Rumors, we all love to read about them. There is truly very little that is more exciting in the world of sports then speculating trades, free agent destinations, and possible coach firings. In this segment, we will look at the hottest NHL rumors made by the most reputable people in the business. This week’s rumors include names such as Brock Nelson and Erik Gudbranson.
New York Islanders Shopping Brock Nelson
For the New York Islanders, 2017-18 is a playoff or bust kind of season. Unfortunately, the Isles have won only three of their last ten games and currently sit outside of the playoff picture.
In his most recent 31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman claimed that he is starting to hear Brock Nelson’s name come up in trade discussions. Friedman went on to explain that injuries to Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan are causing New York to address their situation on the blueline. He believes that Nelson should garner plenty of interest and the Islanders wouldn’t even consider moving him if they weren’t desperate to make the playoffs.
In addition, Friedman questioned whether New York would look into acquiring goaltender Robin Lehner. It was unclear if he was insinuating that a deal for Lehner would involve Nelson.
In agreement with Friedman’s statement, Nelson is not a player the Isles would willingly deal unless that had another need to address. However, they could use an upgrade on defence and are going to need sacrifice a valuable asset to make it happen.
Nelson has played well for the Islanders since entering the NHL in 2013-14. In fact, he has scored 20-plus goals every season after his rookie year. So far this season, he has contributed nine goals and five assists through 43 games.
There will be plenty of teams looking to acquire Nelson’s services. However, the verdict is out on what kind of return the 26-year-old forward will bring. Unless the Islanders can say with some certainty that their defence will be improved through dealing Nelson, they may want to re-think doing so.
In regards to Lehner, it wouldn’t hurt the Isles to see what it would cost him. He is a restricted free agent this summer and could have more success with a skilled team in front of him.
High Asking Price for Erik Gudbranson
It is not new news that the Vancouver Canucks are looking to trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson. Many believe that the 26-year-old blueliner would be more successful on a more structured team. However, Friedman mentioned that the Canucks have a high asking price for Gudbranson and he is uncertain whether there are teams willing to bite. The specifics were not shared but Vancouver is most likely looking for a second or third round pick and possibly a prospect.
Maybe the Canucks are being a little unrealistic with what they’re hoping to get in return for Gudbranson. Looking at his numbers, it is hard to make the argument that he is worth a high draft pick or a notable prospect. However, there is still plenty of time before the trade deadline for them to realize they need to lower their expectations. It will be quite surprising if Vancouver does not trade the defenseman. The only question is when will it happen.