Updates on Patrick Kane, Milan Lucic, Eric Staal and Cam Ward, plus the date for this season’s NHL trade deadline is revealed.
Kane not asked to waive no-movement clause.
ESPN.COM: Scott Powers reports a source claims the Chicago Blackhawks have not asked winger Patrick Kane to waive his no-movement clause. Trade speculation recently sprung up about Kane, who is currently under investigation for sexual assault.To date, no charges have been filed against him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least five teams have reportedly contacted the Blackhawks inquiring about Kane’s trade status. There’s no indication the club intends to move Kane, who is starting the first season of an eight-year, $84 million contract. As I’ve previously stated, I believe the Blackhawks and the NHL are awaiting the outcome of the investigation before deciding if further action is necessary.
Could Lucic one day join the Canucks?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton cites a recent interview Los Angeles Kings winger Milan Lucic gave with TSN 1040 in Vancouver, in which he didn’t dismiss the possibility of one day suiting up for his hometown Canucks. While admitting it was a childhood dream to play for the Canucks, Lucic said his focus is currently on making the most out of his season with the Kings. Lucic is eligible in July for unrestricted free agency, and Clinton speculates the Canucks could be among the bidders if the big winger opts to test the market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings have limited cap space for next season and their obvious priority is re-signing first-line center Anze Kopitar, who’s also a UFA next summer and could cost over $10 million annually to retain. Lucic could seek over $7 million annually, which is likely out of the Kings’ price range. Lucic also has ties with Canucks GM Jim Benning, who was assistant GM with the Bruins during most of Lucic’s tenure in Boston.
Updates on Staal and Ward.
USA TODAY: Joedy McCready reports Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward claim they’re focused on the upcoming season, rather than their contract statuses with the club. Both are slated for UFA status next July and are in the final seasons of expensive contacts with the Hurricanes, who appear in the midst of rebuilding their roster. Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters calls the uncertainty over their contracts a non-issue.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Chip Alexander tweets “Canes GM Ron Francis says it’s unlikely either EStaal, Ward will be signed to extensions before season begins.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Francis will be in “wait-and-see” mode with Staal and Ward, evaluating their respective performances over the course of the season. If the Hurricanes fail to significantly improve, or if either player struggles this season, one or both could hit the block by the trade deadline. Speaking of the deadline….
NHL trade deadline set.
TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports the 2015-16 NHL trade deadline will be Monday, February 29, 2016 at 3 pm ET.