NHL Rumor Roundup: Rangers targets take over the rumor mill as deadline nears

Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller (Getty Pictures)

It is NHL commerce rumor season. Every week earlier than the Feb. 26 commerce deadline, Lyle Richardson’s Rumor Roundup column serves as a one-cease information to the newest rumblings round the league. 

With the NHL’s Feb. 26 commerce deadline lower than two weeks away, the Rangers are dominating the rumor mill. The membership’s admission final week in a press release to their followers indicating modifications have been coming fueled hypothesis over their potential strikes main as much as deadline day. 

Most of the commerce chatter includes veteran ahead Rick Nash, who’s on account of turn into a free agent in July. Whereas the 33-yr-previous winger’s manufacturing has declined since his forty two-objective efficiency in 2014-15, he stays a scorching commodity in the commerce market. 

On Thursday, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Nash’s agent spoke with a minimum of eight-10 groups with various levels of curiosity in his shopper. Dreger stated the Predators and Stars might be amongst Nash’s most popular commerce locations. He additionally questioned a few attainable reunion with the Blue Jackets

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Nash’s availability might additionally have an effect on the worth of different stars in the commerce market, such as Sabres wing Evander Kane. The Sabres have set a excessive asking worth, however Dreger’s colleague Pierre LeBrun speculated no matter the Rangers get for Nash could possibly be used as a comparable by golf equipment pursuing Kane.

Different groups linked to Nash embrace the Flames, Penguins, Blues and Jets. There was some skepticism over the risk he would settle for being dealt to a Canadian membership, having beforehand rejected these golf equipment when he was being shopped by the Blue Jackets in 2012. Nevertheless, Nash advised the New York Publish’s Larry Brooks he is not ruling out Canadian contenders this time round. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reviews the Maple Leafs are believed to be on Nash’s record. 

Brooks considers Nash the most engaging “prime-six, full-recreation, secondary-scoring winger” obtainable. Quite than settle for late first-spherical picks or mid-degree prospects in return, he feels the Rangers ought to ask for NHL-prepared gamers. 

Nash is not the solely Ranger who might be on the transfer by deadline day. Brooks reported Sunday the Lightning have been “extraordinarily ” in Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. He feels the Blueshirts ought to search somebody such as blueliner Mikhail Sergachev or one in every of the Lightning’s prime-flight prospects as a part of the return. In accordance with the Tampa Bay Occasions’ Joe Smith, nevertheless, the Bolts aren’t prepared to maneuver kids such as Sergachev or middle Brayden Level. 

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, in the meantime, instructed the Bruins could possibly be a vacation spot for McDonagh. Alluding to the Bruins’ depth in younger gamers and prospects, Friedman feels McDonagh might be a very good match on the left aspect of their blueline. 

Dreger additionally famous some commerce buzz surrounding forwards J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider. With the Rangers trying to get youthful, nevertheless, they might retain the versatile 24-yr-previous Miller. Kreider, 26, is predicted to return in mid-March from surgical procedure to deal with a blood clot in his proper arm. The speedy 6-three, 224-pounder might be a gorgeous commerce choice for golf equipment that lose out in the bidding for Nash. 

Michael Grabner can also be on account of turn out to be an unrestricted free agent this summer time. Rumors hyperlink the speedy 30-yr-previous winger to the Flames and Penguins. 

Hurricanes drawing consideration in rumor mill

It has been 9 years since the Hurricanes final reached the postseason. Getting into this week, the Canes are jockeying with the the Devils, Blue Jackets and Islanders for a wild-card berth in the Japanese Convention. With the commerce deadline approaching, some pundits marvel what basic supervisor Ron Francis has in retailer for his membership.  

TSN’s Frank Seravalli raised some eyebrows final week by including ahead Jeff Skinner to his record of potential commerce bait. He stated the Hurricanes aren’t buying the 25-yr-previous left wing, however believes they might entertain gives. Citing rising friction between Skinner and coach Invoice Peters as nicely as the membership’s current change in possession, Seravalli suggests issues might come to a head by the deadline or in the offseason. 

Seravalli’s colleague Bob McKenzie is not positive the Hurricanes are sellers whereas they’re preventing for playoff rivalry. Whereas groups could possibly be calling about Skinner in hopes of shopping for low, McKenzie does not see Francis eager to half with the winger. 

The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek raised the risk of the Hurricanes shifting a defenseman for a scoring ahead. He questioned if Justin Faulk might be a match with the Edmonton Oilers, maybe for winger Jesse Puljujarvi. 

If the Hurricanes collapse and tumble down the standings main as much as the deadline, Francis might go into promote mode. However with New Jersey, Columbus and the Islanders stumbling of late, Carolina has a professional probability of securing a playoff berth. It is uncertain he’ll half with Skinner or Faulk proper now. If something, he might search reasonably priced rental depth to spice up his membership’s postseason hopes.