Welcome back to the daily NHL Rumours series here at Last Word on Hockey. Every rumours article recaps and analyses three to four of the day’s biggest rumblings from around the league. Things are heating up towards the middle of the week, as big-name players like Alex Galchenyuk may be on the move, in addition to potential moves involving the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks.
New Jersey Devils
Rumour: In an article from The Athletic breaking down the trade value of the Devils’ roster, Corey Masisak names P.K. Subban as an expensive veteran who could be dealt at some point.
Analysis: What a shock this would be. But honestly, it’s been a shock already considering Subban’s results as a Devil so far. His offensive production has been next to nothing — only five points to show for in 29 games. He’s also at a startling -15, which is balanced out by the fact that the team around him has been pretty terrible too. Nothing has gone right for him in Jersey. When fully healthy, he should still be money in the bank for 45 points. He’s not on pace for even close to that.
Problem is — he’s making $9 million per season for two more seasons after this one. No team is going to be willing to swallow that — especially as Subban enters his 30s. New Jersey, if they do decide to move him, is almost definitely going to have to retain salary. As Nico Hischier‘s contract extension kicks in next season, retaining salary will pose an issue. However, they’ll have some names like Wayne Simmonds off the books that will help.
Rumour: In a mailbag published in The Athletic, Ducks writer Eric Stephens looks at what defencemen the Ducks could look into acquiring.
Analysis: Stephens names two players that have been consistently mentioned in NHL rumours for years at this point — Rasmus Ristolainen and Shayne Gostisbehere. While neither name has been moved, Stephens explains why the Ducks would both be good options for two players that need a change of scenery.
However, it presents a challenge for the Ducks’ cap situation at first glance. While rebuilding, they only have $3.3 million in cap space. That could be easily solved by moving $9+ million worth of Ryan Kesler‘s and Patrick Eaves‘ contracts to LTIR, giving the Ducks additional maneuverability that would allow them to swallow the cap hits of either Ristolainen or Gostisbehere. Those acquisitions would also allow them to better develop solid defensive prospects such as Brendan Guhle and Josh Mahura, pushing along their future.
Rumour: Sportsnet staff published an article breaking down four possible destinations for the underperforming Pittsburgh Penguins forward, including the aforementioned Ducks and three other teams.
Analysis: One team that shouldn’t surprise anyone here is the Buffalo Sabres — they’ve been looking for a top-six/nine forward to insert all season, and they may be willing to give the Penguins a defenceman in that deal. This would be beneficial for Pittsburgh as they’re always in need of injury insurance. There would need to be some toying with Buffalo’s cap situation, though. They’re already using LTIR to exceed the salary cap.
The Carolina Hurricanes are another team named, and they’re probably the deepest on offence and have the most to offer Pittsburgh in terms of a return upfront. Pittsburgh should be interested in a player like Nino Niederreiter or Ryan Dzingel to replace Galchenyuk’s spot in the lineup. That could potentially work out very well for both teams if Galchenyuk pans out in Carolina. Those deals would not be one-for-one, but they’re interesting names to think about.
The Los Angeles Kings work their way in as a surprise contender. They certainly have plenty of attractive young pieces for the Pens to nab in return. However, L.A. is unlikely to move them. However, they’re in the best salary cap position to absorb Galchenyuk and could use him to jumpstart an otherwise boring offence. The Kings have actually been playing decent in their own end. Adding an offensive jumpstart that could pay off quickly would be a good move for them. They may start inching back towards playoff contention in upcoming seasons.
Embed from Getty Images