Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad has long been in trade speculation but nothing has come to fruition. Even though his name has popped up in the rumor mill once again as of late, his agent Ben Hankinson told Michael Russo of The Athletic during an interview on KFAN (audio link) that it’s unlikely that his client winds up being dealt:
“I’m pretty close with their GM, Dale Tallon, who’s a big Nick Bjugstad fan. Even the last couple of years hasn’t been, numbers-wise, as productive for him so there was a lot of talk. A couple of years ago too. And it’s the same teams: Montreal, Pittsburgh was looking, the Wild have always been in the mix. So every time I go to Dale, he says, ‘Not a chance, Hank. There’s not a chance we’re trading him. I love him.’”
The 25-year-old adapted well to being shifted to the wing with Florida and posted a career year offensively with 49 points (19-30-49) in 82 games. However, given Bjugstad’s size and ability to play down the middle, the Panthers are assuredly going to continue to field interest in him but it doesn’t appear that they’re willing to deal him just yet.
More from the Atlantic:
- Although the Red Wings were able to get a deal done fairly quickly with Andreas Athanasiou, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press believes there is still a chance the team could trade the winger. The 23-year-old has shown flashes of becoming a dominant player but at the same time, has struggled considerably with his focus in his own end which has drawn the ire of the coaching staff. At $3MM for two years, St. James suggests that teams may view his new deal as an asset which could help facilitate a move if Detroit is inclined to part ways with Athanasiou.
- With talks that discussions between the Senators and Lightning regarding defenseman Erik Karlsson have cooled off, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that Dallas has now re-emerged as the likeliest destination for the blueliner. The Stars had shown interest early on but weren’t inclined to include top prospect Miro Heiskanen in a trade which is what had seemingly put them out of the running early on.
- From the same report, Brooks adds that the Rangers still have some interest in bringing back winger Ryan Callahan if Tampa Bay decides that they still need to free up some cap space for this season and next. New York will likely be seeking some form of draft pick compensation from the Lightning to relieve them of their $5.8MM per season obligation over the next two years.