Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours from the crew at Last Word on Hockey. We’re now a week into the regular season and teams are starting to settle in as they continue their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Even though the season is underway, rumours are still flying around the NHL as teams are continuously trying to improve. Today, we look at rumours involving the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers and the latest from the Pierre-Luc Dubois saga.
All NHL rumours come from their original source and are subject to change.
Analysis: Roslovic is currently sitting out this season as he does not have a contract with the Winnipeg Jets. Roslovic has expressed his interest to be traded as he searches for a larger role and a fresh start. The Penguins could certainly be a team that could benefit from adding a player of Roslovic’s stature.
Roslovic is a former first-round pick who possesses the outstanding offensive ability and adds some versatility to his repertoire as he can play all three forward positions. While his numbers don’t jump off the page, he has managed to put up 26 goals and 67 points in 180 games while playing mostly bottom-six minutes. In the right situation, Roslovic could certainly flourish. The Penguins could certainly use an upgrade to their top-six as they currently have Evan Rodrigues slotting in next to Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzle. Adding Roslovic to Crosby’s wing would be a huge boost to the Penguins offence and to Roslovic’s career as well.
Analysis: This honestly should not come as much of a surprise. The Panthers have been a bit of a disappointment in recent years, specifically last season when they looked like they were going to be one of the top teams in the then Atlantic Division. After signing Sergei Bobrovsky to a lucrative seven-year $70 million contract, the Panthers found themselves missing the playoffs once again. However, this is of no fault of Barkov’s. Barkov has been arguably the Panthers best player since joining the team in the 2013-14 season. He is currently tied with Jonathan Huberdeau for the team lead in points since entering the league with 410. However, Barkov has played nine fewer games. The Panthers captain has established himself as one of the premier centres in the game. At just 25 years old, the best is yet to come from Barkov.
For the Panthers to be competitive, they need to build around Barkov, Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad. They have two young goalie prospects in the pipeline in Spencer Knight and Devon Levi as well as promising young players in Grigori Denisenko, Serron Noel, Owen Tippett and recent first-round pick Anton Lundell. The Panthers are on the right track. Keeping Barkov in the fold will certainly help them reach their goal of returning back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs sooner rather than later.
Latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman mentions in his latest 31 Thoughts that there are some very good teams in the weeds on Pierre-Luc Dubois and wonders if the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning are sniffing around Dubois as well.
Analysis: As if Colorado or Tampa Bay need any more help. Adding a player of Dubois’ stature just sets them over the top. Tampa Bay would have a hard time making the cap work. However, Colorado is a very interesting scenario. They certainly have the pieces to make a deal work as they have a ton of high-quality prospects to entice the Blue Jackets to make a deal.
Avalanche GM Joe Sakic significantly upgraded his team this offseason grabbing Devon Toews and Brandon Saad. They are already viewed as a Stanley Cup favourite as it is. Adding Dubois would solidify them as the favourite. While it would cost a pretty penny, it’s a move Sakic shouldn’t be afraid to make. Having a centre group featuring MacKinnon, Dubois and Nazem Kadri would be an absolute nightmare for the opposition. Dubois is off to a slow start with the Blue Jackets this season and a lot of it could have to do with the fact he’s awaiting an inevitable trade. Whatever way this turns out, there is no doubt Dubois will be traded. The rest of the league just better hope it isn’t to Colorado.