NHL Rumours: Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes

NHL Rumours

Welcome back to the Last Word on Hockey daily NHL Rumours series. Each one of our rumours posts is dedicated toward bringing you the latest and greatest from around the NHL. As the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline is only days away, our posts ramp up to give you the most comprehensive coverage. Today, that coverage includes the Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, and Arizona Coyotes.

NHL Rumours

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: The Athletic’s Thomas Drance mentions in a breakdown of the Canucks trade deadline strategy that Troy Stecher becomes expendable if the Canucks become sellers.

Analysis: The Canucks have a surplus of strong defensive prospects, making Stecher an interesting name to watch. While the Vancouver-area native isn’t putting up his best offensive numbers (only 10 points in 57 games), he’s a solid two-way force that could help out a lot of playoff teams. His cap hit is par-for-the-course for defencemen of his calibre; $2.325 million sounds about right.

The trade would be a tough departure for Stecher, however. While going undrafted, the mobile d-man had 24 points in his impressive rookie season. While the Canucks are still one of the top teams in the Pacific Division, they’ve hit a bit of a rough patch as of late. Excluding last night’s game, they’d gone 1-3-1 in their past five outings. If Vancouver continues to slide, they may fall down to the status of ‘seller’ in the very close Pacific Division.

Ottawa Senators

Rumour: In Elliotte Friedman’s latest edition of the famed 31 Thoughts podcast, he mentions that the Senators are making talented prospect Max Veronneau available for trade.

Analysis: So far in his short career, Veronneau’s NHL opportunities have been extremely limited. The Ottawa-born forward signed with the Senators after completing his tour of duty with Princeton playing college hockey. In only 16 games, however, he only has four points at the NHL level.

However, Veronneau carries significant potential. In his final year playing for Princeton, Veronneau netted 55 points in only 36 games, stellar numbers for college-level play. While he does carry a significant upside, Ottawa’s farm system contains other prospects such as Josh NorrisLogan BrownJonathan GrudenJonathan Davidsson, and Alex Formenton, to name a few. However, Veronneau’s future with Ottawa is limited, and trade to most other teams in the league will offer him much more opportunity in terms of playing time and development.

Arizona Coyotes

Rumour: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, on their Insider Trading segment, reports that the Coyotes have no interest in moving on from Taylor Hall, despite their poor record since his acquisition.

Analysis: The Coyotes, truly, have every reason to trade Hall. He’s an elite player who would cost a rental only $3 million due to his retained salary, and that pushes up his asking price considerably. He hasn’t been a good fit since the team has fallen out of a playoff spot since his acquisition at points.

However, Arizona is keeping its options open. It’s common for a player to need an adjustment period to a new team, and Hall may be able to kick it back into MVP gear in time enough to push the Coyotes to the first round of the playoffs and beyond. It’s a sticky situation to be in for general manager John Chayka, but he believes that Hall is an integral piece to this Coyotes squad. You can’t blame him for wanting to hang on to a recent Hart Trophy winner.

Despite all of this, Arizona needs to turn things around quickly to make things look good. A recent rash of injuries, most namely Darcy Kuemper, hasn’t done them any favours. A long winning streak would soon start to make Chayka seem like a true genius for holding on to Hall.

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