In our second Sunday installment of the NHL rumor rundown, we look at the Tampa Bay Lighting and their interest in a Sabres defender, the Penguins are actively looking for a right-handed defenseman thanks to a couple quick injuries, the New York Islanders coach thinks they’ll keep all of their core guys and one new Oiler is hoping to end his career in Edmonton while a ton of other names are potentially on the move.
Tampa Interested in Ristolainen?
Andy Strickland is reporting the Tampa Bay Lightning might be looking to add a top-tier defenseman and have their eyes on Rasmus Ristolainen out of Buffalo. He says of the talk, “Speculation of Rasmus Ristolainen to Tampa Bay won’t seem to go away.”
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) February 24, 2019
Considering some of the moves teams in the Eastern Conference have made so far heading into the trade deadline, — the Blue Jackets, Bruins, Capitals and others — it’s not shocking to see that Tampa is looking to respond. They might still be the favorite out of the East, but things got a lot more complicated for them over the past 48 hours.
Penguins Looking for a D-Man
After losing both Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin to injury on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins might be in the market for a defenseman. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now reports that one of his sources told him that before the game even ended, the Penguins were trying to find a right-handed d-man in trade.
Kingerski said, the Penguins may be circling back to Anaheim Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour or might have interest in Colin Miller or the Vegas Golden Knights. Montour has a year left at a $3.387 million cap hit and Miller has been a healthy scratch of late in Vegas. Miller signed a four-year, $15.5 million extension in the offseason and the Golden Knights might not be shy about moving that contract.
Montour has garnered some interest around the NHL and while the Ducks aren’t shopping him, they are listening to offers. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, and New York Rangers are among the teams that have shown some interest.
Islanders Likely to Keep Their Core
The New York Islanders were a team heavily discussed when it came to some big names on the trade market. As players like Duchene and Dzingel have come off the board, the chatter seems to be slowing. This is also true as far as what the Islanders will do with a number of their pending free agents, some of which were potentially rumored to be moved.
Andrew Gross of Newsday tweeted that Islanders coach Barry Trotz said regarding the deadline and as it pertains to his team, “I think there’s not going to be a lot of movement for us. We feel we’ve got a good core group and we’ve got good chemistry in that and Lou is working the phones and trying to improve our hockey team.” He added, “I don’t think there’s going to going to be a whole lot of deletions. We trust in Lou, Lou has got great experience. He’s working diligently to try and improve our hockey club and if there’s a right fit, he’ll make the move.”
Lots of Edmonton Oilers Rumor Quick Hits
The newest (and also oldest) Edmonton Oilers veteran player, Sam Gagner said on After Hours, “Hopefully I can call Edmonton home for the rest of my NHL career.” He is certainly excited to be back with the team he started his NHL days and the Oilers are glad to have him considering he’s potted two goals in three games since coming back.
Sticking with the Oilers, it sounds as though there is plenty of interest in winger Alex Chiasson prior to Monday’s deadline and the Oilers will move him for the right price. Ryan Rishaug of TSN suggests anything less than a third-rounder though and he stays put. Rishaug also says the Oilers are happy enough to move Matt Benning and Alex Petrovic and are inclined to hang onto Zack Kassian.
He also said, “While things can change in 24 hrs, doesn’t sound like any discussions have been had with Russell camp about potentially waiving his NMC. Due 4M next season, 1.5 the next in salary. Don’t think they are looking to move him right now.
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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.”