We’re just a couple of shopping days away from Christmas, but the NHL Rumours are still going strong. Some general managers have already gotten their big-ticket present, but others might be in a gifting mood. Today’s NHL Rumours focus on the Arizona Coyotes, Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Craig Morgan of The Athletic (subscription required) said that Taylor Hall would be open to signing a long-term deal with the Coyotes. Morgan talked to Hall’s agent Darren Ferris and he stated that Hall would consider a deal to stay in the desert.
That was a rough one, @ArizonaCoyotes fans, so let's turn the page. Hit us here https://t.co/EDEevthgaT for the latest news, features and analysis, including @CraigSMorgan with Taylor Hall's agent. pic.twitter.com/BrDFMi4nuP
— The Athletic Arizona (@TheAthleticAZ) December 20, 2019
The former Hart Trophy winner came over recently in a big trade with the New Jersey Devils. Ferris said he’s willing to give the Coyotes and general manager John Chayka a chance to prove themselves. He said that a post-season run would one of the main factors on Hall wanting to stay.
Analysis: One of the driving factors in Hall getting traded was the Devils falling out of playoff contention. Arizona has the same amount of points as the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights in a tight Pacific Division.
Money is also a factor, but Hall wants to be part of a winner. He’s only been on one playoff team during his decade-long career.
Chayka was able to keep key pieces like Barrett Hayton, Victor Soderström and Jan Jenik. All of those players will be key to sustaining Arizona’s success in the Western Conference. Hall is still only 28 years old and still has plenty of good hockey left in him. The Coyotes would love be the benefactor of this.
Rumour: During Saturday night’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said that the Caps and goalie Braden Holtby won’t talk contract during the season. Holtby’s agent David Kaye said “They will wait until after the year. The focus will be on trying to win the Stanley Cup.”
"They will wait until after the year. The focus will be on trying to win the Stanley Cup."
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 22, 2019
However, Friedman went on to say that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. He stated that Washington has made a habit of signing players after the season, but before getting to the open interview period. John Carlson and T.J. Oshie were two examples that Friedman used.
The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native currently makes $6.1 million in the last year of his current deal.
Analysis: Holtby may be looking to get around the $10 million range like Sergei Bobrovsky and Carey Price. The 30-year-old is a four-time All-Star and helped the Capitals win the Stanley Cup in 2018. However, general manager Brian MacLellan has to walk a tight rope with all of the star players and Nicklas Backstrom‘s deal coming up this off-season as well as Alex Ovechkin the year after.
Another factor is the emergence of Ilya Samsonov as a capable backup and possible future starter. The Russian netminder becomes a restricted free agent at the of the 2020-21 season. Samsonov has shined and the 22-year-old may be ready to become the long-term solution in net for the Capitals.
Holtby still has some good seasons in him and will get lots of looks from other clubs, but Washington can think about the future with Samsonov playing so well.
New York Rangers
Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger said the former first-round pick Lias Andersson has formally asked for a trade. He handed in a request to general manager Jeff Gorton and is no longer with the team.
Lias Andersson has formally asked the @NYRangers for a trade. He is no longer with the club. Rangers GM, Jeff Gorton will use the Holiday Freeze to assess the market.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 21, 2019
Dreger went on to say that Gorton will use the holiday roster freeze to find possible landing spots for the young Swede. Andersson has only one assist so far this season in 17 games with the Blueshirts and has split time with AHL Hartford.
Analysis: Andersson seems to be the odd man out with the younger Rangers’ skaters. Some questioned New York reaching for the forward with the seventh overall selection of the 2017 NHL Draft.
He never really seemed to find consistent playing time or was able to earn a long-term spot in the lineup. However, all was not lost in the first round of that draft for New York. Filip Chytil seems to be developing into a fine forward for the Ranger. The young Czech has eight goals and three assists in 25 games this season.
There’s still potential with Andersson and the Rangers would do well to try and get an early-round selection for the 21-year-old. The Rangers still have one of the better prospect pools and another pick add to that.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 17: Taylor Hall #91 skates in his first game for the Arizona Coyotes against the San Jose Sharks during the third period of an NHL Hockey game at SAP Center on December 17, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)