the Sharks need to upgrade at that position. They’ll have to retain part of his $5.75-million AAV to make it happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Jones broadens his three-team list of preferred trade destinations, the Sharks will have a difficult time moving him. The length of his contract (signed to 2024) is another sticking point.

St. Louis Blues: Tyler Bozak. The Blues must clear cap space if they intend to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo. Bozak carries a $5 million AAV through 2020-21 for playing a bottom-six role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think goalie Jake Allen is a more likely trade candidate. He’ll have more value and will be easier to move than Bozak.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Alex Killorn. The Lightning must free up cap space to re-sign Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli. Killorn’s full no-trade becomes a modified list after this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn would also have plenty of value around the league, especially for playoff contenders.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Kerfoot. The Leafs face another cap crunch this off-season. Kerfoot could become a trade candidate, as could wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson and defenseman Travis Dermott.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kerfoot is off the 40-plus point pace of his first two NHL seasons. The Leafs could prefer hanging onto the other three.

Vancouver Canucks: Olli Juolevi. The Canucks might not be looking to trade Juolevi, but that could change if he can’t crack the roster next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries hampered Juolevi’s development. They’re being patient with him, but one has to wonder how long that will last.

Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-Andre Fleury. It’s a long shot that Fleury will be moved, but the Golden Knights’ acquisition of Robin Lehner at the trade deadline was an interesting move. Re-signing Lehner would mean shedding salary by moving a top-six forward or Fleury, who’s signed for two more years but whose performance has been in decline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s acquisition appeared to be an insurance move for the playoffs. Nevertheless, it’s generated plenty of speculation about Fleury’s future in Vegas. His contract ($7 million AAV through 2021-22 with a 10-team no-trade list) won’t be easy to move.

Washington Capitals: Nick Jensen. If the Capitals re-sign Braden Holtby, they’ll have to cut some payroll. Jensen could become a cap casualty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $71 million invested in 16 players and Holtby looking for a lucrative new contract, I don’t think they’ll be shedding salary to re-sign him.

Winnipeg Jets: Jack Roslovic. Boylen suggests Roslovic could be shopped to address the Jets’ greater need for blueline depth. He’s struggled to crack the top-six forward lines and previously aired his frustration over his use in the Jets lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could be reluctant to move Roslovic. Having freed up $7.6 million in cap space by terminating Dustin Byfuglien’s contract, he has room to perhaps bolster his blueline through the free-agent market without moving Roslovic.

In today’s NHL rumor mill, we’ll review Sportsnet’s list of one off-season trade candidate for each team.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen yesterday compiled a list identifying one trade candidate for each team whenever the off-season rolls around. He excluded pending unrestricted free agents, as their rights could be moved after the conclusion of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m encapsulating each of Boylen’s explanations behind his selections. I recommend you check out the link above for further details.

Anaheim Ducks: Adam Henrique. If Ducks general manager Bob Murray decides to shed salary, Henrique could be a prime candidate. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value just shy of $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Henrique’s modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list) could complicate things, as could Henrique’s $5.825-million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes: Derek Stepan. The Coyotes must free up cap space if they hope to re-sign Taylor Hall. Moving Stepan could require picking up part of his salary or packaging him with another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan lacks no-trade protection but his $6.5 million AAV through 2020-21 will be tough to move without following one of Boylen’s suggestions. They can’t take back a toxic contract because they’re trying to shed salary.

Boston Bruins: Nick Ritchie. Though just acquired, Ritchie might not fit into their plans after this season, especially with two goalies due for new deals next season, as well as Ondrej Kase and Brandon Carlo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen points out the Bruins’ cap situation is manageable for now, even if they re-sign Torey Krug. Ritchie has an affordable cap hit, so the Bruins could hang onto him and see how things unfold next season.

Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Ristolainen. He’s been a frequent subject of trade speculation. The blueliner could fetch a return that helps the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen receives lots of criticism for his defensive play. His $5.4 million AAV through 2021-22 could also be a concern under a flat salary cap. Nevertheless, he’s been suggested as a trade option to bring in a depth scorer.

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau. It’s believed Gaudreau could be shopped if the Flames fail to reach the playoffs or make another early post-season exit.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but I don’t believe Flames GM Brad Treliving will put the blame for his club’s difficulties on the shoulders of his biggest star, especially when he’s still got two more seasons on his contract at a reasonable $6.75-million AAV.

Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Gardiner. Despite his diminished role and seven-team no-trade list, Boylen feels Gardiner can still be an effective offensive blueliner. He also carries a manageable $4.05 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner also has three more years left on his contract. His declining performance could be tied to last season’s back injury. Those factors hurt his value in the trade market.

Chicago Blackhawks: Brandon Saad. He surfaced in rumors near the trade deadline and could pop up again. He’s a year away from UFA status with a $6 million cap hit for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be surprising if Saad is playing elsewhere next season. The Blackhawks are rebuilding on the fly and must restock their prospect cupboard.

Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars: first-round pick. The Avs will have plenty of cap room to target clubs looking to shed salary, while the Stars are built to win now and could peddle their pick for more immediate help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost has been mentioned as a trade option. I’ve seen some suggesting the Stars should peddle a defenseman for a scoring forward. That would mean moving Esa Lindell or John Klingberg and I don’t see that happening.

Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha. Boylen feels it’s less likely he’ll be moved but doesn’t rule it out. He suggests Mantha could fetch a haul of futures if they decide not to re-sign the restricted free agent to a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha admitted his contract negotiations could get complicated. He also has arbitration rights. I think the Wings want to re-sign him, but he could be shopped if talks bog down.

Edmonton Oilers: Jesse Puljujarvi. He’s requested a trade and spent this season in Finland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi’s situation has been well-documented here and elsewhere. As Boylen pointed out, he remains the Oilers’ No. 1 trade candidate.

Florida Panthers: Michael Matheson. Changes could be coming for the disappointing Panthers. Matheson’s signed through 2025-26 but lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson appeared in media rumors before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He has a reasonable $4.875 million AAV and could be tempting for clubs seeking experienced blueline depth.

Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Carter. Despite the decline in his production, Carter could attract some interest if the Kings picked up part of his salary-cap hit. He lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter has two more years left on his contract. He’ll turn 36 in January and his best seasons are behind him. Maybe a contender takes a chance on him, but I doubt it. 

Minnesota Wild: Matt Dumba. He and Jonas Brodin appeared in trade speculation before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Maybe the Wild’s improved play before the pause might tempt GM Bill Guerin to keep his roster intact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba would draw plenty of interest in the trade market, but it would be a mistake to move him. Guerin may have listened to offers, but it’ll take a significant pitch to convince him to move Dumba.

Montreal Canadiens: Max Domi. A decline in Domi’s production, his RFA status this summer, and the promising centers (Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling) on the Habs roster and within their system could make him expendable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the other hand, several Habs players struggled this season, Domi loves playing in Montreal, and much of the chatter about his future seems to originate from some in the Montreal media unhappy over his play. Nevertheless, he could get moved if contract talks become contentious.

Nashville Predators: Kyle Turris. The Predators would love to move his $6 million AAV through 2023-24. However, they could be forced to pick up part of that salary or include another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. GM David Poile hasn’t retained salary in a trade, but he could be forced to if he intends to move Turris.

New Jersey Devils: Pavel Zacha. “If a trade makes sense to add to their prospect base, and if the team drafts another forward this year, a Zacha move should be explored.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha’s future will depend upon who’s the Devils’ general manager after this season. Tom Fitzgerald holds the role on an interim basis, but the team ownership reportedly interviewed former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis for the role.

New York Islanders: Johnny Boychuk. He’s lost a step and his role is in decline. His $6 million AAV through 2021-22 is a concern for a club with limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those factors, as well as his eight-team trade list, also make moving him a difficult challenge.

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist. Trading him is a big “if” and would require Lundqvist waiving his no-movement clause. The Rangers can’t go into next season carrying three goalies again.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the speculation out of New York on Lundqvist suggest a buyout is more likely than a trade. Perhaps he’ll surprise everyone and retire.

Ottawa Senators: Anthony Duclair. He’s an RFA with arbitration rights, but this could be an opportunity to sell while his value is high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair’s streaky production could make the Senators leery about signing him to a long-term deal. If they do shop Duclair, they could seek a promising young NHL-ready player in return. They’re already loaded with picks and prospects.

Philadelphia Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere. He’s frequently appeared in this season’s rumor mill and could surface in off-season speculation. He’s slipped to third-pairing duty this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A club in the market for a puck-moving rearguard could gamble on Gostisbehere regaining his form with a change of scenery.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry. Both goaltenders are restricted free agents with arbitration rights. Keeping them both could mean shedding salary elsewhere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford could surprise us by re-signing both netminders. However, I think he’ll move one of them and promote Casey DeSmith into the backup role.

San Jose Sharks: Martin Jones. He’s struggled in goal the last two years and the Sharks need to upgrade at that position. They’ll have to retain part of his $5.75-million AAV to make it happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Jones broadens his three-team list of preferred trade destinations, the Sharks will have a difficult time moving him. The length of his contract (signed to 2024) is another sticking point.

St. Louis Blues: Tyler Bozak. The Blues must clear cap space if they intend to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo. Bozak carries a $5 million AAV through 2020-21 for playing a bottom-six role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think goalie Jake Allen is a more likely trade candidate. He’ll have more value and will be easier to move than Bozak.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Alex Killorn. The Lightning must free up cap space to re-sign Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli. Killorn’s full no-trade becomes a modified list after this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn would also have plenty of value around the league, especially for playoff contenders.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Kerfoot. The Leafs face another cap crunch this off-season. Kerfoot could become a trade candidate, as could wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson and defenseman Travis Dermott.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kerfoot is off the 40-plus point pace of his first two NHL seasons. The Leafs could prefer hanging onto the other three.

Vancouver Canucks: Olli Juolevi. The Canucks might not be looking to trade Juolevi, but that could change if he can’t crack the roster next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries hampered Juolevi’s development. They’re being patient with him, but one has to wonder how long that will last.

Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-Andre Fleury. It’s a long shot that Fleury will be moved, but the Golden Knights’ acquisition of Robin Lehner at the trade deadline was an interesting move. Re-signing Lehner would mean shedding salary by moving a top-six forward or Fleury, who’s signed for two more years but whose performance has been in decline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s acquisition appeared to be an insurance move for the playoffs. Nevertheless, it’s generated plenty of speculation about Fleury’s future in Vegas. His contract ($7 million AAV through 2021-22 with a 10-team no-trade list) won’t be easy to move.

Washington Capitals: Nick Jensen. If the Capitals re-sign Braden Holtby, they’ll have to cut some payroll. Jensen could become a cap casualty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $71 million invested in 16 players and Holtby looking for a lucrative new contract, I don’t think they’ll be shedding salary to re-sign him.

Winnipeg Jets: Jack Roslovic. Boylen suggests Roslovic could be shopped to address the Jets’ greater need for blueline depth. He’s struggled to crack the top-six forward lines and previously aired his frustration over his use in the Jets lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could be reluctant to move Roslovic. Having freed up $7.6 million in cap space by terminating Dustin Byfuglien’s contract, he has room to perhaps bolster his blueline through the free-agent market without moving Roslovic.










The NHL Buyout Barometer – Central Division (Part I)

The NHL Buyout Barometer – Central Division (Part I)

 










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Nashville Predators

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Nashville Predators

 










NHL Rumor Mill – April 24, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – April 24, 2020

Check out the recent Canadiens and Predators speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SHOULD THE CANADIENS TARGET KRUG OR KHUDOBIN?

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie believes Torey Krug should be the Montreal Canadien’s ideal free-agent target this off-season. The 29-year-old Boston Bruins defenseman is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Lajoie felt Krug would be as beneficial at extending the career of Canadiens captain Shea Weber as he was with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, suggesting he would also help stabilize the Habs blueline. Lajoie acknowledged the Canadiens would have to overpay for Krug, perhaps a seven-year, $52.5-million deal, but it would be worth it to improve the Habs defense while weakening a division rival.

Should the Montreal Canadiens try to sign Torey Krug? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug would be a welcome addition to any defense. However, he wants to stay in Boston and the Bruins want to re-sign him. I think they’ll work something out.

If Krug tests the market, I don’t think the Habs would invest $7.5 million annually in him for seven years. Given the Habs’ difficulty enticing top free-agent talent to Montreal, they’ll probably use their depth in draft picks – 14 in this year’s draft, 11 in 2021 – to improve their defense through the trade market.

Lajoie also recently examined several possible backup options for Carey Price. While Montreal native Corey Crawford and former Hab Jaroslav Halak would be interesting choices, he felt Anton Khudobin would be the ideal free-agent target. Lajoie thinks he’d be an affordable backup who wouldn’t put pressure on Price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin would be the ideal backup candidate. Whether he wants to come to Montreal is another story. I’m not saying the Canadiens should break the bank to get him, but they might have to pony up $3 million annually on a two-year deal to bring the 33-year-old into the fold.

WILL THE PREDATORS RE-SIGN GRANLUND AND SMITH?

THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan recently examined whether the Nashville Predators will re-sign Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith. Both forwards will become unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Granlund’s production has improved since John Hynes took over as head coach in January while Smith was on pace for his sixth 20-goal campaign when the schedule was paused.

Assuming the salary cap remains at $81.5 million for next season, the Predators wouldn’t have enough to re-sign both forwards. Vingan suggests general manager David Poile would have to get creative, perhaps by trading or buying out center Kyle Turris.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Predators have over $72 million tied up in 17 players. Poile must shed salary if he intends on re-signing Granlund and Smith.

It was revealed last fall that Poile attempted to trade Turris last summer but couldn’t find any takers. The decline in his production combined with a $6 million annual salary through 2023-24 makes him difficult to move.

Unless Poile absorbs part of Turris’ annual average value or buys him out, he’ll have to consider moving out somebody else or watch Granlund and/or Smith depart via free agency.










Rumor Trade Candidates Who Won’t Be Moved By The NHL Trade Deadline

Rumor Trade Candidates Who Won’t Be Moved By The NHL Trade Deadline

 










NHL Rumor Mill – January 22, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 22, 2020

The latest lists of trade bait in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, and Montreal Canadiens winger Ilya Kovalchuk are the top-three players atop Frank Seravalli’s latest NHL trade-bait list. Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and New York Rangers’ goaltender Alexandar Georgiev round out the top five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprises here. These five have figured prominently in the rumor mill in recent weeks. Kreider, Kovalchuk, and Pageau are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Georgiev is a restricted free agent who could be the odd-man-out among the Rangers’ three goalies. Martinez has a year remaining on his contract with an affordable $4-million annual average salary. He also lacks no-trade protection.

With the NHL’s trade deadline just over a month away, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider remains a prime trade candidate (Photo via NHL Images)

Kings winger Tyler Toffoli, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, New Jersey Devils blueliner Sami Vatanen, Detroit Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou, and the Carolina Hurricanes’ first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft fill slots six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another four who’ve surfaced in frequent media trade chatter this season. I’m surprised to see Gostisbehere this high on Seravalli’s ranking. He’s struggling this season and is signed through 2022-23 with a $4.5-million AAV. A player carrying that much term usually doesn’t get moved until the off-season.

Toffoli and Vatanen are UFAs this summer, while Athanasiou is an RFA with arbitration rights. The Canes could dangle their first-round pick for a top-four defenseman, especially with Dougie Hamilton sidelined with a broken leg.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Alex Galchenyuk, Ottawa Senators blueliner Ron Hainsey, Minnesota Wild winger Ryan Donato, and Chicago Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner fill slots 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but Donato (signed through 2020-21) are UFAs in July. Lehner’s not going anywhere. He’s outplaying Corey Crawford and remains vital to the Blackhawks’ ongoing push to reach the playoffs. Granted, that could change if they fall out of contention by the trade deadline, but I believe they intend to re-sign him.

Nashville Predators winger Craig Smith and center Kyle Turris, Canadiens defenseman Marco Scandella, Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson, and Canadiens blueliner Jeff Petry round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith and Scandella are UFAs. If the Preds fail to gain ground in the standing, GM David Poile could become a seller. Smith could hit the trade block, but there won’t be interest in Turris’ hefty contract unless Poile agrees to pick up part of the center’s $6-million AAV.

Anderson’s an RFA who’s struggled through injuries and inconsistency this season, but the Jackets could retain the big winger for the playoffs. It’ll take a considerable offer to tempt Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to part with the underrated Petry.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen last week also published a list of 20 trade candidates we could hear about before the deadline. It included Wild winger Jason Zucker, Predators winger Mikael Granlund and center Nick Bonino, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian and center Evan Rodrigues, Senators goaltender Craig Anderson and Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith, Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad, Flames forward Mark Jankowski, and Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild could be sellers if they keep sliding out of playoff contention. There’s talk the Penguins could revisit interest in Zucker, who they attempted to land last May. However, his 10-team no-trade clause and $5.5 million AAV through 2022-23 could make him an off-season trade candidate.

Granlund is a UFA and could get shopped if the Predators become sellers. Ditto Bonino, though his $4.1 million cap hit through next season could scare off some clubs.

Bogosian is a UFA and Rodrigues an RFA. Both requested trades but there might not be much interest in either guy. The 38-year-old Anderson is reaching the end of his career, has a $4.75-million AAV and a 10-team no-trade list. Someone could express interest in him as a backup, but the Sens might have to absorb part of his salary-cap hit.

The Blackhawks could shop pending UFA Crawford, but I suspect they’ll keep their goalie tandem intact in their quest for a playoff spot. DeSmith could be available if the Penguins decide to pursue a winger for the postseason.

Saad’s $6-million AAV through 2020-21 won’t be easy to move. With the Blackhawks trying to reach the playoffs, I don’t think he’s available. The Flames could toss the slumping Jankowski into a larger deal to land a top-six forward. The Oilers could shop Puljujarvi’s rights, but I still think that the move takes place during the NHL Draft weekend in June.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin’s list includes Devils winger Kyle Palmieri, defenseman P.K. Subban and winger Wayne Simmonds, Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar, Blackhawks blueliner Erik Gustafsson, Anaheim Ducks winger Ondrej Kase, Sabres winger Marcus Johansson and Michael Frolik, Carolina Hurricanes rearguard Jake Gardiner, Sabres winger Conor Sheary, Flames winger Sam Bennett, Toronto Maple Leafs AHL winger Jeremy Bracco, and Colorado Avalanche prospect d-man Conor Timmons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Devils having traded away Taylor Hall and replaced their head coach and GM, it’s expected more roster changes are in store. Palmieri’s come up a lot in trade chatter. He’s signed through next season with a $4.65-million AAV and an eight-team no-trade list. Simmonds is a UFA and could be moved, though he’s indicated his preference to stay. Subban said he’s not seeking a trade, but the Devils could explore his value in the trade market. His declining performance and $9 million cap hit through 2021-22 makes him a tough sell.

Tatar is signed through next season and lacks no-trade protection. He’s the Habs leading scorer and his trade value could be high, though his $5.3 million AAV could be a stumbling block for a deadline deal. Gustafsson is a UFA and expected to be dealt, though that could change if the Hawks remain in playoff contention at the deadline. The Ducks need all the scoring they can get, so I don’t believe they’ll shop the oft-injured Kase.

The Sabres could be sellers if they don’t move up in the standings. Sheary and Frolik are UFAs while Johansson has a year remaining on his deal worth $4.5 million per season. He and Frolik have modified no-trade clauses.

Bennett would attract lots of interest if the Flames shop him, but they could keep him for the postseason when he does his best work. There were reports of some teams wondering what the Hurricanes might do with Gardiner. With Dougie Hamilton sidelined by a broken leg, Gardiner could be staying put.