The off-season continues to drag on, NHL rumours continue to swirl about. We begin looking onward to the upcoming season, whenever that may be. There are lots of moves to be made, both soon and in the future. Today we’ll look at the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the San Jose Sharks.
New York Rangers
Rumour: According to Rick Carpinello of the Athletic, the Rangers could look to move some bigger pieces at the 2020-21 deadline, such as Anthony DeAngelo or Pavel Buchnevich to address areas of immediate need.
Analysis: The New York Rangers commitment to the rebuild has shown strides, helped by getting second and first picks overall in 2019 and 2020 respectively. They could look to continue with this path for the upcoming season by selling off pieces such as DeAngelo or Buchnevich at the deadline. These two players offer a lot to a contending team from an on-ice perspective. DeAngelo has two years left on his newly signed contract and can provide value on the powerplay. Buchnevich will be a true rental for a team, as he will be an upcoming RFA.
If the Rangers do decide on trading these players, they would be looking to address immediate needs rather than acquiring futures. Carpinello suggests that the Rangers will be targeting a top-six centre and a top pairing left defenceman. The top-six centre is a major need for the Rangers, as they are severely lacking at that position. If the Rangers can make a trade for one with one of these assets involved, they should.
Rumour: According to Charlie O’Connor of the Athletic, the Flyers could be looking at acquiring a third-line centre at the deadline.
Analysis: This is a long ways off, Nolan Patrick could return and fill that role, or Morgan Frost could emerge to fill that role. For the time being though, the Flyers could look to fill that role via trade. Options will begin to emerge as the season progresses and teams emerge as sellers, but at first glance, O’Connor suggested a player like Eric Staal from Buffalo. If the Sabres don’t turn things around, this could make a lot of sense for the Flyers. But, with hockey being as random as it is, things could change and Buffalo could be buying at the deadline.
O’Connor also suggests a player like Kyle Palmieri as an option as a winger. New Jersey isn’t expected to be in the playoff hunt for the 2020-21 season, so this could make some sense. Similarly, if Bobby Ryan has a real turnaround season, the Flyers could inquire with Detroit about him. These are all names just being tossed out by O’Connor as “way too early targets”, but a lot of these make sense if Philadelphia is looking to make a run for the club.
San Jose Sharks
Rumour: Kevin Kurtz of the Athletic suggests that construction near the San Jose Sharks arena could force them out of the city.
Analysis: There are plenty of details why the Sharks would be forced out of the arena in Kurtz’s article. The fact is, the construction that will be happening around the arena could threaten the Shark’s ability to operate efficiently. It can threaten the arena’s ability to survive. The Sharks are hoping to get meetings underway to address their concerns quickly.
This could lead to an arena relocation that allows for more parking for fans and more accessible entryways. The arena lease runs until 2025, but the Sharks are hoping to have this worked out well before then. That, however, is likely a long-term project for the area. This is not feasible as a solution to the issue at hand. According to Sharks president Jonathan Betcher, via Kevin Kertz, it is foreseen this being dealt with by the end of 2021.
That concludes the NHL rumours for today!