NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2021
Check out the latest on the Penguins, Wild and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST ON THE PENGUINS
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Josh Yohe was asked if the Pittsburgh Penguins could become sellers at the 2022 trade deadline if they don’t make the playoffs. He didn’t dismiss the possibility of a rebuild but felt they’re not at that point yet.
Asked if Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust and Brian Dumoulin could become deadline trade chips if the Penguins were out of contention, Yohe replied he could envision them being available for the right price, especially Rust as he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He also mused about whether general manager Ron Hextall would attempt to peddle pending UFAs Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski believes the Penguins need a course correction to snap out of their early-season struggles. He feels they need a right-side defenseman, a scoring winger for Jeff Carter and a spark plug player similar to former Penguins forwards like Patric Hornqvist or Brandon Tanev.
In the wake of the Penguins’ impending sale to the Fenway Group, Kingerski wondered what effect that could have upon the future of Malkin and Letang in Pittsburgh.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see what changes there are (if any) once the Fenway Group takes over ownership of the Penguins. The longer Malkin and Letang go without new contracts, the more speculation about their trade status as the deadline approaches.
Management could be reluctant to move Malkin, Letang, Rust or any other pending free agents if the Penguins hold a playoff berth by deadline day. We’ll have to wait until the calendar flips to January 2022 to perhaps begin to get a clearer picture of their plans.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Michael Russo was asked about the future of winger Jordan Greenway. He could be moved before next season to make room for promising wingers like Matthew Boldy and Adam Beckman.
Greenway’s a pending restricted free agent in the midst of an underwhelming start to this season. Russo believes he’ll be moved at some point before next season and expects the Wild would seek futures in return.
Russo also said the Wild are trying to move center Victor Rask but haven’t found any takers yet.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Greenway, 24, is a 6’6”, 231-pound left winger who was showing some potential as a big playmaker over the last two years. However, he has just three assists in 12 games this season and facing criticism for not being more physically engaged and driving the offense. With a cap hit of $2.1 million, he could be an affordable option for clubs seeking size and offense at left wing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have been rumored to be in the market for a center for some time. GM Pierre Dorion could be shopping around but finding a suitable deal this early in the season won’t be easy.