In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are some destinations starting to present themselves as possibilities for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, the Minnesota Wild GM possibilities are expanding and Justin Williams might be close to ready to make a decision on his playing future.
Where Will Shattenkirk Land?
After being bought out by the New York Rangers, Kevin Shattenkirk is a free agent in a market where the defense options aren’t deep. The Hockey News’ Steven Ellis put out an article examining the top five destinations for the 30-year-old defenseman and there are some interesting suggestions.
Ellis figures the Buffalo Sabres might look at Shattenkirk if they move Rasmus Ristolainen (the rumors continue the team might do so), the Columbus Blue Jackets have money to spare and the Edmonton Oilers might have an interest. He rounds out his five with the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets.
Chris Ryan of NJ.com suggests the New Jersey Devils don’t need to take an unnecessary risk on Shattenkirk despite speculation there might be interest. They’ve been among the busiest teams in the NHL this summer but might be best to sit this one out.
Had the Devils not added Subban earlier this offseason, a second go at Shattenkirk might have made sense. They would be buying low on a proven player who went through two difficult seasons.
But now with Subban in the mix, the Devils’ defense is crowded. Subban, Vatanen and Severson all play the right side, and Vatanen might be moved over to the left side just to get all three top-four minutes.source – ‘NHL rumors: Rangers buy out defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk; Should Devils be interested?’ – Chris Ryan – NJ.com – 08/01/2019
Wild Interviewing Potential GM’s, More Names Added
Michael Russo of The Athletic is all over the story of a search for a new GM in Minnesota. He writes that the team has already interviewed Ron Hextall and former Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli for their vacant GM position.
Having previously reported both of these names might be in the mix, more names are being added to the list. Other candidates include Dean Lombardi and Garth Snow and while Russo doesn’t know if the Wild have asked for permission to speak with names like Tom Fitzgerald, Bill Guerin and Bill Zito who might become part of the interview process at some point.
Finally, he mentions Chris Drury, Mark Hunter, Brian Lawton and Mike Gillis.
Just like last year’s round of interviews, the Wild brass is expected to interview several candidates in an attempt to find the right person in addition to gathering opinions about the team. There is no timetable to hire the next GM, but the Wild’s prospects tournament in Traverse City begins Sept. 6 and training camp is Sept. 12.source – ‘Sources: Wild GM search underway with initial interviews of two candidates’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 08/01/2019
Justin Williams Decision Coming?
One of the biggest names still out there on the free agent market is Justin Williams. The reason he’s still out there is that he’s deciding whether or not he wants to play another season in the NHL and the Carolina Hurricanes are simply waiting for that decision.
Williams is expected to be in Raleigh next week, and speculation is that he’ll have made up his mind by that point. This means an announcement is likely coming.
The Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander writes the Hurricanes have about $2.5 million left to fit him in under the cap. The idea might be to sign him to a bonus structured deal and move one other forward down to make it easier to work around his next contract.
Canes general manager Don Waddell said Thursday that he still believed Williams was “leaning” toward playing a 19th season in the NHL. He said Williams, who turns 38 on Oct. 4, was returning to Raleigh next week, saying, “We’ll sit down at that point and figure it out.”
That includes the terms of a new contract, which Waddell said have not been discussed. Williams is an unrestricted free agent.source – ‘Canes still waiting on decision from captain Justin Williams’ – The News & Observer – Chip Alexander – 08/01/2019