Updates on Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrik Berglund.
Latest on Seabrook and Sharp.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites NHL insider Bob Stauffer suggesting the Chicago Blackhawks could be forced to trade defenseman Brent Seabrook if unable to re-sign him. Seabrook, 30, is a year away from unrestricted free agency and earning an annual salary-cap hit of $5.8 million. Stauffer believes Seabrook would be a great fit with the Edmonton Oilers. He then spoke with Chicago Tribune hockey columnist Chris Kuc, who tweeted the chance of the ‘Hawks trading Seabrook are “slim to none,” but acknowledged it could cost $7 million annually to re-sign the blueliner.
MIAMI HERALD‘s George Richards tweets there’s no truth to rumors the Florida Panthers are pursuing Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp, claiming the club isn’t interested in his services.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even by shedding veterans like Sharp for next season and bringing in cheaper talent, the ‘Hawks will still be squeezed for cap space for 2016-17. I don’t believe Seabrook will be traded this summer and I know Blackhawks management wants to re-sign him. Indeed, re-signing Seabrook is among the reasons they’re peddling Sharp, Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg. How much cap space they have for 2016-17, and how much they’ll need to invest in the rest of their lineup will determine Seabrook’s future in Chicago. If the ‘Hawks can’t afford to keep him, I daresay the Oilers would very interested, but so will a number of NHL clubs.
As for Sharp, the Panthers seem pretty much set on their top two lines going into next season. While Panthers GM Dale Tallon has that connection with the Blackhawks as their former GM, I don’t think he needs to add Sharp to his roster.
Updates on Shattenkirk and Berglund.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: During a recent chat with Stars fans, columnist Mike Heika addressed the recent trade rumors regarding St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and if he would be a good fit with the Stars. Heika notes the Blues have denied the rumors, but if Shattenkirk became available via trade, he feels the Stars have the assets to acquire him.
STLTODAY.COM: Noting how little the Blues roster has changed in the offseason (apart from the recent T.J. Oshie trade), columnist Joe Strauss believes they were unable to move forward Patrik Berglund because of his contract. Same goes for forward Steve Ott and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Shattenkirk isn’t being shopped this summer, but there was some speculation heading into the recent NHL Draft claiming the Blues were listening to offers. If they come up short in the 2016 playoffs, we’ll likely hear the Shattenkirk and Berglund trade rumors again, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they opt instead to replace the coaching staff. If the Blues put Shattenkirk on the trade block, they might prefer shipping him to an Eastern Conference club rather than a division rival like Dallas.