NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Matt Dumba Trade, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and More

Jake RillSenior Writer IOctober 21, 2020

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba passes the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

It's possible that the Minnesota Wild could trade defenseman Matt Dumba at some point. It just may not happen in the immediate future.

As trade rumors have swirled in the offseason, Dumba's name has been frequently featured in reports. However, according to The Athletic's Michael Russo, "now isn't the most opportune time" for the Wild to deal the 26-year-old. And part of that appears to be because of their potential trade partners. Russo elaborated:

"Vancouver never seemed really interested. I don't get the sense the Wild have interest in Calgary's Sean Monahan. I don't see a trade to be made with Winnipeg because the Jets don't have the centers. Ottawa wasn't interested despite the ability to add Dumba for a bunch of futures. Toronto moved on when it knew it wasn't getting Alex Pietrangelo. Vegas got Pietrangelo. St. Louis signed Torey Krug when Pietrangelo priced himself out of there."

Among teams that could have had interest in Dumba, that only leaves the Florida Panthers, per Russo, who noted that Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported that Minnesota wanted an extra 2020 first-round pick in the earlier negotiations with the Panthers, who didn't agree because they wanted to be able to draft forward Anton Lundell.

So for now, that leaves Dumba with the Wild, who selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL draft. Over his first seven seasons in the league, Dumba has 62 goals and 112 assists in 411 games. This past season, he had six goals and 18 assists in 69 games while posting a career-worst plus/minus of minus-seven.

It's still not clear when the 2020-21 NHL season will begin, but regardless, there's still plenty of the offseason left. Perhaps there will be more rumors pertaining to a Dumba trade down the line if more suitors arise or if the Wild seek out potential deals.

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Latest on Nugent-Hopkins' Future in Edmonton

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

With only one season remaining on his contract, Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has a bit of an uncertain future. However, that may not be the case for much longer.

According to Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, there are "lots of indications that the Oilers are actively pursuing an extension" with Nugent-Hopkins. The nine-year veteran has played for Edmonton his entire professional career, with the team selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft.

And even though the NHL salary cap may not be going up anytime soon, Leavins still sees a way for the Oilers to get this new deal done.

"There's room to do it properly," Leavins wrote. "Even if the cap doesn't go up next year (and I doubt it will) $23 million could come off Edmonton's books after 2021-22. Now, $6 million of that is Nuge. But..."

Nugent-Hopkins has been a solid player throughout his career, but he's taken his game to another level recently. In 2018-19, he played in all 82 games and tallied a career-high 69 points (28 goals and 41 assists). This past season, he had 61 points (22 goals and 39 assists) in 65 games.

Edmonton is a better team when Nugent-Hopkins is on the ice, so it makes sense that it wants to get him a new deal before he hits free agency following the 2020-21 season.


Veterans Sticking Around for Blackhawks' Rebuild?

Paul Beaty/Associated Press

Although some of their recent moves pretty much made it clear, the Chicago Blackhawks issued a statement Tuesday to formally let their fans know they are "committed to developing young players and rebuilding" their roster. So while that may not lead to success in the short term, it could end up benefiting the organization in the long term.

However, the Blackhawks may not be getting rid of all their veterans and fan favorites to make this happen. According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic, Chicago wants several of its longtime players, such as forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, to be a part of the process.

NHL.com's Tim Campbell had a similar report Tuesday regarding Chicago's veteran core, writing:

"Those four met with management this week and discussed the path forward, which was an important step. Could those veterans be moved? I think everything is on the table now for Blackhawks management, but at last check, those veterans each has a version of a no-move or no-trade clause in his contract, so going elsewhere will be up to him."

Perhaps one or several of these players will end up wanting to be traded to a win-now team with whom they could contend for a Stanley Cup during the latter stages of their careers. But for now, it appears they are staying with the Blackhawks.