New York Islanders winger Kyle Okposo ignores trade rumors, Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf isn’t interested in a trade, and Florida Panthers RFA winger Jonathan Huberdeau mulls a recent contract offer from his club.
Okposo untroubled by trade rumors.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo claims the eye injury which sidelined him for part of last season has completely healed. He also said he’s not bothered by recent trade speculation related to his status as a UFA next summer. Staple reports brief contract discussions between Okposo’s agent and Isles GM Garth Snow went nowhere. He adds there’s a strong belief around the league the winger could be had for the right price, even with the start of the season just around the corner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anyone’s available for the right price, but that doesn’t mean the Isles will just give Okposo away, let alone do so before the season begins. When healthy, he has 30-goal, 60-point potential, which helps the Isles this season as much as any other club. Unless a young winger offers a strong challenge to Okposo’s spot on the Islanders’ top two lines, I doubt they’ll shop him now. As long as they remain in playoff contention and Okposo’s a key part of the lineup, I doubt he’ll be traded this season.
Phaneuf not interested in a trade.
TSN.CA: Jonas Siegel reports Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf insists he wants to stay and continue leading the club, saying he’s never sought a trade and won’t request one. With a potentially long and painful roster rebuild ahead, Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak remain subjects of trade speculation, but the blueliner insists he likes the direction of the club and wants to be a part of their long-term plans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the constant flak Phaneuf’s received over the past couple of seasons from Toronto fans and pundits, he is certainly among the NHL’s most thick-skinned players. If he is eventually traded, it’ll be Leafs management approaching him about it, not the other way around. Granted, any significant improvement in Phaneuf’s performance could boost his trade value, but he’s also entering the second season of a seven-year, $49 million deal with a partial no-trade clause. That won’t be easy to move, especially if the salary cap continues to make only marginal increases in the coming years.
Could Huberdeau receive an offer sheet?
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reports Florida Panthers RFA Jonathan Huberdeau is currently mulling a two-year contract offer from the club. McKenzie also claims a couple of unnamed NHL teams are “kicking the tires” on offer sheets to Huberdeau, but it remains to be seen if any are bold enough to take that step.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $11.5 million in cap space, the Panthers have the room to match an offer sheet. Ownership was reportedly willing to spend to retain their best players, so if that holds true, an offer sheet for Huberdeau would be pointless, other than forcing the Panthers to pay more than they wanted to re-sign him.