Would someone make the first move? The recent Toronto Maple Leafs acquisition of fourth-line forward Kyle Clifford and backup goalie Jack Campbell from the LA Kings aside, the NHL trade market is…inching…inching…forward. Not even notorious early buyer, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been able to crack the sludge of the NHL trade rumors. Toronto may use a CBA loophole to add more, Henrik Lundqvist may be out in New York, and the Boston Bruins are back to their pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk.
First, some inside info on the Penguins goalie situation. A source let us know some decisions on the “rotation” have been made (PHN+)
It’s not groundbreaking news, but interesting how coaches must have the conversations, and players must accept the proclamations, even as they may disagree.
Speaking of goalies, The King may not be long for New York. Larry Brooks of the NY Post says this is likely it for Henrik Lundqvist (NY Post)
More NHL trade rumors: The Boston Bruins are again in pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk (Sportsnet)
Could someone explain why a team would be permitted to have a $90 million payroll in the playoffs? The answer is the salary cap restrictions end in the regular season. But why?
The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be poised to stash Morgan Reilly on the LTIR until the playoffs so they can add $9 million in payroll, then activate Reilly for Game 1 of any playoff series (TSN)
Could you imagine an NFL team doing the same? Frank Seravalli also laid out available third-line centers in the TSN story.
Converting NHL trade rumors to proposed trades: ESPN has NHL Insiders?! The ESPN hockey crew took a swing a six NHL trades to occur at the trade deadline. Among them, the Penguins and Minnesota (ESPN)
I think ESPN is in the right church but the wrong pew with their Penguins offering. No one who watched training camp closely would make that trade. I do think Jason Zucker is “the guy,” but it will take more than a second-rounder for a 20-goal scorer who can skate like the wind and use the body.
Lastly, there is something special brewing in Columbus. From nothing has come something. Perhaps the only other team who can truly feel the Penguins injury woes, Columbus, is rallying around a rookie goalie and winning games.
“The King of Columbus” Elvis Merzlikins (Jackets Cannon)