An update on Mark Streit, the Maple Leafs still seek a goaltender, plus a look back at some deals that fell through involving 2015 HHoF inductees Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger and Nicklas Lidstrom.
Leafs still looking for a goaltender.
SPORTSNET 590 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have started looking around to see which goaltenders could be available. He says he doesn’t see anyone in the Leafs system who can be a long-term fit between the pipes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs still seem committed to Jonathan Bernier as their starter in the short term, but they certainly need to adopt a long-term view in goal. James Reimer doesn’t appear to be part of that equation. I could be wrong, but I think he’ll seek a fresh start elsewhere via free agency next July.
As for finding goaltending depth now, there certainly doesn’t seem to be much of a market. Maybe the Minnesota Wild will part ways with Darcy Kuemper, but I don’t see that happening until next summer. The Anaheim Ducks will have to move Anton Khudobin at some point, as I expect they will retain Frederik Andersen and I don’t see them giving up on John Gibson. The Calgary Flames are carrying Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio, but none of them are viable long-term options. The rise of Mike Condon with the Montreal Canadiens leaves Dustin Tokarski as the odd man out, but the high-flying Habs aren’t in any rush to make deals right now.
Streit to the Blackhawks at the trade deadline?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes teams will be pursuing Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Mark Streit, a pending UFA next summer who turns 38 in December. Matheson speculates he’d be a great No.4 blueliner with the Chicago Blackhawks if they can free up sufficient cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Streit’s a UFA in 2017, not next summer. The Flyers could try to move him at the deadline as a cost-cutting measure if they’re out of the playoff hunt by then, but they’ll likely have to pick up part of his $5.25 million cap hit or take back a toxic contract in return. No, the Blackhawks won’t pursue him.
Deals involving Hall of Famers that didn’t happen.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun looked back at potential contract signings and trades that ultimately fell through involving Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger and Nicklas Lidstrom, who will be inducted Monday into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In Feb. 1998, the Carolina Hurricanes signed Fedorov, who was in the midst of a contract holdout with the Red Wings, to a six-year, $38 million offer sheet, which the Wings subsequently matched. It led to lingering tension between the owners of the two franchises.
LeBrun also reports the Toronto Maple Leafs were among the suitors for Chris Pronger when the Edmonton Oilers were shopping the big blueliner in June 2006, offering Tomas Kaberle, Alex Steen and a high draft pick. Pronger was ultimately deal to the Anaheim Ducks.
In June 1992, the Quebec Nordiques tried to get the Wings involved in the bidding war for the rights for Eric Lindros, asking for Lidstrom as part of the return. The Wings wisely stayed out of it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Imagine how things could’ve been different for the Wings and Hurricanes if the former hadn’t matched the offer for Fedorov? Would the Leafs’ fortunes have changed if they successfully landed Pronger? How would the Wings history changed had they actually parted with Lidstrom for Lindros? Feel free to voice your opinions in the comments section.