Another list of trade candidates leading up to the draft, plus the latest on Phil Kessel, Patrick Sharp, Matt Beleskey and many more.
Another list of NHL trade candidates.
TSN.CA: A list of the top-25 players and assets believed in play leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Among the notables are Carolina’s Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner, Toronto’s Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak, New York Rangers’ Rick Nash, Keith Yandle and Cam Talbot, Washington’s Mike Green, Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly, Boston’s Milan Lucic, Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen, New York Islanders’ Kyle Okposo, Ottawa’s Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson, Calgary’s Jonas Hiller, Pittsburgh’s Brandon Sutter and Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, pretty much every notable player who’s been mentioned in the trade rumor mill since the end of the regular season.
Latest from Darren Dreger.
NHL LIVE (via KUKLA’S KORNER): TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the free-agent courting period (which begins June 25) could affect the Minnesota Wild’s contract talks with UFA goalie Devan Dubnyk…Sabres, Oilers and Sharks remain among the suitors for Rangers backup Cam Talbot, though Dreger notes the Rangers aren’t in a rush to move him, though he wouldn’t be surprised if Talbot is deal soon, perhaps this week…Dreger highly doubts Rangers winger Rick Nash or Penguins center Evgeni Malkin get traded.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubnyk wants to re-sign with the Wild and they hope to keep him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he speaks with other teams first to see what offers they have and then comes back to the Wild to see if they’ll match or beat the best one…The Rangers don’t have to move Talbot, but I believe they will if they get a deal they like, and it could happen on Friday, the opening day of the NHL Draft…Nash and Malkin aren’t moving.
Update on Kessel and Phaneuf.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby notes the latest speculation suggesting the Maple Leafs could move Phil Kessel and retain Dion Phaneuf. He also points out the possibility both could return with the Leafs next season if there’s no suitable deals to be found. Agent Don Meehan, who represents both players, claims neither has requested a trade. The Detroit Red Wings had interest in Phaneuf but have since dropped out, though the San Jose Sharks might have interest. Kessel’s recently been linked to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but his huge contract is a tough fit for a team with a lot of cap space invested in a handful of stars. The Leafs wish to get younger and stockpile draft picks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks have the cap space to take on Phaneuf’s $7 million per season cap hit, but of course it’s up to him to decide if he wants to go to San Jose. It’s also to be determined just how serious the Sharks interest is in the Leafs captain and what they’re willing to part with. Kessel could be a terrific fit playing alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, but at $8 million per season, that’s far too much cap hit for the Penguins to absorb. To acquire Kessel means sending a lot of salary the other way to fit his contract under their cap ceiling. And no, I don’t see the Penguins swapping Crosby, Malkin or Letang for Kessel. Unless the Leafs pick up a big chunk of Kessel’s salary, he’s not going to Pittsburgh.
Latest on Sharp, Hamilton, Beleskey and Sutter.
TSN 1260 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Pierre LeBrun reports the Washington Capitals are among several teams that have had “very preliminary” discussions with the Chicago Blackhawks regarding right wing Patrick Sharp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not surprised the Capitals might be revisiting their interest in Sharp. They had talks with the Caps regarding the veteran winger leading up to this year’s trade deadline. He could be a good fit on the Caps first line but it depends upon the ‘Hawks asking price. They can’t afford to take back much salary but are rumored seeking a first-round pick, a top prospect and a good young player on an entry-level contract.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports a source claims the Boston Bruins are prepared to go as high as $7 million per season to match an offer sheet for RFA defenseman Doug Hamilton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be shocked if a team actually tries to sign away Hamilton for $7 million annually. I think this is the Bruins way of trying to discourage other clubs.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray said contract talks with pending UFA winger Matt Beleskey are on a bumpy road right now. If unable to re-sign Beleskey, Murray could try to trade his rights before July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ve seen that sort of move before, where a club trades a pending UFAs rights for a conditional pick if his new team re-signs him.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: Dave Molinari reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is willing, though hardly eager, to consider trading third-line center Brandon Sutter for a scoring winger, though that move could open another hole in his roster. Rutherford could also consider shopping the rights of some of his pending UFA players. Those include “forwards Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Daniel Winnik, Maxim Lapierre and Craig Adams, defensemen Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff and Taylor Chorney and goalie Thomas Greiss.”
Updates on the Flames, Senators and Wild.
SPORTSNET 960 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman speculates the Calgary Flames could seek a forward with size via trade, suggesting someone like St. Louis’ David Backes, Boston’s Milan Lucic or Chicago’s Bryan Bickell. He also notes the Flames must be careful not to take on too much salary, as they’ve got several key players (Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau) to re-sign in the near future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be clear, Friedman isn’t saying the Flames are pursuing Backes, Lucic or Bickell, only suggesting those are the type of forwards who could benefit their roster.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray will keep trying to move one of his goalies (Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner) before the upcoming NHL Draft. It’s also believed Murray could try to include either center David Legwand or Colin Greening in the deal.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo believes if the Minnesota Wild fail to re-sign Devan Dubnyk, they’ll either sign Antti Niemi or Karri Ramo or acquire a goalie via trade like Ottawa’s Robin Lehner. GM Chuck Fletcher said he’s not looking to make radical changes to his roster and doesn’t feel pressured to move players like defenseman Jared Spurgeon or forwards Jason Pominville or Mikko Koivu.