Penguins roster could change after this season, the Oilers goalie hunt and an update on Jeff Skinner in your NHL Rumor Mill.
Penguins could face changes this summer.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Josh Yohe reports this year’s playoffs could be the final go-around for the current Pittsburgh Penguins roster. The organization said Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t going anywhere and Yohe doubts Fleury will be moved. He believes they’ll likely remain in Pittsburgh unless they ask to be moved. Kris Letang’s concussion history and Pascal Dupuis’s battle with blood clots in his lungs leave questions about their ability to continue their playing careers. Given the steep decline this season in the respective performances of winger Chris Kunitz and defenseman Rob Scuderi, Yohe speculates management could try to ship out their contracts. Pending UFA Craig Adams isn’t expected to be re-signed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby and Malkin have full no-movement clauses. Unless they request a trade I don’t see either guy getting dealt. Fleury has a limited no-trade clause, but he’s bounced back very well over the past couple of years and I doubt the Penguins will move him. Age and an iron deficiency is catching up with Kunitz, which could also hamper his trade value. There probably isn’t much of a market for Scuderi now. Another early playoff exit means the Penguins could shake things up, but it probably won’t involve their top stars.
Latest on the Oilers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently reported it’s possible Oilers GM Craig MacTavish could trade the first-round pick (17th overall) he received from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the David Perron trade to acquire a goaltender. It’s also possible he’ll attempt to sign one via free agency. Matheson notes the LA Kings lack a first-round pick in 2016, while the NY Rangers dealt away their first-rounder for 2015. He claims the Oilers like Kings backup Martin Jones and Rangers backup Cam Talbot.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis believes Vancouver Canucks pending UFA forward Shawn Matthias could be a tempting target for the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacTavish’s moves could depend upon where he’s sitting with the Oilers first-round pick. If the Oilers win the draft lottery, he could package the Penguins first along with his second for a goaltender. Perhaps he considers shopping top prospect Leon Draisaitl if he ends up drafting Connor McDavid?
Skinner facing uncertain offseason.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner is facing an uncertain offseason. The Hurricanes are in need of a rebuild and Skinner acknowledges anything’s possible, including a trade. He suffered his third concussion earlier this season, which hampered his production, dropping from 33 goals last season to 18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be tempting to put the 22-year-old Skinner on the trade block and see if he’ll fetch a good return. His concussion history and $5.25 million annual cap hit through 2018-19 could hurt his trade value. Still, he lacks a no-trade clause for next season so this could be a good time to test his trade value. I suspect, however, GM Ron Francis will retain Skinner in hopes he’ll rebound next season.