There's plenty of news in the NHL this week, particularly in St. Louis where the Blues might trade some of the core roster stars to turn things around.
Will the LA Kings actually ship out names like Jonathan Quick and/or Jake Muzzin? Will the Wild move a player like Charlie Coyle? What's really going on when it comes to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phil Kessel? They wouldn't trade one of their best offensive weapons, would they?
Here are the biggest rumors in the NHL this week, December 15, 2018.
Making Sense of the Blues Rumor
Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 and tried to piece together the story that leaked that the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in Alex Pietrangelo from the St. Louis Blues. What he uncovered was that there were some early conversations when the Leafs weren't sure about the future of William Nylander but since they chose to re-sign Nylander, Pietrangelo is less likely. That said, it hasn't slowed the interest in other teams trying to acquire Nylander. As many as 15 teams have already called the Maple Leafs.
Said: “A COUPLE of general managers around the league have said that they’re HEARING the big names are on the block, everything is open, even Vladimir Tarasenko. A GM said, ‘I HEARD Vladi is available.’”— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) December 12, 2018
Not said: “The Blues have informed teams that all players are available.”
There is word that the Blues have spoken with many general managers and almost everyone from the team is available in trade if the package is right. Dreger wonders if maybe Colton Parakyo is an option the Leafs might look at. Parayko has three years left on his deal at $5.5 million and is a younger piece the Leafs could use moving forward.
Plenty of Talk Surrounding LA Kings
Dennis Bernstein tweeted after the Kings loss on Monday, that Jonathan Quick and Jake Muzzin are names people should watch for out of LA. First, he said, “When you hear whispers about dealing Jonathan Quick, tonight’s performance by Cal Petersen is Exhibit A.” Then he added, “For those who think Jake Muzzin isn’t worth a significant return from a contending team, tonight’s performance is Exhibit B.”
Quick did not get the start for the Kings versus the Sabres on Tuesday and Muzzin scored and played over 30 minutes in the absence of Drew Doughty. John Hoven tweeted in response to Bernstein’s tweet, “Exhibit A nets a 1st, a 2nd, + pick/prospect in return.” That was in regard to Quick. He added, “Exhibit B nets a 1st + another asset (preferably 2nd or prospect).” in respect to Muzzin.
Clarification on Kessel and the Penguins
Whether or not Phil Kessel is actually available out of Pittsburgh is up for debate. There were rumors Kessel was available, then speculation he wasn’t. General manager Jim Rutherford wants to make trades, but he's not ready to part with one of the team's top offensive weapons.
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested the Penguins might trade a defenseman when Justin Schultz returns from injury since they'll have more than they need. Olli Maatta might be available for the right package.
Bob McKenzie said that main reason Kessel's name got out there was because the Penguins were struggling and had told other managers only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were untouchable.
Minnesota Wild Shopping Charlie Coyle
According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Minnesota Wild are shopping forward Charlie Coyle. Russo notes that three Atlantic Division teams are believed to have shown some level of interest in Boston, Montreal, and Ottawa.
Coyle is downplaying the rumors noting he's been the talk of trades for five years but there are certainly some teams interested because he keeps himself in great shape, can play multiple roles up and down a lineup and could be had for not a hefty price.
Torey Krug for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
There were reports the Bruins were scouting the Oilers vs. Flames game on Sunday and Matt Porter of the Boston Globe wonders if a potential trade that includes defenseman Torey Krug for center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is possible. In Edmonton, the rumors were fairly quickly shot down because Nugent-Hopkins is having a tremendous season.