Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 8, 2017
Latest Avalanche speculation plus updates on the Canucks, Oilers and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty is doubtful the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche can swing a deal that would send Avs left wing Gabriel Landeskog to the Bruins. He notes the reports from several days ago indicating the Bruins rejected the Avs’ asking price of promising defenseman Brandon Carlo.
He also points out the Bruins would have to shed salary (Torey Krug? David Krejci?)to make room for Landeskog’s $5.5 million annual salary-cap hit through 2020-21. “The bottom line is this: The Bruins aren’t going to get Landeskog from Colorado if they’re looking to offer Jakob Zboril, Ryan Spooner and a second-round pick,” said Haggerty.
BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports the Bruins have a surplus of blueline prospects that could be used as trade chips. He considers Charlie McAvoy untouchable but believes the Bruins should listen if Carlo could land a true star. Other notables include Matt Grzelcyk, Rob O’Gara, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril and Ryan Lindgren, as well as Jake DeBrusk, Peter Cehlarik, Zach Senyshyn and perhaps BU’s Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Bruins have told teams they’re not trading Carlo. Meanwhile, Nick Kypreos reports Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec has been disappointing this season. There’s a sense he could be available by the trade deadline if he doesn’t improve.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is weighing all his options and hasn’t ruled out a coaching change. “I’m not avoiding the question,” said Sweeney. “I think it’s an obvious one. You have to look at every different thing.” Shinzawa said if firing Julien isn’t the answer, Sweeney will have to find outside help, but he hasn’t found a deal to his liking. Too many teams remain in playoff contention and a number also have salary-cap issues.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan wouldn’t be surprised if the Senators made a pitch for Avs veteran blueliner Francois Beauchemin, who has a year left on his contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million. He considers Beauchemin the steady defenseman the Senators need.
THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei weighs in on the growing trade speculation surrounding the Avalanche. He notes most of the speculation will ignore the Avs limited cap space this season, the $52 million in committed payroll for next season and the expensive contracts of their overrated core players. If GM Joe Sakic makes a move, it’ll be for the long term and not to save this season. He believes Sakic will advertise a firesale of non-core veterans, but doubts they’ll attract much interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious Sakic is either shopping guys such as Landeskog or Duchene or is at least listening to offers. By the sound of things, he wants a good young defenseman or one or two top blueline prospects as part of a return. However, there aren’t a lot of teams with that type of depth to spare.
The annual cap hits of Landeskog ($5.5 million) and Duchene ($6 million) are difficult to move in-season. That means the Avs must take back a decent amount of salary to make these deals work. Landeskog or Duchene could be dealt, but I still believe such moves won’t happen until the off-season, probably after the expansion draft (June 21) and likely during the NHL draft weekend.
If the Sens do make a pitch for Beauchemin, he’ll have to bless the deal, as he’s got a full no-movement clause. Recent reports indicate Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion is happy with his defense but is in the market for a forward.
Regarding Plekanec, he’s carrying a $6 million annual cap hit through next season. If he becomes available at the trade deadline, I don’t see many teams being interested in him.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien wonders if the Vancouver Canucks recent six-game win streak could bolster the trade value of goaltender Ryan Miller, who was a significant factor for the Canucks during that streak. “If a contender like Tampa Bay or Pittsburgh loses a key goalie, maybe they scoop up Miller at a decent price, giving him a chance to extend his career while making a little more money?”
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford doubts the Canucks intend to move Miller at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: About a month ago, there were reports out of Vancouver suggesting the Canucks would like to re-sign Miller. Not sure if that’s still the case. Canucks GM Jim Benning also has a policy of not asking players with no-movement/no-trade clauses (such as Miller) to waive them. In other words, Miller will have to ask for a trade. With the Canucks in playoff contention, I don’t see him bailing on them.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres are the only sellers in the NHL trade market right now. He suggests keeping an eye on Avalanche forwards Jarome Iginla, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene, noting there’s been recent trade speculation linking Landeskog to the Boston Bruins.
Speaking of the Bruins, the word is they wouldn’t mind moving forward Ryan Spooner for a defenseman.
The Chicago Blackhawks seek depth at forward and are rumored to have shown interest in Iginla.
With Brendan Gallagher sidelined two months by a hand injury, Garrioch wonders if Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin will step up efforts to land a forward. If he’s inquired about Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Garrioch claims he’s not alone. Several clubs are interested in Hanzal but the asking price is high.
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is apparently looking around for a forward. With the Lightning struggling, Garrioch wonders if the heat is getting turned up on head coach Jon Cooper.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of Tampa Bay claim the Lightning’s priority is to add a top-four defenseman. Not saying Yzerman isn’t seeking depth at forward, but he’s likely putting more effort in finding help for his blueline.
The Edmonton Oilers seek depth at forward.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is apparently willing to wait for the best deal regarding Olympic participation, be it with the NHL Players Association, the International Olympic Committee or the International Ice Hockey Federation. A league insider speculates mid-January could be an artificial deadline, but Garrioch suggests no one knows for sure.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes the Edmonton Oilers need a better goaltender, fearing they’ll be in trouble if starter Cam Talbot gets hurt. He lists Jaroslav Halak of the New York Islanders, Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets (both are toiling in the minors), Michal Neuvirth of the Philadelphia Flyers, Eddie Lack of the Carolina Hurricanes (though he’s currently sidelined by a concussion) and Florida Panthers’ third-string goalie Reto Berra as suggested options, bearing in mind the Oilers would have to move a contract to land one of them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Oilers chasing Halak, who has another year at $4.5 million left on his contract. Pavelec could be a possibility, but the Jets could retain him as insurance for the remainder of the season. Don’t see the Flyers moving Neuvirth, even with promising Anthony Stolarz in the system. Lack’s recent concussion woes likely ensure he won’t be moving this season. They could have a shot at Berra, depending on where the Panthers are in the standings by the trade deadline.
Matheson also weighs in on the trade rumors regarding Avs forwards Landeskog and Duchene, noting the difficulty in landing multiple parts for either player. He claims Iginla knows he’s going to be traded. Matheson lists Calgary, Chicago and Los Angeles as possible destinations, though the latter two might have to wait until he has less money remaining on his contract for this season.