Updates on Ryan O’Reilly, Patrick Sharp, Vincent Lecavalier, Vladimir Sobotka and the Ducks goaltenders.
Latest on O’Reilly and Sharp.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported the Colorado Avalanche will do all they can to re-sign Ryan O’Reilly, who becomes eligible for UFA status in July 2016. If they’re unable to re-sign O’Reilly they could try to trade him, though his UFA status in 2016 could make it difficult to move him.
Bob McKenzie believes the Chicago Blackhawks will trade winger Patrick Sharp “for sure” this summer. McKenzie feels the ‘Hawks will keep Marian Hossa, but he also thinks Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg will be gone.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Avalanche are willing to pay close to $7 million annually to keep O’Reilly or he’s willing to accept less than that on a long-term deal, then he won’t be dealt. Otherwise, the Avs will either trade him this summer or face losing him for nothing next summer to free agency. Sharp, Bickell and Versteeg could be shopped in cost-cutting trades this summer.
Could the Oilers pursue Sobotka or a Ducks goaltender?
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka (currently playing in the KHL) could be a perfect fit with the Edmonton Oilers if they’re able to sign him. It will depend upon what the Blues want to do as Friedman claims there’s “been a lot of bad blood there.”
Friedman also claims the Oilers could be among several teams (like the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs) who could have interest in Anaheim Ducks goalies Frederik Andersen or John Gibson. If the Ducks have a terrible playoffs, Friedman speculates Andersen or Gibson could be dealt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Sobotka returns there will be considerable interest in him because of the limited depth of talent in this summer’s free-agent market. As for the Ducks goaltending, we’ll have to wait and see how the playoffs shake out before determining if Andersen or Gibson could be available.
Latest on Lecavalier.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports the future is uncertain for unhappy Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier. He ” still has 3 years left on his $22.5 million deal, at a $4.5 million salary-cap hit.” Seravalli claims the Flyers’ first preference is to trade Lecavalier, preferably to a small market team seeking value as $12 million of his salary has already been paid out. Another would be a buyout, though that would leave the Flyers with $1.75 million in dead cap space for the next six years. He could also retire, though that would prevent Lecavalier from finishing his career on his terms.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lecavalier’s agent recently hinted his client might be willing to retire a year or two before the end of his current contract if he were dealt to another club. That, plus perhaps the Flyers willingness to pick up a portion of his remaining contract, could improve his trade value this summer.