Fallout from the Patrick Sharp trade, plus the latest on the Canucks and an update on Dion Phaneuf.
Fallout from the Sharp trade.
CSNCHICAGO.COM: Tracey Myers reports the Chicago Blackhawks acquiring defenseman Trevor Daley as part of the return for last night’s Patrick Sharp trade with the Dallas Stars seems to rule out the ‘Hawks bringing back UFA defenseman Johnny Oduya. However, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman isn’t ruling out that possibility. It’s still sort of a fluid situation and there are a lot of factors at play,” Bowman told Myers.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc suggests it’s possible the Blackhawks might still do more, pointing out Bowman still has to re-sign RFA center Marcus Kruger
BLEACHER REPORT’s Adrian Dater cites an NHL source claiming Oduya “will not be retained by the Blackhawks.”
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports it seemed unusual that the Stars, who were ranked 26th overall last season at 3.13 goals-against per game, would acquire a scoring winger like Sharp. However, Stars GM Jim Nill believes young defenseman Stephen Johns, who was dealt along with Sharp to the Stars, is nearly NHL ready. Nill also has sufficient cap space if he wants to add another defenseman via trade or free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Blackhawks and Stars still have some moves to make. The Blackhawks are barely under the salary cap now and have 21 players under contract for next season, with Kruger to be re-signed. They also only have six defensemen under contract, with five of those on one-way deals. They could still shop wingers Bryan Bickell ($4 million annual cap hit) or Kris Versteeg ($2.2 million). Indeed, that’s what it wil take if they still intend on signing Oduya.
As for the Stars, trading away their most experienced defenseman in Daley leaves them with a promising, but still young, blueline corps. Perhaps they’ll try to add a veteran rearguard via free agency, where Oduya and Cody Franson remain available.
Latest on the Canucks.
THE PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson recently reported Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning won’t try to re-sign defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata this summer. Both are eligible next summer for UFA status and currently have no-trade clauses.
Jason Botchford speculated Vrbata, Hamhuis, Yannick Weber, Brandon Prust and Chris Higgins could become trade candidates toward next season’s NHL trade deadline. All are eligible next summer for UFA status and might not fit into the club’s long-term plans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Benning will take a “wait-and-see” approach with those players to gauge their performance next season before deciding on who to retain and who to trade.
Phaneuf likely returning with the Leafs.
THE SCORE: Justin Bourne recently suggested we shouldn’t be surprised if the Toronto Maple Leafs opt to retain captain Dion Phaneuf, whose performance could improve under new head coach Mike Babcock. The Leafs could try to find a true number-one defenseman to take some of the pressure off Phaneuf. Perhaps promising Morgan Rielly can someday move into that role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s interesting how Phaneuf’s trade status has changed since the end of the regular season. Until the Leafs hired Babcock, it was accepted wisdom Phaneuf, like the now-departed Phil Kessel, would be dealt this summer. Now, it’s apparent the Leafs intend to retain their captain for at least another season. Maybe Phaneuf requests a trade if the Leafs keep struggling. Maybe he doesn’t improve and the Leafs peddle him at the trade deadline. Or perhaps Phaneuf has a long-term future in Toronto after all.