NHL Rumor Mill – February 27, 2017
Latest on the Coyotes, Lightning, Kings, Avalanche and Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan wasn’t happy over teammate Martin Hanzal being shipped yesterday to the Minnesota Wild for draft picks. Johnston suggested it’s possible Doan could be on his way out of Arizona by the trade deadline.
General manager John Chayka said he understands Doan’s frustration but said he did what he felt was the right thing. He also said Doan told him he wants to finish his career with the Coyotes and hasn’t yet requested a trade. However, Chayka didn’t dismiss the possibility.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Because Doan carries a no-movement clause, it’s his decision if he wants to be traded. He’s long resisted that temptation. It also depends upon whether there’s a market for the aging winger and where he wants to go. We’ll find out by 3 pm ET Wednesday if Doan finally decides to move on.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Should the Tampa Bay Lightning become sellers at the trade deadline, Joe Smith examines some possibilities. He suggests Calgary, Winnipeg, Philadelphia and the New York Islanders as potential destinations for goaltender Ben Bishop. Edmonton, Toronto and Columbus could be landing spots for checking-line center Brian Boyle. Nashville, St. Louis, New Jersey and the Islanders could use a center like Tyler Johnson. Smith also suggests forward Valtteri Filppula and Jason Garrison, who each have a yet remaining on their contracts, as possible trade candidates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop got dealt last night to the Los Angeles Kings. As for the others, Yzerman’s proven to be a savvy dealer and I wouldn’t rule out one of them being moved by the deadline. Boyle seems the most likely as he’s an affordable rental player. Johnson would attract lots of interest, but he could also be costly to acquire. Filppula and Garrison probably don’t get moved until the offseason, provided they’re willing to waive their no-trades.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: After acquiring Ben Bishop to share the goaltending duties with Jonathan Quick, Kings GM Dean Lombardi suggested to Kevin Baxter that he’s unlikely to make another trade before the deadline to address his club’s woeful offense, which is ranked 24th in the league. He feels the answer has to come from within.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Kings haven’t found the solution to their scoring woes from within by now, I doubt they’ll find it over the remainder of this season. I think Lombardi will keep an eye on the market, but I daresay finding a top-six scorer is very expensive right now.
THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei considers defenseman Fedor Tyutin, not aging winger Jarome Iginla, as the most likely rental player to be moved by the Colorado Avalanche. As for whether Matt Duchene gets traded, Frei believes it comes down to which defenseman – or defensemen – the Carolina Hurricanes are willing to part with in a package deal. He doubts the Hurricanes will part with Erie, Colorado native Jaccob Slavin, but feels he should be the goal “as a start.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless a playoff contender with cap space is willing to take on Iginla for sentimental reasons, I doubt he gets moved by the deadline. Recent reports suggest there’s little interest in the future Hall of Famer, who is now well past his prime.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple wonders if New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow will make a trade before the deadline or stand pat. Staple notes the Isles scouted the Edmonton Oilers’ recent games in Florida, perhaps to follow right wing Jordan Eberle, though he cautions scouting and trade chatter usually doesn’t add up to much. He also notes Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson would fill big needs for the isles, but both are expensive to acquire.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the last six weeks, the Isles have clawed their way back into playoff contention. I think Snow wants to do something to help them over the hump and prove to captain John Tavares and Isles fans that he and the club’s owners truly wants to win. Maybe he’ll make a big splash. Perhaps he’ll consider one or two lesser moves.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi wonders if it’s possible for the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins to make a deal with each other before the deadline. The Penguins are still believed seeking additional depth to their banged-up blueline, while the Flyers have veterans Mark Streit, Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz who could be available. The Flyers seek forward prospects and/or draft picks. Despite the intense rivalry between the two clubs, Carchidi notes that Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has close ties with Pens GM Jim Rutherford.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stranger things have happened, but I don’t see these two clubs making a deal before the deadline.