NHL Rumors: Haula, Drouin, Silfverberg, More

In today’s rumor rundown, the Golden Knights are trying to figure out what to do with Erik Haula and his terribly horrid defensive season, the Minnesota Wild are trying to make changes with little success, rumors of Jonathan Drouin being injured are way overblown. Finally, the Anaheim Ducks are looking at their salary cap situation and realizing they may have to move a player like Jakob Silfverberg.

Golden Knights Unsure of Plan for Erik Haula

Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that the Vegas Golden Knights are at a bit of a crossroads with second-line center Erik Haula. The team signed Paul Stastny in free agency and while Haula had a successful season offensively — 29 goals and 55 points — his line of David Perron and James Neal was awful defensively. In fact, they were among the worst defensively in all fo the NHL.

Vegas Golden Knights left wing Erik Haula
Vegas Golden Knights left wing Erik Haula (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Vegas general manager George McPhee said of that line, “It produced, but the goals against per 60 minutes was not good enough.” McPhee suggested that the team is not willing to overlook that and is searching for a solution. Whether that means adding better defensive players to Haula’s line or moving Haula wasn’t clear. All McPhee would say was, “We’re trying to address it.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Seguin, Daley, Krug, More

Druoin Not Injured

Allan Walsh addressed the rumors of Jonathan Drouin’s apparent injury in a recent tweet where he said, “In the stupidity department, some rumor websites are “reporting” that Jonathan Drouin injured a knee playing summer hockey. Total BS. He’s 100% healthy.”

Where the rumor came from is uncertain but if even remotely true, it would have been a devastating blow to Montreal who has already had a rough few months. The team is counting on Drouin getting more comfortable in his role as a top-six center.

Minnesota Has Tried, But Failed to Make Changes

Interesting to note from the mailbag column of The Athletic’s Michael Russo, he writes that new Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton tried to work the phones this summer and make a deal but has had little luck. The responses from opposing GM’s seemed to be to try and low-ball the new guy in the hopes of catching a steal when the new GM is desperate to make a deal.

Nino Niederreiter and right wing Chris Stewart - Wild
ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 23: Minnesota Wild left wing Nino Niederreiter (22) (L) and right wing Chris Stewart (10) (R) (Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Russo said:

To be fair, owner Craig Leipold — at least publicly — said he felt the roster needed to be tweaked, but I think most of us felt for a core that had been together for years, Leipold’s words were code for a “core-altering” change after Zucker, Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle combined for zero points in five games versus Winnipeg in the playoffs. But, as I’ve said, there’s no doubt Fenton talked to everybody about everybody, from the three I mentioned above to Eric Staal, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin and I’m sure others.

source – “Ask Russo, Part II: Why no trade to shake up the core? What’s with Coyle? Who should be the first retired number?” – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 08/09/2018

Jakob Silfverberg a Trade Piece for Anaheim?

Eric Stephens of The Athletic writes, Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg could be a trade candidate considering the potential complications of the Ducks future salary cap issues. Recent deals for John Gibson and Adam Henrique chipped away at the cap and future contracts for Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie could create more cap issues down the road.

Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg
Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Stephens said:

Say Silfverberg – who’ll turn 28 in the season’s opening week – and his camp were to see the forward at around $5 million annually? My thinking is the Ducks will try to get him under that AAV over four years and the feeling is there’s a real aspiration to re-sign him. Either way, it’d be a decent pay bump from the $3.75 million he’s making entering the final year of the extension he signed with Anaheim in 2015.

source- “What does a potential Jakob Silfverberg contract mean for the Ducks’ salary cap?” – Eric Stephens – The Athletic, 08/07/2018

While the Ducks want to keep Silfverberg, if the money can’t be worked out, Stephens noted Ducks GM Bob Murray raised the possibility of trading a player like him rather than risk losing that player to free agency for nothing.

Related: Draisaitl’s Deal is Among the NHL’s Best