In today’s Rumor Rundown we look at a few players who would be big gets for any team if they become unsettled in their current locations. A couple of players aren’t free agents until after next season but the Philadelphia Flyers might have to deal, sooner than later, with Wayne Simmonds and the Buffalo Sabres might have to consider trading a couple key names off their roster.
Wayne Simmonds a Possible Deadline Trade?
While the Flyers may not be actively looking to move Wayne Simmonds, Nick Kypreos has suggested he may be a name that comes up more before the trade deadline. As the Flyers continue to struggle Simmonds is the club’s most valuable asset and would retrieve the highest return.
Simmonds also becomes a UFA after next season and the Flyers have some big money contracts that could make meeting Simmond’s salary demands very tricky.
Speaking of the Flyers, it appears that the team has given up on head coach Dave Hakstol. There was thought he’d make it to 2018 but opinions on that may have changed. If the club chooses to remove Hakstol, potential replacements include former LA Kings head coach Darryl Sutter or former Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. Their AHL coach Scott Gordon may also earn some consideration.
Sabres Looking to Make Changes
Emily Sadler of Sportsnet is reporting the Buffalo Sabres losing has facilitated a need to change things up and in a hurry. It sounds like general managers around the NHL are now aware that the Sabres are willing to look at any trade scenarios that don’t involve Jack Eichel. The Sabres are dead last in the league again and have lost their last 11 of 12 games.
Evander Kane seems the most likely name to be traded but Elliotte Friedman did say:
“Now, I do think if you’re going to ask about a Ristolainen or a Marco Scandella or a Sam Reinhart, you better be coming with a serious offer because I don’t think Buffalo is going to trade those guys unless the offer is great. But I think they are prepared to listen to everyone except the franchise player.”
Related: Drew Doughty: A League Above
Doughty Wants King of Kings Contract
Emily Sadler of Sportsnet is also reporting Nick Kypreos used Saturday’s “Headlines” segment on Hockey Night in Canada to touch on the topic of Drew Doughty looking for a hefty pay increase. Doughty said publicly he will be looking for a contract that sees him paid more on his next contract than P.K. Subban. Subban currently makes $9 million per season.
While it might be an issue to air your contract demands in public and seen by some organizations as a threat that a player is willing to happily move on, the Kings don’t seem too bothered by Doughty’s comments and intend to work out a deal with their blueliner that will pay him more than any other Los Angeles King player.
The reality is, Doughty could be looking for more than Anze Kopitar’s eight-year, $80 million deal and if he gets it, that would be enough to keep him happy in L.A. If the Kings believe he’s looking for more than that, they might explore the option of seeing what a return might be for the star defenseman. He’s already said in interviews he’s not shy about leaving and moving on to another organization.
Drew Doughty said he plans on conferring with Erik Karlsson who also made comments suggesting that when he goes to market, he’ll be taking nothing less than the value he perceives himself to be worth. The hint here is that he’s not committing to Ottawa and believes a team will pay him whatever that number might be. It could be the Senators but Karlsson understands it might not be.
This is not ideal timing for the Sens who are hoping these comments don’t spark speculation that Karlsson is comfortable leaving Ottawa.
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.”