Catching up on some post-trade deadline rumors involving the Canucks, Coyotes, Blackhawks and Kings.
What next for the Canucks?
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford speculated over the futures of Canucks veterans Kevin Bieksa and Chris Higgins. He points out the club’s depth would’ve allowed management to shop a veteran or two without missing a beat. Though both have no-trade clause, Botchford notes this Canucks management has asked a player before (Jason Garrison) to waive a no-trade clause and could do so again. Canucks GM Jim Benning said he will try to replace the second-round pick he gave up to Calgary for Sven Baertschi, leading Botchford to wonder how he’ll do that.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Elliott Pap reports Benning admitted that he had trade discussions with rival GMs regarding Zack Kassian but was reluctant to move the big winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botchford also pointed out how well the Canucks have played in the past month, during which time Bieksa’s been sidelined with a hand injury. It’s possible Bieksa (who has more trade value than Higgins) could be shopped leading up to the NHL Draft weekend in June. Kassian’s improve performance of late likely played a big part in Benning’s unwillingness to give up on him.
Could Shane Doan want out of Arizona?
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough reported on a comment made by Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan to Sarah McLellan of The Arizona Republic regarding management’s recent decision to rebuild by shipping out several veterans for draft picks and prospects. “It was not my idea, not my ideal situation,” Doan told McLellan. “There’s no one that’s 38 years old that thinks it’s a good idea, ‘Let’s rebuild.” Doan also said he’s only thinking about this season and not his future, leading Brough to wonder if Doan might consider a trade in the off-season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doan has repeatedly stated his intent to remain with the Coyotes. Next season, however, is the final one on his contract. He has a full no-movement clause so he still controls the situation. Will he seek one last shot at a Stanley Cup elsewhere, or finish next season with the Coyotes and consider his options after that? Could we be seeing another summer of endless speculation over Doan’s plans? Only time will tell.
Notes on the Blackhawks and Kings.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reports Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman placed precedence upon putting together a roster which will contend for the Stanley Cup this spring over what will happen in the days leading up to this year’s NHL draft. “With the Hawks expected to be in a salary-cap crunch during the summer, players are likely to be exchanged for picks when the draft rolls around June 26-27 in Sunrise, Fla,” writes Kuc.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The guessing game will begin in earnest soon after the Blackhawks have completed the playoffs.
LAINSIDER.COM: Jon Rosen reports there was no trade deadline chatter involving Mike Richards “that differentiated from the types of conversations that the team had prior to his assignment to Manchester.” Tough decisions still lie ahead regarding their free agents, notably Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, Jarret Stoll, Andrej Sekera and Martin Jones. Rosen cites the club’s hockey operations saying Pearson and Jones “are likely to be the next two to fall, and that Toffoli’s next contract is expected to take a bit longer to be finalized.”.