There has been no shortage of rumours in the NHL, everything from trades, to contracts, to the location of NHL Drafts. Today we’re going to take a look at the recent buzz around the league as we get closer and closer to Monday’s trade deadline.
Rumor: Darren Dreger of TSN reports that there are three teams currently in talks to acquire New York Rangers Defencemen Ryan McDonagh: Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Boston Bruins. He stated further that the price on McDonagh would have to come down for Boston to make a bid.
Analysis: Tampa Bay seems to be the most likely landing ground for McDonagh. Toronto is in a delicate spot when it comes to buying before the deadline. The Leafs would no doubt like to add a key piece like McDonagh, but not at the expense of overpaying or mortgaging their future.
As stated the Bruins reportedly want the price to come down on the defencemen. However, if there are three confirmed teams making bids for him, and possibly more we don’t know about, then Boston may have to open their chequebooks a bit wider than they’d like.
Rumor: Both Rick Nash and Michael Grabner were scratched for Thursday nights game against the Montreal Canadiens. Grabner ended up being dealt to the New Jersey Devils, however, Nash still remains with the Rangers. Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported at 5 pm EST on Thursday, that the two players were likely to be scratch due to pending trades.
Analysis: There is no word on what deal Nash may be involved in, or how close it may be to completion. Although it’s very likely that Nash could be moved soon if his former teammate Michael Grabner was moved the very night he was scratched.
Rumor: Bob MacKenzie of TSN claims that the New York Islanders are nearing a deal to extend the contract of winger Josh Bailey. The contract would reportedly carry an AAV of $5 million with a five or six-year term. Additionally, talks to John Tavares‘s agent by Pierre LeBrun of TSN suggest that Tavares will not entertain contract talks until the summer.
Analysis: With Josh Bailey’s new contract seemingly a done deal, it spells nothing but good news for Islanders fans who wish to see their captain stay put. Although there is surely more for Tavares to consider before resigning with the Islanders, knowing that Bailey will remain with the team must be an added bonus.
Rumor: More Erik Karlsson rumours as Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports that Nashville Predators general manager David Polie had talks with the Ottawa Senators regarding Karlsson. However, Darren Dreger of TSN reports that Karlsson’s agent is on the side of waiting until summer for a deal to be struck.
Analysis: It seems to be more of a question about who isn’t inquiring about Karlsson than who is. As stated time and time again, the Senators would have to walk away with everything and the kitchen sink for a Karlsson trade to be worth it. However, if Karlsson does leave to Nashville he would be able to enjoy playing on a dominant team, with an already impressive roster of defencemen. We’ll have to wait and see if the Senators and Karlsson feel the same way as his agent.
Rumor: Derick Brassard is among the most recent members of the Ottawa Senators to be discussed for a potential trade. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reported that Brassard is being “shopped hard” to a number of teams including the Winnipeg Jets. Additionally, Darren Dreger of TSN reports that there is an equal conversation around Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith.
Analysis: The Jets will be a through and through cup contending team this season. Adding a consistent centreman like Derick Brassard would certainly give them even more depth heading into post season. Furthermore, if the Senators are going to be sellers then they shouldn’t just stop at Brassard. Hoffman and Smith could both be valuable assets to a more cup ready team, and help the Senators stock the shelves for their future.
Rumor: Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that multiple sources can confirm that the Columbus Bluejackets have reached out to Jack Johnson‘s agent. This would be in order to reopen discussion on a multiyear contract extension.
Analysis: Johnson is having a rough year compared to his monstrous 2016-17 campaign where he earned 32 points and had a plus-minus of +32. After 61 games played this season Johnson has earned 12 points for his team and sits with a -12 plus-minus. It’s no wonder extension talks have slowed, however, the Blue Jackets themselves haven’t been having the same monster year as they did last season. So there is likely still a chance that Johnson at 31 years old, may find a continued spot on the team.
Analysis: Evander Kane is a fantastic young player on a struggling team. He’s one of the few assets Buffalo has that they don’t seem to view as untouchable. If Buffalo can garner a fair price for Kane, it makes perfect sense to send the 26-year-old to a strong team, and in return build for the future that is still a ways off in Buffalo.
Analysis: Tanev is a capable defenseman. He’s not gonna crack the top of the depth charts, but at 28 years old he’s an established hard working defencemen that could help round out any team looking for an affordable addition to their blueline. However, even though Vancouver is a seller this year, it doesn’t sound likely that Tanev will move unless the price is just right.
2019 NHL Draft
Rumor: Squire Barnes, Sports Director & Anchor for Global BC has reported that the 2019 NHL Draft will be held in Vancouver BC.
Analysis: It’s very likely that this is the case, but there has yet to be any official announcement by the league. This would be the first draft held in Vancouver since 2007, and the Vancouver located draft before that was 1990, the year Jaromir Jagr entered the league 5th overall.
13 October 2016: Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane (9) looks on during an NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres at Key Bank Center in Buffalo, NY. (Photo by Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)