The NHL trade deadline is inching closer and closer, and with that, the trade talk is heating up. We take a look at some of the latest NHL rumours and analyze what they mean going forward. Today we look into the latest on Vancouver Canucks defenceman Ben Hutton, New York Rangers forwards Rick Nash and Michael Grabner, and the upcoming Ottawa Senators fire sale.
Ben Hutton, New York Rangers Forwards and the Ottawa Senators Sell-Off In Today’s Rumours
Rumor: Rick Dhallwal of Vancouver’s News 1030 reports that the Canucks are getting calls on defenceman Ben Hutton. He notes that the Canucks are not shopping the young, puck-moving defenceman, but are listening to offers.
Analysis: The Vancouver Canucks are having a rough season and could be looking to re-build at the deadline. While Ben Hutton is young, he has recently been a healthy scratch in a number of Canucks games. Teams are inquiring to see if the 24-year-old could have fallen out of favour with Canucks management, and get him at a discount. Hutton is in the first of a two-year $5.6 million contract. There are a number of teams that could use his puck-moving ability and may think they can help with his defensive flaws. Obvious candidates include Montreal, Buffalo, Edmonton, Toronto, and Detroit.
New York Rangers Forwards
Rumor: On TSN’s Hockey Insiders segment Bob McKenzie reports that the New York Rangers are looking to trade forwards Micheal Grabner and Rick Nash. The cost for Nash is said to be a first-round pick and a prospect, while Grabner comes a little cheaper at just a first-round pick.
Analysis: Rick Nash has been a big topic of trade talks recently. He has given the Rangers his list of 18 teams he will not accept a trade to, and the 12 teams he will accept. The Rangers seem to be going towards a rebuild. The price for Grabner is lower as he does not have Nash’s pedigree. He also does not have Nash’s contract. The Rangers could retain salary to make these transactions work.
One option for Nash could be the possibility of returning back to Columbus who is currently looking for scoring. Some other teams interested could include Nashville, Calgary, Anaheim, St. Louis, Boston and Los Angeles. Expect Grabner to have similar suitors.
Ottawa Senators Sell-Off
Rumor: TSN’s Insider Trading Segment also touched on the Ottawa Senators, and their expected trade deadline moves. The Senators have already made one big move this year by adding Matt Duchene. The Sens have a number of pieces on the market including Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel-Pageau and Zack Smith, but they are expecting some big talent in return.
Analysis: These three players are all locked into longer-term contracts, and are not the typical deadline day rentals. This gives Pierre Dorion the opportunity to shop for the best available deal. He could even take a page out of the Duchene playbook and hold his assets until next season.
Hoffman is a goal scoring winger on a cheap contract, and that could interest any number of teams. Zack Smith is struggling right now but could draw interest from teams like Carolina and Calgary. Pageau is a quality third line centre, and could be a good addition to Pittsburgh, Columbus, or San Jose. While its unclear if they will all be traded, expect to see at least some movement out of Ottawa at the deadline.