In today’s rumor rundown, there are reports of what the Buffalo Sabres might try to do in the event they need to replace a player like Jeff Skinner. There is also word out of New York that Kevin Hayes is going to be too expensive an option to hang onto and in Vancouver, the Canucks and Alex Edler are working towards an extension. Are the Oilers interested in a former player and could they move a struggling one to acquire him?
Sabres Replacement Options for Skinner
Should the Buffalo Sabres choose to move Jeff Skinner, Ryan Stimson of The Athletic suggests there are a few names that might be good candidates to take his spot so that the Sabres can remain a playoff contender. These are not necessarily players the Sabres would target while trading Skinner, but names the Sabres might look at in completely separate transactions.
Stimson suggests the Sabres should look to the Senators. He writes:
Mark Stone will be the big prize on July 1, 2019. He’d have to be crazy to stay in Ottawa considering the dysfunctional GM and ownership there. His impacts are almost twice those of Skinner, and he scores plenty of goals (0.9 per 60 minutes since 2015-2016, just behind Tyler Seguin). There’s another forward in Ottawa who will likely be wearing different colors next fall. Matt Duchene’s impacts are slightly worse than Skinner’s. You figure his deal will be slightly less but might end up being close enough.
source – ‘Stimson: Examining trade options for Jeff Skinner if the Sabres don’t work out a long-term deal’ – Ryan Stimson – The Athletic – 12/04/2019
Stimson also looks at Marcus Johansson from New Jersey, Gustav Nyquist out of Detroit and Jake Gardiner out of Toronto.
Kevin Hayes Has Priced Himself Out of New York
Larry Brooks of the NY Post is reporting that forward Kevin Hayes has likely priced himself out of the Rangers market and will be moved prior to the February 25th NHL trade deadline.
In the article, Brooks tries to speculate what value Hayes might bring back and suggests a first-round pick and a decent prospect is likely too little for the Rangers to accept. But, this also creates a dilemma of sorts because any trade that might include a roster player of value isn’t something most teams are willing to do around the deadline. That said, if the Rangers can manage it, they’d like to acquire a first-round pick, a player that would be able to join their top-nine or top-four, plus another draft pick or player.
Canucks and Edler Looking at Extension
As per a report on Sportsnet, the Vancouver Canucks and pending UFA Alexander Edler are expected to hold some contract talks soon. It was originally believed the Canucks might look at moving Edler, but based on the excellent season he’s putting together, the Canucks have determined he’s worth hanging onto.
Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet said, “We can expect in the next couple of weeks the Canucks to start talking about a contract extension for Alex Edler.” It’s a good thing the Canucks are looking to hang onto the player too because Edler has no desire to leave and has made it clear he’s got the no-trade clause he can use to block a move.
Kypreos adds that Edler currently makes $5 million a season and he could get more than that per season but only on a short-term deal.
Oilers Shopping Ryan Spooner
Ryan Spooner was a healthy scratch for the Edmonton Oilers in Sunday’s game versus the Anaheim Ducks. Needless to say, the trade that saw Spooner come in for Ryan Strome has not gone well for Edmonton and Spooner has not had a good season.
Speculation is that the Oilers have resent feelers around the NHL after putting him on the trade block at the end of 2018. This will be a difficult trade for the Oilers as Spooner still has a $3.1MM cap hit through next season and his production will limit the number of teams interested in him.
Patrick Maroon on the Move from St. Louis?
Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic asks if the St. Louis Blues are looking at moving winger Pat Maroon? Maroon signed as a free agent last summer to a one-year, $1.75-million contract but he’s struggled this season. He has a no-trade clause that changes to a modified one on January 31st and if a fit can be found, perhaps the Blues can convince Maroon to waive early if the expectation is he’ll be traded.
There is also speculation the team could place him on waivers if a trade can’t be made. One might wonder if the Oilers would be interested if the cost of acquisition was incredibly low. Perhaps, Edmonton can move a contract they don’t want in exchange. The Oilers were one of the teams interested in Maroon during the summer but weren’t willing to overspend.
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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.”