Updates on Patrick Sharp, Kevin Bieksa, Cam Talbot and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Latest on Patrick Sharp.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus reports Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp remains the focus of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals entering Day Two of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Blackhawks’ “initial asking price for Sharp was very high — a first-round pick, a defenseman and a prospect.” He remains very much in play. Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell are also available as the Blackhawks try to shed salary.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jason Mackey reports the Pittsburgh Penguins have been linked to Sharp, Toronto’s Phil Kessel, Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, St. Louis’ T.J. Oshie and even New York Rangers’ pending UFA Martin St. Louis. Mackey claims there’s little willingness by Rutherford to move one of his promising young defensemen like Olli Maatta or Derrick Pouliot.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: Dave Molinari also notes the Penguins have been linked to Sharp, Kessel, Skinner and Oshie. “Consistently, they’re after our young defensemen,” Rutherford said of the teams he’s spoken with. “It’s been that way for a long time, and continues to be.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks obviously have to lower their asking price if they hope to move Sharp. Remains to be seen if he goes today or later in the summer. I suspect the ‘Hawks hope to move him as soon as possible to take advantage of the opportunity while teams still have available cap space. As for the Penguins, if they want to land a scoring winger like Sharp or the others, it could cost them one of those young blueliners.
No Bieksa for the Sharks?
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre cites reports claiming trade talks between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks regarding Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa have broken down. It’s believed the Canucks sought a pair of second-round picks for Bieksa, but they’re denying that’s the case. Canucks GM Jim Benning is still hoping to trade one of his goalies (Eddie Lack or Jacob Markstrom) for a second-round pick.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka suggests this doesn’t mean a deal for Bieksa to the Sharks is totally dead, citing the blueliner’s willingness to waive his no-trade clause to go to San Jose. It’s also rumored Bieksa seeks a four-year contract extension worth around $4.5 million annually. Bieska is eligible next summer for UFA status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: But will the Sharks invest that much for that long in a 34-year-old defenseman who appeared to decline last season? Not a wise decision if they do.
Update on Cam Talbot.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Calgary Flames have serious interest in New York Rangers backup Cam Talbot and intend to submit a bid today. The Florida Panthers have apparently offered up forward Jimmy Hayes, brother of Rangers forward Kevin Hayes, for Talbot in a package offer. The Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks remain interested.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports the Stars, Sharks and Edmonton Oilers are now the favorites to land Talbot when the second day of the draft begins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was widely assumed to be the first domino to drop in the goalie market leading into the draft, but it was instead Robin Lehner, dealt by the Senators to the Sabres, who moved first. It’s believed the Rangers seek draft picks, so Talbot could get dealt before or during the second round for a second round pick.
Shattenkirk on the trade block?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites a report from colleague Jim Matheson claiming St Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk might be available, citing the high salary being taken up by other Blues defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk’s earning $4.25 million annually for the next two seasons, but is also coming off an all-star performance this season. My guess is the Blues are willing to listen to offers but I have my doubts they’re seriously thinking of moving him.