In today’s rumor rundown there is plenty of speculation surrounding the Philadelphia Flyers, some doubt as to the real value of Jeff Skinner on the open market, there are some goaltending names floating around the trade market and one NHL insider suggests the marriage between the Maple Leafs and William Nylander is over, no matter what gets done in the next two days.
The Latest on the Philadelphia Flyers
Everyone seems to be weighing in on what’s happening with the Philadelphia Flyers as there’s news on the GM search, the coaching and potential player movement.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet said the Flyers search for a new GM should be done in “weeks, not months.” CEO Dave Scott said they are actively searching and won’t take forever to make a decision despite the fact that Paul Holgrem will get actively involved in personel decisions for the time being. Leading candidates for GM job include Chuck Fletcher and Ron Francis while lesser candidates but still possibles include Tom Fitzgerald, Mark Hunter or Chris Drury.
Names like Scott Mellanby and Chris Pronger have come up, but don’t seem to be likely options and Friedman believes the Flyers will at least check in on Steve Yzerman. Sam Carchidi figures Yzerman is a longshot considering his ties to the Detroit Red Wings.
Bob McKenzie said the New Jersey Devils have given the Flyers permission to speak with Fletcher about the job and Michael Russo tweeted multiple sources have said that the Flyers are doing their due diligence on Fletcher. They’ve been contacting Minnesota Wild people.
Interesting to note is that Pierre LeBrun was on TSN 1200 and said he got the sense the Flyers wanted to return to the days of “wacky trades and then go for it.” which has led to speculation of some player moves. This has led to speculation the Flyers might be quietly shopping forward Wayne Simmonds who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Without Hextall, there isn’t a voice actively stating the intention is to re-sign Simmonds.
If it isn’t Simmonds that moves, LeBrun said, “But whoever gets hired, the marching orders for sure will be to be very active before February 25, mark my words.”
Buyer Beware on Skinner
There is a real sense that while Jeff Skinner is having a tremendous year, his production won’t be a true reflection of his value as the season rolls along. Most believe another player might be worth the $9 million or so that Skinner might ask for but not necessarily Skinner himself.
Bob McKenzie was on TSN 690 and said that around the NHL, Skinner’s reputation is that he hasn’t produced consistently and has battled injuries. He added that not everyone will be convinced that what he’s producing now is what he’ll produce later. “But I think there’s been enough inconsistency in his career where there’s a little bit of buyer beware in terms of the really big numbers,” McKenzie said.
LeBrun actually said something similar on TSN 1040 when he talked about how little interest there was on the marketplace for Skinner over the summer and before the Sabres traded for him. The Hurricanes had been trying to trade him at the draft and all summer with little interest. LeBrun said teams had concerns about his health and inconsistency as did the Hurricanes who felt it was best to move on.
This could affect Skinner’s ability to get that huge money he wants coming out of this season. McKenzie admitted Skinner will get paid if he keeps scoring, but wonders if anyone will give him $9 million or more.
Goaltenders on the Market?
TSN’s Frank Seravalli recently listed Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers, and Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators as five possible trade candidates.
Interestingly, only Craig Anderson seems like a likely candidate to be moved. The Oilers are unsure of their goaltending situation even though Mikko Koskinen seems to be winning the starting job, it’s unlikely the Blue Jackets would trade Bobrovsky while playing so well and heading to the postseason and the Red Wings have seemed to shift gears and are talking an extension with Howard. If Howard is moved, the asking price would be high.
Friedman Suggests the Maple Leafs and Nylander Marriage is Over
Elliotte Friedman recently wondered, whether Nylander signs or not, if there is a future in Toronto for him. Friedman believes that even if he does sign, Toronto will trade him by the draft at the latest. “One way or the other, I think this is over. I would be surprised if he plays for Toronto next season.”
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.”