NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jake Allen, Damon Severson, More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 28, 2019

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 12: Jake Allen #34 of the St. Louis Blues holds the Stanley Cup following the Blues victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on June 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

NHL free agency begins Monday, and rumors are flying around big names like the Columbus Blue Jackets trio of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, center Matt Duchene and forward Artemi Panarin.

However, the trade rumor mill is active as well. Here are recent ones from around the league with the free-agency period arriving shortly.


G Jake Allen Staying in St. Louis?

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington was the hero of the team's surprising Stanley Cup run from worst to first thanks to his excellent second-half and postseason performances.

Binnington took over for Jake Allen, the team's primary starter for four seasons. He finished with 24-5-1 record, a 1.89 goals-against average and a 92.7 save percentage.

However, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported Wednesday that the Blues have no issue keeping Binnington and Allen in net next season.

"The Blues intend to keep Allen," LeBrun wrote. "They like their one-two duo with playoff hero Jordan Binnington. Sure they'll pay more in goal next season, [and] Binnington is looking at a healthy raise, but I think they figure they're fine at $9-$10 million in goal. The 1/1a system worked well last season—why change it?"

Allen has regressed since the beginning of his Blues career, as his 2.83 GAA and 90.5 save percentage from 2018-19 were both career lows.

Still, he showed solid form earlier in his St. Louis tenure, and if that flashes again, then the Binnington-Allen combo should be a fruitful one if the former continues his excellent performances.

Most importantly, though, Allen gets A-plus marks for being a great teammate, per remarks from Josh Hyman of Respect the Note:

Josh Hyman 🏆 @joshhymanNHL

Jake Allen absolutely earned his ring this year - Would study opposing goalies and play like them in practice to prepare the team - Stayed after practice to work with Binnington on things like puck handling - Took his demotion to backup goalie in stride with no complaints

The 28-year-old has two years and $9.2 million remaining on his deal.


Pittsburgh Penguins Making Moves?

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the 2018-19 season with high expectations coming off their third straight 100-point campaign and 13th consecutive playoff appearance, but the Pens finished the postseason without a win because the New York Islanders swept them in the first round.

Now Pittsburgh appears intent on making significant moves, as Josh Hoye of The Athletic explained Thursday:

"Numerous sources within the Penguins organization confirmed Thursday that trade talks are 'heating up' involving Jim Rutherford and other general managers. Rutherford is anxious to make multiple changes to the Penguins...

"Rutherford's desires are many: He wants to 'change the culture' of the Penguins, free some salary space so they can make a dent on the free agent market, and acquire a fresh face or two who can immediately impact his team...

"He has steadily been working the phones during the past 24 hours to make something happen...

"Rutherford is also particularly interested in making the Penguins younger and faster, if possible."

Five of the Penguins' top six scorers last year are 31 or older, and the five leading defenseman in average ice time per game are all 27 or older.

Granted, players can and have found success on the ice well into their 30s, but Rutherford likely sees the writing on the wall for his team's future.

The Pens are tied for ninth on the Stanley Cup odds ledger at 20-1, per VegasInsider.com, so it's not as if the team is expected to drop off a cliff following a disappointing playoff performance. Still, there's room for improvement, and Pittsburgh could be making changes shortly.


New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils finished with the third-worst record in the league last season, but fortunes are rapidly changing with the arrival of six-time All-Star P.K. Subban via trade and the addition of superstar prospect Jack Hughes with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

The question is how the rest of the roster will look heading into next season, and one question is reportedly answered as defenseman Damon Severson should be staying put.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported the following Wednesday: "Last summer, Damon Severson was everywhere in trade rumours. Not anymore. When Subban was dealt there, a couple clubs wondered if another righty made Severson expendable. With four more years at a cost-effective $4.2 million, that's a no."

Severson, who turns 25 in August, posted career highs in goals (11) and assists (28) last year. He led all Devils skaters in average ice time and helps form a solid right side of the defense with Subban and Sami Vatanen, as Chris Ryan of NJ Advance Media tweeted:

Chris Ryan @ChrisRyan_NJ

The right side of the Devils's defense now features P.K. Subban, Sami Vatanen and Damon Severson. That's not too shabby.

As far as forwards go, the Devils could be interested in Calgary Flames right wing Michael Frolik, who notched 16 goals and 18 assists last year.

"Calgary was looking at options for Michael Frolik," Friedman said. "That could happen before July 1. New Jersey is a possibility."

Frolik has one year and $3 million left on his deal, so the Devils wouldn't be absorbing a massive cap hit. Plus, he can help boost an offense that finished 26th in scoring last year. If the parameters are right, the Devils should try to get this done.