NHL Rumors: Flyers making cap space for a trade; Lightning eyeing a defenseman; and too many goalies available

Jan 30, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) and Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) talk against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today the Flyers placed Shayne Gostisbehere and his $4.5 million cap hit on waivers. Obviously Philadelphia is hoping someone will pick him up tomorrow and if so, it could help clear the way for a trade.

NHL Rumors: Flyers may be looking to bring in a defenseman

The Flyers have been strongly linked to the Nashville Predators for awhile now. Initially the word in the rumor mill was Mattias Ekholm. However, Elliotte Friedman believes otherwise.

Biggest question Poile must answer: Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis? Initially, the latter was off limits, but something’s made the Predators think. Both are highly regarded defenders. There are a lot of players with Ellis’s term (six years remaining at a $6.25-million AAV) who couldn’t get moved now, but I could see him being an exception.

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This one is a pretty wild one considering he was listed as an untouchable at some point this season. Whomever would be looking at Ellis is taking on a nice contract with six years on it. The team has to be viewing Ellis as a long-term solution. The 30 year-old rearguard has 9 points in 21 games this season with Friedman believing the Flyers would be the perfect fit.

If Philly wants to fix their defensive issues; Ellis paired up with Ivan Provorov would be a good start.

Lightning may be looking to add a defenseman

david savard
Mar 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (58) during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

File this under head scratcher for me. I’m no capologist but someone needs to explain to me how cap-strapped teams can even think about making a trade. Especially when every GM is monitoring you to see if Nikita Kucherov is healthy to rejoin the team in the regular season and thus lose that LTIR benefit Tampa’s enjoyed all year.

Joe Smith and Aaron Portzline of The Athletic noted this about the Lightning:

I believe Tampa Bay is in the market to bolster their blue line depth, and I would imagine watching the past two games without Erik Cernak and Ryan McDonagh has only reinforced the belief they could use some help.

The Athletic

They then further suggests Columbus’ David Savard as a target. Savard makes $4.25 million and will be a UFA at season’s end. The Lighting have no cap space. I guess the Blackhawks or Red Wings would get a call to borrow some of that space? Even at 50% not sure how that would work.

NHL Rumors: Too many goalies available

The goalie market was flooded during free agency and it appears it’s just as flooded at the NHL Trade deadline. The biggest problem; teams can sure use some goalie insurance but are reluctant to make a move for them.

According to Pierre LeBrun here’s who he thinks are available:

  • James Reimer (CAR)
  • Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR)
  • Elvis Merzlikins (CBJ)
  • Joonas Korpisalo (CBJ)
  • Darcy Kuemper (AZ)
  • Antti Raanta (AZ)
  • Jonathan Quick (LAK)
  • Chris Driedger (FLA)
  • Jonathan Bernier (DET)
  • Devyn Dubnyk (SJS)
  • David Rittich (CGY)
  • Ryan Miller (ANA)

Now here’s who I believe may actually trade for a goalie at the deadline:

  • Washington
  • Edmonton
  • Colorado

See what I’m saying.

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