Trade talk is already heating up around the NHL as teams find out just what they have on the roster, and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) examines several situations where a player may be available at the 2020 trade deadline.
While Taylor Hall finds himself involved in this speculation once again, another situation LeBrun suggests is worth monitoring is Ilya Kovalchuk with the Los Angeles Kings. The veteran forward is due the rest of his signing bonus on December 15th, at which point he would be owed just the prorated $700K base salary through the end of the season. Kovalchuk does come with one more year on his deal worth $4.25MM and carries a $6.25MM cap hit, but should his early season success continue it wouldn’t be surprising to see him waive his no-trade clause to go to a contender.
- The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has issued a $4,121.86 fine to Nick Ritchie of the Anaheim Ducks for the roughing incident last night. Ritchie attacked Vladimir Sobotka after a whistle and ended up dragging him to the ground (where Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark proceeded to give Ritchie a few punches). This was the maximum allowable fine under the CBA for the incident.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that minor league forward Ryan Gropp has been suspended by the Hartford Wolf Pack for failing to report to the Maine Mariners of the ECHL. Gropp, 23, was a second round pick of the Rangers in 2015 and has spent the last two seasons in the minor leagues. He is on the final year of his entry-level contract and scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.