In today’s NHL rumor rundown, GM’s are two days away from the NHL Entry Draft and things are really starting to heat up. One GM said he’s never seen this much conversation in his entire tenure running a team.
Among the teams in the NHL rumor mill, the Canucks, Senators, Penguins and Jets are receiving most of the attention.
Trade Talk is Happening at Record Pace
Craig Custance noted from a conversation with San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson: “There’s been more conversation and communication between GMs in the last month than maybe ever since I’ve been a GM.”
This is great news if you’re a fan of trades and action in the NHL. With teams worried about a lower-than-expected salary cap, trying to clear room to make moves over the next two weeks and more, expect this to be a busy time.
Some of the Calls are Coming From Canucks
Frank Seravalli of TSN reports that teams have been calling the Toronto Maple Leafs about defenseman Nikita Zaitsev. The Oilers were discussed as one team, but that appears to be an inaccurate report. The Vancouver Canucks are, however, among the teams.
Tyler Myers is another defenseman on the Canucks are interested in and in the right deal, the team may be convinced to move their first-round pick – 10th overall.
This means that the Canucks will be a team that fans should watch over the next two days.
Winnipeg Jets Have More Going On
The Winnipeg Jets already moved Kevin Hayes to Philadelphia and Hayes signed with the Flyers. They moved Jacob Trouba to New York and it is believed the Rangers will work with Trouba to get a deal done. The Jets are moving pieces and they aren’t done.
It is believed that the Winnipeg Jets had been offering forward Nikolaj Ehlers to the Carolina Hurricanes for a right-handed defenseman. That could be Dougie Hamilton.
The Jets are also looking to move the final two years of Mathieu Perreault‘s contract.
Penguins Not Trying to Trade Their Top Players
There was so much buzz around Phil Kessel as the season wound down and it was considered almost a given to see him traded that it’s odd to hear now that he might not be. Some thought that update was posturing on the part of the Penguins to get Kessel to waive his no-trade to go to Minnesota, but there are more reports suggesting he’s not going anywhere.
NHL.com reports that Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was on 93.7 The Fan radio yesterday talking about the plans for Kessel. Saying that he won’t allow Kessel to control the optics of any trade, “at this point in time I view it that Phil will return with the team. I’m not actively pushing to trade him at this point.”
He did say that if someone comes along and offers a deal that makes sense, they will, of course, look at it.
Rutherford also said that he’s not looking, pushing, or feeling that he has to trade the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, and/or Kris Letang. When those names were brought up, Rutherford mentioned that he never said he was actively trying to trade any of those guys. He also said anyone can get traded so it’s not as though he won’t consider it.
Senators Trying to Move Cody Ceci
Both Wayne Scanlan of Sportsnet and Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen note that discussions are ongoing in respect to extending Cody Ceci in Ottawa, but Warren also reports that Dorion is “seriously exploring the trade market.”
Scanlan writes that of interest to the Senators would be moving up in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft. They hold picks 19, 32 and 44, but believe they could move up significantly in the right deal.