The New York Islanders' efforts to honor defenseman Travis Hamonic's trade request continues to dominate the NHL rumor mill. There's growing consensus among the pundits that it could take time for GM Garth Snow to find a suitable deal.
While the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets are considered the likely destinations for Hamonic, finding the right return is another matter. Snow's asking price is believed to be a comparable defenseman.
The Oilers have two promising rearguards in Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, but it's unlikely they'll part with either guy. Tyler Myers, Dustin Byfuglien or Jacob Trouba are often raised as a possible return for Hamonic. Byfuglien and Trouba are due for new contracts next summer, which complicates matters. Myers was only acquired last season and the Jets could be unwilling to move him.
Michael Russo of StarTribune.com reports Hamonic has expanded his list of trade destination to include the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche. While Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has spoken with Snow, Russo claims he's yet to speak with Hamonic's agent. He suggests offering up Jonas Brodin might make the most sense.
Including other players in the deal could speed things along. The New York Post's Larry Brooks wonders if a larger deal between the Islanders and Jets is possible. He suggests a package of Hamonic and one or two of the Isles top prospects to Winnipeg for either Trouba or Myers plus Byfuglien.
Brooks observes Byfuglien, a UFA in July, probably won't re-sign with the Isles, but he could help them at least for this season. He also wonders if Isles winger Kyle Okposo (also a pending UFA) could become part of the equation.
Friedman claimed the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings contacted the Isles but were told they aren't a fit. That's because they're too far from Manitoba, where Hamonic makes his off-season home. However, if the Wings, Ducks or Kings were to get into the conversation between the Islanders and either the Oilers or Jets, a three-way swap could be possible.
It's widely assumed Snow won't rush into making a deal. Hamonic understands the situation and isn't pressuring management to move him. This could take weeks or months, possibly stretching into next summer, before the right deal is made.
CANADIENS ON THE HUNT FOR TOP-SIX WINGER
The Montreal Canadiens enter this week jockeying for first overall in the Eastern Conference. However, there's growing speculation GM Marc Bergevin is testing the trade market. Depth at right wing is an issue, especially with Brendan Gallagher sidelined indefinitely with two fractured left fingers.
Even before Gallagher's injury on Sunday, there was talk the Habs are looking for a winger. NBC Sports' Jason Brough observes right wing Alexander Semin, brought in last summer on a one-year, $1.1-million deal, is a frequent healthy scratch. Coach Michel Therrien recently employed fourth-liner Torrey Mitchell as a second-line right wing.
TSN's Bob McKenzie believes Bergevin could seek a long-term acquisition. Sportsnet's Hockey Central at Noon panel speculates defenseman Jarred Tinordi, who's been banished to the press box this season, could be a trade candidate.
It will take time for Bergevin to find that second-line right winger. While he has around $2.5 million in cap space (more if he demoted Semin to the minors or places Gallagher on long-term injured reserve), finding an affordable fit this early in the season isn't easy. Given the Habs current place in the standings. Bergevin can afford to be patient.
If pending UFAs like Arizona's Shane Doan, Calgary's Jiri Hudler, Vancouver's Radim Vrbata and the New York Islanders' Kyle Okposo haven't re-signed by the trade deadline, they could become trade targets for Bergevin. Loui Eriksson of the Boston Bruins could also be shopped at the deadline, but the Bruins won't ship him to their long-time rivals.
If Bergevin seeks a long-term pickup, Columbus' Cam Atkinson and Toronto's Joffrey Lupul have frequently surfaced in trade chatter this season. Both still have term remaining on their respective contracts.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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