Today’s Rumor Rundown re-visits what’s going on in Vegas with two of the biggest trade targets in the NHL, if the Blackhawks will be able to move Connor Brown and is there a chance the Arizona Coyotes could move to Houston, Texas. Finally, the plot thickens as it pertains to the Montreal Canadiens, Carey Price, and the Edmonton Oilers?
Connor Murphy Out of Town
According to the folks over at The Fourth Period, the Chicago Blackhawks have been shopping around defenseman Connor Murphy. The Blackhawks want to make an upgrade on their blue line and it sounds like Murphy is the odd man out but it also doesn’t look like there are many takers. Without a team keenly interested, but the Blackhawks hindered by salary cap issues, they could dump Murphy for nothing but they don’t want to simply give away an asset.
Murphy has four years left on his deal at a $3.85 million cap hit and that’s a lot to ask a team to take on who has one point in 16 games.
Could the Coyotes Move to Houston?
During a recent episode of TSN Insider Trading, Darren Dreger noted the NHL recently met with the NBA’s Houston Rockets owner who has said he’d be interested in an NHL team. While the NHL would prefer adding teams via expansion, there are early discussions and a gathering of information is taking place to the viability of moving an existing team. The team and the NHL are still trying to work on an arena deal for the Coyotes but if one can’t be worked out, there is speculation the Arizona Coyotes to relocate to Seattle perhaps, in this case, Houston, Texas.
Rocket’s owner Tilman Fertitta said:
“As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very interested in the possibility of bringing the NHL to Houston, but it will have to be a deal that works for my organization, the City, fans of the NHL throughout the region, and the NHL Board of Governors. We are in the very early stage of evaluating what opportunities may exist but look forward to a thorough process.”
Golden Knights the Team to Watch
In the same segment, Bob McKenzie noted the Vegas Golden Knights are getting calls on pending UFA wingers James Neal and David Perron and they are probably the two biggest names out there right now on the trade market. The widespread belief if that both would be moved them at the trade deadline.
There is a potential chance either or both could be moved prior if a team came with an offer that was hard to turn down but there is also a good chance that if the team continues to have its unexpected success, the Golden Knights might want to hang on and try to re-sign both players.
The market will be strong for both players and with their respective individual success, it could be hard to turn away a trade if the value was there to help Vegas get younger and collect prospects and draft picks.
Montreal Canadiens and Price Drama
There are a number of insiders jumping on this Carey Price and Montreal Canadiens situation, many of whom are starting to wonder what the hold-up is and how Price’s huge contract will affect the team when it kicks in this coming summer. Seeing as how the Canadiens are struggling, are Max Pacioretty and Carey Price moveable pieces?
Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette wrote a piece suggesting the lack of forthcoming information about Price from the organization is starting not to pass the smell test. He cites insiders like Craig Button suggesting the Habs are flawed and poorly constructed and something big needs to happen. Nick Kypreos has hinted that the Canadiens might be willing to trade veterans for draft picks and prospects, naming Pacioretty as a possible option.
Some are speculating that the Edmonton Oilers might be interested in Carey Price as Cam Talbot has not returned to form from last season and the Oilers are also struggling this season amidst lofty expectations. Speculation is that Edmonton might consider Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the centerpiece of that kind of trade.
** Authors Note: I don’t see Draisaitl as a fit in trade but Nugent-Hopkins might get a look based on the strong season he’s had so far. It would likely take more to get it done than Nugent-Hopkins and if this is really a trade that is out there, would it include Talbot and other pieces becoming, in the end, a massive trade? Seems far fetched at this point but who knows what the Canadiens are thinking?
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”