Latest on the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers.
Will Chiarelli Trade Oilers’ Young Guns?
SPORTNET.CA: Mark Spector reports new Edmonton Oilers GM and president of hockey operations Peter Chiarelli has put Oilers young guns Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov on notice with his comment that he’s traded young players in the past. During his tenure as Bruins GM, Chiarelli traded away Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin. Spector also notes the Oilers have an extra first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft (received from Pittsburgh in the David Perron trade) plus two second-round picks and possibly two third-rounders. They also have promising Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl in their system, which gives Chiarelli plenty of assets to draw upon to address their goaltending and blueline needs via trade.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson also notes the Oilers’ young guns have been put on notice. While Chiarelli’s predecessor Craig MacTavish told Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle they won’t be dealt, that might not be the case now. Hall tells Matheson he doesn’t want to be traded. David Staples, meanwhile, dismisses speculation out of Boston suggesting the Bruins offer up Milan Lucic for Hall or Eberle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, Chiarelli has dealt young players in the past, but only if they didn’t appear to be a good fit within the coach’s system. That’s why Kessel and Seguin were traded. Chiarelli didn’t move them just for the sake of doing so. Yes, he could trade one of the Oilers young forwards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will. He could opt to see how they perform this season under a new head coach before deciding if one or more should be moved. If Chiarelli does move one of them, it will be for a significant offer to address one or both of the Oilers biggest needs, which is a proven starting goalie and a top-two defenseman.
No, Chiarelli won’t trade Hall or Eberle for Lucic as that move won’t address the Oilers’ biggest needs. And no, he won’t trade the first-overall pick, as that will be used to select Connor McDavid. Chiarelli has plenty of other options to draw upon. I expect he’ll shop the Penguins’ first-rounder and one of his second-rounders. I wouldn’t be surprised if Draisaitl or Yakupov are shopped.
Could the Bruins move Chara or Seidenberg?
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports age and injuries are taking a toll on Boston Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. He speculates the Bruins could explore trading one of them. Both have no-movement clauses, but Haggerty wonders if Chara might waive his now that Peter Chiarelli, who helped bring him to Boston, is no longer the Bruins general manager. Haggerty also speculates Chiarelli, now the Oilers GM, could pitch an offer sheet to Bruins RFA blueliner Dougie Hamilton, but he expects the Bruins will match any offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will match any offer for Hamilton, but they’re also squeezed for cap space this summer and could attempt to shed some salary. During the season when trade rumors popped up over Seidenberg, the blueliner said he’d be willing to waive his movement clause, depending upon the trade destination. Seidenberg is younger and less expensive than Chara, which could make him easier to move. Then again, Chara is still a well-respected defenseman and leader. If he’s willing to waive his movement clause, there will be interest in him. A club with cap space seeking blueline depth could have interest, though the Bruins will likely have to pick up part of his salary.
Blues could face offseason changes.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon recently speculated the St. Louis Blues could face offseason changes behind the bench and among their core players if they make another early playoff exit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Blues currently down 3-2 in their opening round series against the Minnesota Wild, the possibility of another disappointing finish to their season looms large. If the Blues come up short again, head coach Ken Hitchcock could be fired. As for the core players, winger TJ Oshie lacks a no-trade clause and could be the most likely candidate to move. Team captain David Backes could also be shopped, provided he’s willing to waive his NTC. I don’t expect Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk or Jaden Schwartz become trade candidates.
No major offseason moves for the Panthers?
FOX SPORTS FLORIDA: Jameson Olive reports it’s looking more likely the Florida Panthers will stand pat in this summer’s UFA market. Scottie Upshall and Tomas Kopecky are their only UFAs and they could be replaced from within the organization. Olive wonders if the Panthers can avoid arbitration with forward Jimmy Hayes, and thinks they’ll stick with Al Montoya as Roberto Luongo’s backup. He also feels the Panthers will re-sign Jonathan Huberdeau to a two-year bridge deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are likely to promote a couple of promising young forwards into full-time roles next season. Still, one shouldn’t dismiss the possibility of adding a veteran scorer via trade to bolster their offense. I think they’ll avoid arbitration and re-sign Hayes. Montoya has another season left on his contract and I expect they’ll keep him. Unless Huberdeau gets an offer sheet, he’ll get a bridge deal.