A handful of teams are already feeling the heat of rough starts, which could spark some early-season NHL trade action.
Elliotte Friedman had a Friday morning appearance on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and mentioned what he’s hearing so far on that particular front.
“I did have a couple of guys tell me yesterday that they say there’s probably more trade talks than normal for the beginning of this year,” noted Friedman. “It takes two to tango obviously, but it sounds like there is the possibility at least of that.
“The Rangers, I think people are going to look at them. Namestnikov the center, he’s out there. And apparently the Rangers, as long as you’re not asking about their young core players, they’re a team that’s willing to listen.
“Columbus, they got a big win last night and they needed it. I still think Columbus is a good team, but they’re in a little bit of turmoil. Panarin had three assists. Even though he’s a UFA, I don’t think they’re too worried about him. But they’ve got a weird story here with Bobrovsky.
“I do think there’s a lot more chatter than normal for this kind of year, but I don’t know if that means anyone is going to pull the trigger.”
Vladislav Namestnikov signed a two-year, $8 million contract in July, and will be an unrestricted free agent upon its conclusion.
Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky can become UFAs this summer, and the gist of the “weird story here with Bobrovsky” to which Friedman alluded involves the Blue Jackets apparently considering the possibility that they need to move the reportedly unhappy goaltender “for the sake of the room.”
Contract-related info via CapFriendly