Rumors, we all love to read about them. There is truly very little that is more exciting in the world of sports then speculating trades, free agent destinations, and possible coach firings. In this segment, we will look at the hottest NHL rumors made by the most reputable people in the business. This week’s rumors include names such as Erik Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Ryan McDonagh.
Ottawa Senators listening to offers on Erik Karlsson
Pierre Dorion recently found himself in hot water after telling NHL.com’s Chris Stevenson that the team would listen to offers on Erik Karlsson. Dorion said “Our first priority with Erik is to sign him. He’s a special player, but Wayne Gretzky got traded, so, if a team offers you an offer you can’t turn down, you listen.”
What Pierre Dorion said has caused an outrage in Ottawa, and rightfully so. What has not been said is that Dorion’s comments are simply him doing his job; as a general manager, he should listen to offers on every player. What matters most is the proper player evaluation, and while there is a case to be made that it’s not Dorion’s strong suit, it is unfathomable to think there is a single GM in the league who doesn’t appreciate the talents of Erik Karlsson.
For that reason, and the Ottawa Senators lack of defensive depth, it seems unlikely that the Senators will actually deal Karlsson. Add to that the fact that in the defender’s first bad season (by his impossibly-high standards) the team has floundered, it should be clear that the Senators will go as far as Erik Karlsson will take them.
Max Pacioretty not a part of the Montreal Canadiens untouchables
Friday, Elliotte Friedman appeared on Sportsnet 960 in Calgary, where he discussed Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens. He noted that “he’s making calls. I think there’s a lot of action around Pacioretty. I think there’s action around Alex Galchenyuk. I think he’s willing to do a lot of things.”
The Montreal Canadiens are a team that is in desperate need of a centre. They also need scoring. And yet the two most sought-after names on the team are their most notable goal-scorer and a dynamic centre who hasn’t been given an opportunity to shine.
There’s a feeling that both of these players have run their course with the organization. With Pacioretty due for a substantial raise at the end of next season, and Galchenyuk signed through the next two seasons, both players offer affordable offence for at least a season and a half if moved at the deadline.
Marc Bergevin has had no issue dealing notable players before, but a deal involving Pacioretty seems less likely since he regained his scoring touch, and has returned himself to the good graces of La Belle Province.
New York Rangers Shopping Ryan McDonagh
More from Friedman, this from his latest 31 Thoughts article, where he took a peek at the New York Rangers. He noted that they are a team that “just don’t see it long-term,” and are looking to move some aging UFA’s but are also willing to listen to offers on some of their core. Friedman wrote “they will listen on McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello, but only if given good reason to pursue.”
The current Rangers iteration has, and always will be, the Henrik Lundqvist and co. story; but the 35-year-old netminder isn’t getting any younger. It’s no surprise Garth Snow is looking a re-tool, if not a full rebuild. They have some decent young pieces like Pavel Buchnevic, but acquiring more is always a good idea.
It’s unlikely that McDonagh moves ahead of the multiple UFA’s crowding the Rangers cap space, but should he find a new home it will have to be a worthwhile return. McDonagh has been a stabilizing force on the Rangers blueline for some time now and offers a two-way game that they won’t be able to easily replace.
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