Most NHL teams have already played 10 games or more and there have been some interesting things going down. Fast starts, slow starts, players exceeding expectations and vice versa. Mixed into that Halloween bag of tricks or treats are some NHL rumours. We will keep all of our loyal readers apprised of the latest happenings. Today we cover the NHL rumours surrounding the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Edmonton Oilers.
Rumour: Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports examined several trade options for the Boston Bruins to solve their need for a top-six winger.
Analysis: The New Jersey Devils Taylor Hall would certainly help but he’s a left-winger and would cost the Bruins a lot to acquire. In addition, it would be a salary cap enigma since Hall will demand more than the current $6 million he is making. This is all if he becomes available.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ limited cap space could make Alex Tuch a candidate to consider but he could cost some heavy assets in a trade package. The Minnesota Wild have been rumoured to want to move Jason Zucker and he would be an upgrade over what the Bruins currently have. But they’d need to give up valuable draft picks and/or prospects plus a young roster player. Maybe not a good option either.
The New York Rangers winger (and local boy) Chris Kreider could be a playoff rental player near the trade deadline. Add to that list, the Florida Panthers‘ Mike Hoffman or the Los Angeles Kings’ Tyler Toffoli. A draft pick and a prospect should get it done for either player.
An affordable gamble could be New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-Sang, who recently cleared waivers. He could have some off-ice issues and maturity concerns but is seen as a potentially good player who hasn’t been given much ice time to prove himself. Another option would be Edmonton Oilers right winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who’s in Finland awaiting a trade. It hasn’t happened yet, and there remain NHL rumours surrounding his name constantly.
That’s a fairly complete shopping list of players the Bruins could use. Working out the details is always the challenge.
Rumour: According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, a name that has surfaced on the NHL’s trade market: Former Senators centre Zack Smith. He has been hampered by a back issue after being dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks for Artem Anisimov in July and has only suited up for five games. He’s seeing spot duty with an average of 9:52 of ice time. Smith has a $3.25-million cap hit that runs through next season. The market for him would be limited.
Analysis: It seems that the Blackhawks management is re-evaluating some players with Brendan Perlini having to request a trade due to lack of playing time. Now, you can add Smith to that list. Moving him might be a tough task. His salary-cap hit is a bit high for his production. In his 12-year NHL career, the 31-year old has 193 points in 612 games. His season-best statistics were back on 2015-16 when he had 25 goals, 11 assists in 81 games.
There may not be much interest in Smith seeing that his last couple seasons haven’t been spectacular. He’s only had 44 points in his last 144 games. For that low production he has earned $171,053 per point in 2017-18, and $116,071 in 2018-19. To most general managers that may not be a very good return on the money paid him.
Analysis: The article also asks why isn’t Kailer Yamamoto received a call up instead? The Oilers need bottom-six scoring and Yamamoto is also a pretty good penalty killer. Leavins then says that Head coach Dave Tippett likely needed a centre and so that could be the deciding factor.
Acquiring a name like Pageau from Ottawa certainly could make sense for Edmonton if their run continues. Their lack of depth scoring has been concerning to say the least, with almost none of it coming from the bottom two lines. However, the Oilers still shouldn’t go out and spend assets if they are not sure they will be making playoffs. A hot start is great but they need to make sure they are for real.
Waiting until it gets closer to the NHL Trade Deadline could make more sense. That way, they will know how legit their team is an how much they should be spending for a playoff run. The last thing you want to do is spend big assets and not have anything come from it. If they do decide to go acquire someone, Pageau could be a great candidate. He is a heart and soul kind of guy who will plug in anywhere in the bottom six. Look for Edmonton’s name to keep popping up in NHL Rumours.