NHL Rumors: McAvoy, Hall, Islanders, Penguins, More

In today’s rumor rundown there is news on the Pittsburgh Penguins outlook heading towards the final days of the trade deadline, the Islanders potentially moving Josh Ho-Sang, a potential hurdle in negotiations between the Boston Bruins and Charlie McAvoy, and the New Jersey Devils considering an offer sheet to keep one of their stars happy.

Penguins Still Looking for Right Deal on Defense

Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford still might be looking for a rental defenseman. The deal has to be right and if it isn’t Rutherford is ok with standing pat. “If a name comes along that makes sense to us, then I’ll take a look at it. If this is what we’re going with down the stretch on our defense, I’m OK with it.”

Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang
PITTSBURGH, PA – FEBRUARY 13: Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang (58) . (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rutherford is dead set against moving his first-round pick if he doesn’t have to and the Penguins don’t have much salary cap space. Those two things somewhat handcuff Rutherford even if he wanted to make a deal. That said, he’s not putting the phone down because he knows in the final hour of a buyers market, good deals could pop up. He also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of trading his first-rounder for a non-rental.

Rutherford explained, “Now, if it’s for another good young player, like guys we’ve acquired, then I guess that’s a different story. But my preference is to keep that pick.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Islanders, Blackhawks, Bruins, Oilers, More

Something Going on With Charlie McAvoy?

Matt Dahloff of the 98.5TheSportsHub.com reported that last season, Charlie McAvoy turned down a contract extension offer from the Boston Bruins. Speculation is, he balked because the offer wasn’t in the ballpark of what Aaron Ekblad received from the Panthers (eight years, $60 million). This could pose a problem moving forward for the Bruins.

Charlie McAvoy
BOSTON, MA – APRIL 21: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Not only is it problematic McAvoy wants big money but this season, new factors have been introduced when talking about a McAvoy extension. When you consider what Auston Matthews got (five years), could McAvoy be looking at something shorter with a smaller annual salary but the option to capitalize big time down the road? Pierre LeBrun suggests a three or four-year deal might work to capitalize more on the third contract which would allow for more UFA dollars.

The good news here is, despite this story popping up just days before the deadline, it doesn’t seem likely the Bruins would even consider moving McAvoy before the Feb. 25 date unless someone came forward with a “knock your socks off” kind of deal.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hall, Duchene, Capitals, Devils, More

The Outlook for Taylor Hall and the Devils

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman wonders if the team to watch in terms of a potential offer sheet is the New Jersey Devils. Part of the reason he thinks so is that the organization may need to find a reason to convince Taylor Hall to extend his contract.

Taylor Hall #9, New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall #9, New Jersey Devils, October 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Friedman said the team might approach Hall and say, ” ‘Look Taylor, this is what we’re going to do…. If New Jersey sells off a bunch of assets, they want Hall to know it’s because they intend to go after a big fish. There are plenty of RFAs available that could entice Hall to stay.

Otherwise, Friedman doesn’t think Hall will stick around if he feels like he’s on his own in New Jersey. He’s got one more year at $6 million to play out and the team has one more year to keep him interested.

Related: NHL Rumor Shootdown: Hall to Oilers Not Happening

Josh Ho-Sang Ready to Hit the Road

New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang knows very well that he’s a likely trade piece out of New York and when he spoke with The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, he seemed very much ok with that. Ho-Sang said:

I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t know what they want to do with me. I’m not opposed to (being traded) if it helps the Islanders get better. For me, obviously I want to play in the NHL, that’s my main focus. For them, if they need to trade me for pieces to go further in the playoffs, improve the great team they have, then I’m all for it.

source – ‘Josh Ho-Sang ‘all for it’ if Islanders want to deal him before the trade deadline’ – The Athletic – Arthur Staple – 02/21/2019

Ho-Sang may not be a big name at this year’s deadline, but some team might decide to pick him up as a part of the Islanders moves to improve their roster in the next few days. The Islanders will certainly dangle him as a return piece.

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