In today’s rumor rundown, there is news on the New York Rangers and their current list of free agents. The New York Islanders are likely going to keep their UFA’s and hunt for a rental and the Montreal Canadiens might not do much of anything at the deadline this year. Finally, where are things at between Matt Duchene and the Ottawa Senators and what will the Boston Bruins do to take that final step as a Cup contender?
Latest Updates on the Rangers
Larry Brooks of the New York Post says the Tampa Bay Lightning might have their eyes on Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid. He also mentions Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton is having contract extension talks with the agents for Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello.
As far as contracts go, there is a big gap between the team and the players but the two sides continue to negotiate. The organization is worried that of the $25 million they have available in cap space next season, Zuccarello and Hayes could take up as much as $12 million of it. In order to make it work, the Rangers might elect to buy out players like Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith.
That said, since the contracts could be an issue, Brooks also suggests that it’s more likely the two players are traded. He writes that because both players want long-term deals they’ll likely get them from someone else in free agency.
Senators Slow-Playing the Duchene Talks
The situation in Ottawa is tricky when it comes to the Senators and Matt Duchene. Bob McKenzie was on Montreal’s TSN 690 and said, “Ottawa didn’t want to say to Duchene, ‘Okay, you’ve got until Tuesday at noon or we’re going to trade you.’ … Everybody is just kind of slow-playing it, and at some point here Ottawa has obviously gone back to the notion of trying to trade him, and that’s what Dregs basically reported.”
The Senators are letting Duchene take his time but the organization needs to know what to do when it comes to assuming if he’s going to stay or leave. McKenzie said at some point, the Senators will “go out and find out what they can get for Duchene. And before they pull the trigger on the trade, because the official door has not been slammed shut on re-signing, they’ll go back and say one final time, ‘Okay, are you sure you don’t want to sign.”
The feeling seems to be Duchene will be moved.
Islanders Could Move Their First-Round Pick
The Fourth Period is reporting the New York Islanders might be willing to move their first-round pick this year for a player like Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Eric Staal, Gustav Nyquist or Ilya Kovalchuk. If they don’t have to give up their first-rounder, they might elect to offer up someone like Josh Ho-Sang, Michael Dal Colle and/or Kieffer Bellows.
When it comes to their own players Andrew Gross of Newsday is reporting that the Islanders haven’t held contract talks with pending UFAs Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and Jordan Eberle, but none of the three players are expected to be traded before the deadline.
Eberle said in regards to him possibly being traded, “This year, with the way the team has been playing, we’re a pretty strong group together and I can’t imagine. But you never know.” Lee said on his contract negotiations, “It’s continued on the same path and things are good.”
Deadline Could Be Quiet for Canadiens
Renaud Lavoie reported on Twitter, he has been told that the chances are high that the Montreal Canadiens won’t be doing much ahead of the trade deadline.
Bruins In It to Win It
Darren Dreger said Monday on Toronto’s TSN 1050, the Bruins might sacrifice some of their young forwards to make a run now. “When you look at Boston, they’ve got two or three very similar young forwards like Heinen, Bjork,” noted Dreger. Saying the team might be willing to part with them, he added:
“They feel like they’re designed to contend for the Stanley Cup right now, and it’s pretty obvious why when you look at some of their aging forwards like Backes and Krejci. … They just would like to add a little bit more and they’re willing to part with the assets, be it draft picks or some of the young pieces that I’ve talked about.”
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.”