Lyle Richardson is a contributing writer to THN. His Rumor Roundup has been a regular feature since 2007. He also runs the website spectorshockey.net. A Canadiens fan married to a Leafs fan, Lyle's Saturday nights during hockey season can get quite entertaining at his home.
The NHL’s holiday trade freeze went into effect at midnight on Dec. 19 and remains in place until midnight on Dec. 27. Despite plenty of trade speculation leading up to the freeze, very little movement occurred. The only trade came on Dec. 18 when the Winnipeg Jets acquired defenceman Jay Harrison from the Carolina Hurricanes for a sixth-round pick in 2015.
Though the trade market is closed for the next week, there are several players in the rumor mill worth watching once the freeze lifts and the calendar turns to 2015.
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Los Angeles Kings last week opened contract talks with right wing Justin Williams, winner of the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy during the Kings’ march to the Stanley Cup last spring.
LeBrun reports the Kings really want to retain the 33-year-old Williams, who loves playing and living in Los Angeles. Williams’ agent, however, has informed management his client prefers not to negotiate during the season. If a deal isn’t reached soon, talks could be shelved until season’s end. Read more
The Edmonton Oilers firing of head coach Dallas Eakins prompted speculation over potential roster changes. It’s believed Oilers management will consider all options going forward, including the possibility of trading star left wing Taylor Hall.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports of a “sagging work ethic” and lack of a winning culture among the Oilers’ players, suggesting Hall hasn’t been what the front office expected “from a culture standpoint.” Dreger believes the 23-year-old Hall will be in play in the trade market and believes the best return could be had during the summer, perhaps at the NHL Draft in June.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spent several weeks seeking help for his floundering roster via the trade market. During a press conference on Dec. 5, MacTavish stated he wouldn’t make any knee-jerk moves and wasn’t prepared to move his core players. Read more
The floundering Edmonton Oilers appear the favorites to win the 2015 NHL draft lottery and select OHL scoring sensation Connor McDavid as the first-overall pick. However, they could soon have some competition in the McDavid sweepstakes.
Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer notes the Carolina Hurricanes, basement dwellers of the Eastern Conference, lack the talent to compete with the league’s better teams. The Hurricanes last made the playoffs in 2009, and DeCock believes it’s time for a major roster overhaul, which includes improving their chances of landing McDavid. Read more
With the NHL holiday trade freeze slated for midnight on Dec. 19, there’s increasing focus on Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart in the rumor mill. SI.com’s Allan Muir reports Sabres GM Tim Murray is reportedly willing to move the 27-year-old winger for the right price but so far he hasn’t found any takers.
Muir claims the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators are said to have interest in Stewart. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson adds the Pittsburgh Penguins to that list, while the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claims the Calgary Flames are also among the interested parties. Read more
With the NHL’s holiday trade freeze beginning at midnight on Dec. 19 there’s growing speculation over possible moves leading up to the deadline.
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance reports Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray is willing to be creative after noting a recent decline in trade talks, leading Murray to acknowledge his asking prices could be too high.
Winger Chris Stewart, a recent healthy scratch against the Los Angeles Kings, is considered most likely to be dealt. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports the 27-year-old winger’s poor play could affect his trade value, as well as his chances for a lucrative contract via free agency in July. Vogl claims the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators could be interested in Stewart. Read more
As the Arizona Coyotes continue to struggle (2-6-2 in their last 10 games) amid ongoing questions over the state of their ownership, there’s growing speculation trades could be in the offing soon.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has once again popped up in the rumor mill. While Yandle has frequently appeared in trade chatter in recent years, McKenzie claims there’s a feeling among the GMs he’s spoken with that the blueliner could be dealt this season. Read more
The Ottawa Senators made headlines earlier this week by firing head coach Paul MacLean and replacing him with Dave Cameron. That might not be the only change in store for the Senators, who’ve won only three of their last 10 games entering Thursday’s tilt against the Los Angeles Kings.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports Senators GM Bryan Murray has had defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and forwards Colin Greening and Erik Condra on the trade block for some time. Murray’s also reportedly entertaining offers for center Zack Smith. Garrioch also speculates the Senators GM could draw upon his goaltending depth by peddling Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner to land an impact player. Both are under long-term contracts which could enhance their market value. Read more