Can’t get enough NHL rumors? Lyle Richardson’s Rumor Roundup column serves as a one-stop guide to the latest rumblings around the league.
Could the Kings shop Quick and Martinez this summer?
The Los Angeles Kings were among the most active clubs in this season’s trade market and with management in the midst of a roster rebuild, they could continue wheeling and dealing in the off-season.
While the Kings don’t have many available trade chips on their roster, The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman has goaltender Jonathan Quick and defenseman Alec Martinez atop her list of potential candidates. She feels the Florida Panthers could come calling about Quick if they fail to land Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky via free agency.
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Quick is signed through 2022-23 and lacks no-trade protection; however, he’s also 33, has a history of lower-body injuries and carries an annual average value of $5.8 million. His stats for this season — 3.28 goals-against average and .891 save percentage — are not very good, but when healthy he’s among the league’s elite netminders. Playing with a better roster could also boost his performance.
The Kings aren’t likely to move Quick unless they believe in Jack Campbell and Cal Petersen as their goalie tandem. Both have better stats than Quick this season but the Connecticut native’s cap hit could make him difficult to move unless LA is willing to pick up a portion of it.
Martinez could attract more interest in the trade market. The 31-year-old is an experienced two-way blueliner with a right-handed shot carrying an affordable $4-million annual cap hit through 2020-21.
Moving Martinez, however, would further weaken the Kings defense corps, leaving Drew Doughty to shoulder the bulk of the workload. Rather than move him this summer, they could wait to see how things play out over the course of next season.
Flyers to pursue Panarin?
It’s no secret Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin will test this summer’s free-agent market and given his offensive skills, the 27-year-old will be the most talented forward available. The Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and the three California-based franchises are rumored to be among his list of possible destinations.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Boruk thinks the Philadelphia Flyers should also be among Panarin’s suitors. He pointed out that Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said he’ll have plenty of salary cap space this summer after re-signing the team’s key free agents. The Cherry Hill Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac also believes Fletcher should get into the bidding for Panarin.
Congrats to Artemi Panarin 🍞 on his 100th career goal! #CBJ pic.twitter.com/XPO2K1VmzL
Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $46.8 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20. Notable free agents include Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim and goaltenders Brian Elliott and Cam Talbot, although only one of those goalies is expected to be re-signed.
With the front office willing to spend toward next season’s projected $83-million cap, they’ll have plenty of room to pursue a big-ticket free agent like Panarin. If they can’t land the talented Russian winger, other options could include the Buffalo Sabres’ Jeff Skinner, New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee, or Carolina Hurricanes’ power forward Micheal Ferland.
Barrie on the block?
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie was a frequent fixture in the NHL rumor mill prior to last season. That chatter died down when the Avs reached the 2018 playoffs but with the club struggling to remain in this season’s postseason race, the 27-year-old blueliner is resurfacing as a possible trade candidate.
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The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers suggested promising prospects Cale Makar and Conor Timmins could make Barrie expendable before his contract expires next summer. Both are skilled mobile rearguards whose combined annual cap hits would be more affordable than Barrie’s $5.5 million hit.
Chambers acknowledged the Avs won’t move Barrie this summer simply for the sake of doing so. A better reason could be that Makar and Timmins have no NHL experience, with the latter sidelined most of this season by a concussion.
Whether the Avs reach the playoffs this season or not, it’s unlikely Colorado will move its best puck-moving defenseman in favor of two promising, but inexperienced, youngsters. While Barrie is slated to become a UFA next July, he could still have a long-term future in Colorado as a mentor to those young blueliners.
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