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 Los Angeles Kings recent re-signing of defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year, $24-million contract extension leaves them with over $60 million invested in 14 players for 2015-16. There’s growing speculation over what GM Dean Lombardi will do to address this situation.
If the salary cap stagnates for next season they won’t have much room to re-sign such notables as Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Jarret Stoll. Looming on the horizon is a new contract for top center Anze Kopitar. He’s signed through 2015-16 and become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2016. Read more
After finishing October with a 5-2-2 record, the Ottawa Senators find themselves struggling to remain in playoff contention. They enter their Dec. 4 matchup against the New York Islanders with only five wins in their last 15 games. The Senators are among the NHL’s worst defensive teams and among the bottom third in scoring. However, of the Senators losses since Nov. 1, all but one was by one or two goals. They can thank their goalie tandem of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner for giving them a chance to win in those games. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs have improved since suffering lopsided back-to-back losses against Buffalo and Nashville, finishing November by winning three of four games. While that’s silenced most of their critics, it hasn’t keep them out of the rumor mill.
On Monday, Darren Dreger told TSN 1050 he will be surprised if center Nazem Kadri is still with the Leafs by the trade deadline. Dreger feels Kadri hasn’t reached the level of consistency GM Dave Nonis expects of him.
The young center is slated to become a restricted free agent in July. His previous contract talks dragged on into training camp before a deal was reached. Read more
Last week there was speculation the Edmonton Oilers were close to shipping winger David Perron to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reported Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was talking with other GMs but wasn’t close to making a trade, while Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman followed up claiming Jackets management weren’t keen on parting with Anisimov.
With Anisimov now sidelined two-three months with a torn triceps muscle, the Oilers must look elsewhere for a center. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was spotted chatting with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong during Friday’s Oilers-Blues game. Read more
Entering December trade rumors continue to dog the struggling Edmonton Oilers, who finished November winless in nine games. Various reports claim Oilers GM Craig MacTavish continues to seek help for his floundering team.
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports Oilers winger David Perron was rumored being shopped to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov, but the Jackets seem reluctant to part with Anisimov. Matheson also cites sources claiming right wing Nail Yakupov was offered to an Eastern Conference club, but given Yakupov’s current performance (only seven points in 24 games) his trade value is low right now. Read more
While anticipation over possible moves by the floundering Edmonton Oilers dominates the NHL rumor mill, others clubs could become active in the trade market between now and the NHL Christmas trade freeze, which commences at midnight on December 19.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would like to add “heaviness” to his roster to bolster his club’s size and strength on the puck. In a recent response to reader e-mail regarding possible trade targets, Haggerty lists Winnipeg’s Evander Kane and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle as options, though the asking price could be more than the Bruins are willing to pay. Read more
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently listed his top-20 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2015. What’s notable about Custance’s list, apart from the lack of genuine superstar talent in next summer’s UFA market, is that it’s dominated by defensemen.
The notables include Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, Boston’s Adam McQuaid, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Pittsburgh’s Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin, Toronto’s Cody Franson,Washington’s Mike Green, the Rangers’ Marc Staal and the Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk. Read more
NHL teams shopping around for veteran depth should get in touch with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. According Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov, a team source claims the Panthers want to ship out some “unnamed veterans” to make room for youngsters Vincent Trocheck, Rocco Grimaldi and Quinton Howden.
Fialkov believes forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim are the likely trade candidates. The trio were part of Tallon’s mass acquisition of veteran talent during the summer of 2011. They become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Fleischmann could interest clubs seeking a skilled scorer while Kopecky and Bergenheim could prove worthwhile additions for those seeking checking-line help. Read more