Are big changes coming for the St. Louis Blues? Could Islanders winger Michael Grabner be a good fit with the Oilers? What are the priorities for new Devils GM Ray Shero? Read on for the latest.
No rash deals for the Blues.
STLTODAY.COM: Tom Timmermann reports big changes could prove difficult for the St. Louis Blues to pull off this summer. Given the Blues limited cap space at a time when the cap ceiling won’t significantly rise, trades could end up being the dollar-for-dollar type. GM Doug Armstrong doesn’t want to make a move simply for the sake of doing so, adding he’s not interested in short-term fixes. While several Blues have no-trade clauses, Armstrong said that doesn’t necessarily mean those players can’t be traded.
Timmermann reports the Blues have over $57 million invested in 17 players, leaving perhaps $14 million of cap space if the ceiling rises to $71.5 million. Half of that will be taken up re-signing scoring star Vladimir Tarasenko. RFA goalie Jake Allen will also be re-signed. Timmermann speculates that’ll leave around $4 million in cap space to fill out the remaining three roster spots. That cap space to be further reduced if Vladimir Sobotka returns next season to fulfill his one-year, $2.7 million arbitration-awarded deal with the Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Significant roster moves by the Blues this summer won’t be easy, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen. As per GeneralFanager.com, Paul Stastny, Alex Steen, David Backes, Patrik Berglund and Jay Bouwmeester have no-trade clauses, with Berglund’s kicking in on July 1. Of that group. Berglund could be most likely to go, though there could be some interest in Backes. T.J. Oshie ($4.175 million cap hit) lacks a no-trade and seems another likely trade candidate. Dollar-for-dollar deals aren’t easy but they are possible. With the cap only rising slightly this summer, it could make general managers more keen to seek out such trades. While I don’t expect Armstrong to blow up his roster, I believe he’ll try to move one or two players to improve his club’s leadership and playoff experience.
Could the Oilers grab Grabner?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis wonders if New York Islanders winger Michael Grabner could be a good fit with the Edmonton Oilers, who need another middle-six forward who can score and be defensively responsible. Willis notes a recent Newsday column suggesting Grabner could be the odd man out on the crowded Islanders forward lines, suggesting he might fetch a draft pick or a player via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s something Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli could consider, though it remains to be seen what additions he has planned this summer. I expect the Isles will try to move Grabner for a second- or third-round pick this summer. They don’t have a first or second round pick in this year’s draft.
Shero must add boost Devils scoring.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti lists upgrading scoring via trades or free agency will be among the priorities this summer for Ray Shero, the New Jersey Devils new general manager.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a priority his predecessor, Lou Lamoriello, also acknowledged. Shero’s already said boosting the Devils offense was a key issue. I’m curious if he’ll consider shopping the Devils first-round pick this summer. Lamoriello hinted he was willing to do that prior to stepping down as GM.