NHL Rumors: Minnesota Wild, and the Columbus Blue Jackets
Though there was a lot of Pierre-Luc Dubois trade talk before the season started, things have quieted down a bit after the season started.
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images
Wild to name a captain, not shopping Dumba

Tom Gulitti of NHL.com: Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin said they will name a captain before the start of the season after they decided not to re-sign Mikko Koivu.

“We’ll name a new captain and we’ll move forward,” Guerin said. “Big shoes to fill, but my personal belief is it’s an important position to fill and you just don’t want to leave the team in limbo.”

Guerin said that he is not shopping defenseman Matt Dumba and that they are happy to start the season with Dumba on their blue line.

“I’m prepared to start the season with him, and we really like that,” Guerin said. “He’s a good young player. He’s got good energy. I love his competitiveness. Our defensive corps, I’ll out them up against anybody’s.”

Dumba has been in the trade rumor mill since the Wild extended defenseman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year, $42 million contract back in mid-September. The Wild have defenseman Brodin, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon locked up for the next five years and they have no-movement clauses.

Dumba does not have expansion draft protection. He has three years left on his deal at a $6 million salary cap hit.

Blue Jackets need to re-sign Dubois and could use some scoring help

Tom Gulitti of NHL.com: The Columbus Blue Jackets still need to re-sign their leading scorer and 22-year old restricted free agent center Pierre-Luc Dubois. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said last week that he is “100 percent sure” that Dubois will be signed before the start of training camp.

Last season Kekalainen re-signed then RFA defenseman Zach Werenski three days before camp.

Another question facing the Blue Jackets this offseason is if they’ll be able to add some more scoring before the start of the season.

How much cap space the Blue Jackets will have available depends on what Dubois’ cap number is going to be. They could create some space by trading some salary.

They have a top-six spot open after Gustav Nyquist had surgery earlier this month and is expected to be out for five to six months.

They could give some of their younger players an increased role, but Kekalainen added: “if the right opportunity presents itself and the situation changes within our team, and we’re in a good position with our flexibility.”

Unrestricted free agent forwards that might interest the Blue Jackets include Mike Hoffman and Mikael Granlund.