Rumor Rundown: Nash, Turris, James Neal Drawing Attention

Saturday night was an extremely busy night in the NHL with 15 games on the schedule. Both heading into game action and coming out of it, some pending free agents were high on the rumors list. What is going on with Kyle Turris and the Ottawa Senators? Are the rumors he might be traded true? Is Rick Nash staying or going in New York? What’s going to happen with James Neal? His performances are drawing a lot of attention around the NHL.

Kyle Turris Conflicting Reports

Despite speculation by TSN’s Darren Dreger that a trade was quite likely, there are many that believe Turris and the Ottawa Senators are keen to get a deal done and keep Turris in Ottawa. Elliotte Friedman reported last night that two sides are actually close in terms of the dollar amount of a new deal ($6 million per season) but the term appears to be an issue. It doesn’t mean that a trade won’t happen, but the Senators are not high on trading him with the season now underway.

Kyle Turris (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

On the same topic, Nick Kypreos reported that some teams have been told Turris might be available and the Senators are taking calls and listening to offers.

If the Sens do trade Turris, expect them to want a piece that will immediately help during the season and not just prospects or draft picks.

On the other hand, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting Turris hasn’t requested a trade and isn’t thinking about being traded. He’s leaving everything to his agent.

Rick Nash and The Rangers Want Stay Together

These same two NHL insiders also reported that Rick Nash and the Rangers are trying to figure out their futures but aren’t really talking about it.

Rick Nash [photo: Amy Irvin]

Friedman says there has been almost no contract talks between the organization and the player while Kypreos went onto to add that Rangers see Nash internally getting done at a three-year deal at $3 million— or at least they hope. The issue is Patrick Marleau‘s new deal in Toronto.

Marleau has really thrown the landscape of paying veteran players for a loop with his $6 million per season contract. If Nash is productive this season, it could raise his price tag and that limits the Rangers and their ability to make a deal.

Nash could wind up on the trade block unless he so badly wants to stay with the Rangers that he’s willing to take a pay cut.

James Neal Could Be The Hot Trade Target

After missing pre-season recovering from injury, James Neal has gotten off to a great start with the Vegas Golden Knights and the club is hoping his strong play continues. If it does, he immediately becomes one of the NHL’s hottest trade deadline acquisitions and the Golden Knights will be able to ask for a hefty return for a proven scoring forward.

James Neal, Flyers vs Predators, Dec. 19, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There was never really many who believed Neal was a long-term asset in Vegas and the ideal situation for that franchise is that Neal has an amazing season and forces a team to pay handsomely to acquire him.

50-Goal Seasons

With the increased scoring in the first week of the NHL season, people have to start considering that there may be multiple 50-goal scorers in the NHL in 2017-18. With only a couple games in the books, there are already players like Alex Ovechkin (7 goals), Steven Stamkos and Wanye Simmonds (4 goals each) and Connor McDavid, Mika Zibanejad and James Neal (3 goals) who could continue to score at an incredible pace.

Part of that has to do with the new mandate to call slashing penalties which at the pace set so far is more than five times the amount of penalties called last year by this time for the same infraction. The NHL loves that players are scoring in bunches and fans can expect these types of calls to continue.