NHL Rumors: Islanders, Canucks, Stars, Flyers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Lou Lamoriello talks about his inaction over the summer and what’s next for the New York Islanders. Will the Vancouver Canucks try to swing a deal with the Islanders now?

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The Dallas Stars could be looking at moving Anton Khudobin and the Philadelphia Flyers don’t have great news when it comes to the status of defenseman Ryan Ellis.

Lamoriello Not Disappointed With Lack of Signings

Following the announcement by the Islanders that the organization had signed Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov and Kieffer Bellows, GM Lou Lamoriello spoke with the media about not using free agency to improve his roster this summer. He noted, “There’s no disappointment [with] where we’re at because we feel very good about where we are, or we would have made drastic changes last year if we didn’t feel good about the group we have or what we’re capable of doing.”

Lou Lamoriello New York Islanders
Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attends the 2019 NHL Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Lamoriello took some heat for not signing anyone and speculation is that he missed out on Nazem Kadri. Still, he’s confident in the roster he has and added, “I’m looking forward to getting back at it and maybe proving everybody wrong.” He noted that he’s aware of the impression of his team and how his inaction may lead people to believe they won’t be competitive. “Sometimes some of the best transactions to make are the ones you don’t make,” he said.   

Rick Dhaliwal reported, “So, I did talk to Kadri’s agent morning. The Islanders tried. Lou tried right up to the last minute to create cap space but they just ran out of time.” He also noted that Carolina, Colorado and Calgary (obviously) were the teams in on Kadri.

Canucks Can’t Trade Bad Contracts

Dhaliwal then noted that he would be surprised if the Islanders do not revisit the idea of trading for J.T. Miller of the Canucks. Part of the reason the Canucks might choose to do so is that they are not in a position to trade bad contracts instead of a good one like Miller’s.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Flames, Capitals, Islanders

Dhaliwal explained:

For those that want the Canucks to trade bad contracts, there’s a cost. You have to cough up a sweetener. And because the previous regime here traded so many first and second-rounders the last few years, the current regime is not in a position to cough up a sweetener of that variety, which the Flames did for the Habs. The Canucks are not in a position going forward to cough up any more first-round picks.

He added that there is truth to the idea that it’s going to take the current Canucks’ management time to get out from under the mess that the previous management made. “It takes time,” he said.

One player who could be moved is goaltender Michael DiPietro. He said he’s been told by a source that the Canucks are talking to teams about a trade and that there is at least one deal on the table.

Preseason Trade for Khudobin?

As per an article by Dallas Stars writer Mike Heika, he notes on NHL.com that a pre-season trade is the most likely outcome when it comes to Anton Khudobin. A player who has been up and down due to injuries, there’s not really a spot for him on the team if Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood are signed and playing in the roles carved out for them.

Anton Khudobin Dallas Stars
Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

“So, the best situation might be that Khudobin plays well in the preseason and possibly gets traded before the regular season starts. If not, there is a chance one of the two goalies will have to go through waivers and head to the AHL or that the team will carry three goalies again – but the guess is they don’t want to juggle that headache.

Ryan Ellis Likely To Miss Start of Flyers’ Season

As per new head coach John Tortorella, Ryan Ellis could miss the start of the season with the Philadelphia Flyers. “If you’re asking me right now, I doubt it,” said Tortorella on Monday when asked if Ellis would be ready. The defenseman missed all but four games last season due to injury.

The two have had multiple conversations about his status and it sounds like things are up and down, which makes putting a timeline on a return next to impossible. This was said to be less a recurring injury and more a timing thing and the original estimates that Ellis would be ready for training camp have proven to be inaccurate.