Check out today’s roundup of Jonathan Drouin trade speculation.
SPORTSNET: Mike Johnson lists the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche as the seven teams in position to make a pitch for Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, who has requested a trade. Drouin is currently toiling for the Lightning’s AHL farm team in Syracuse. Johnston notes the Bolts have around $2 million in cap space, which could potentially complicate things. He also points out they’re reportedly “looking for a right-handed, puck-moving defenceman and/or a forward with a decent amount of term remaining on his contract.”
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Drouin scored twice in his AHL debut with the Syracuse Crunch on Friday. Smith also notes the Lightning, in the market for a right-handed defenseman, have been heavily scouting the St. Louis Blues. He cites an ESPN report claiming Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is apparently “in play.”
SPORTSNET 960 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman thinks the Blues have the most interest in Drouin. He also noted the Lightning have heavily scouting the Blues of late. He notes the Blues have forwards who can’t keep up with their defensemen, which is why he believes they’re in on Drouin and perhaps some other things.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough wonders if the Blues will actually give up Shattenkirk in a deal for Drouin, either this season or in the offseason.
THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei believes it’s not outlandish to assume the Colorado Avalanche could have interest in Drouin, pointing out Avs coach Patrick Roy coaches against Drouin during their days in the QMJHL.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens wonders if the Anaheim Ducks, who are hurting for offense, might get into the bidding for Drouin. He points out the Ducks have the blueline depth to draw upon as trade bait, suggesting pending RFA blueliner (and right-handed shot) Sami Vatanen as an option.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey doubts the Canadiens will acquire Drouin, He notes there’s no indication Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wants to move the unhappy young winger. With the Bolts in need of a right-shooting defenseman, Hickey notes the Canadiens have P.K. Subban, Jeff Petry, Greg Pateryn and Tom Gilbert, and there “simply isn’t a deal for any of those players.” There’s also the matter of how Drouin would handle the pressure of playing in Montreal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lighting must free up cap space, either in a deal with the Blues or a separate trade, if they’re to take on Shattenkirk’s $4.25 million annual cap hit through 2016-17. There’s also the question of how that move could affect the Bolts efforts to re-sign key free agents like Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov this summer.
If the Ducks are willing to offer up Vatanen, who has an affordable $1.2 million cap hit, I think Yzerman could be willing to listen.
The Rangers have several young forwards they could part with but no available right-handed defensemen. Johnston suggest Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman as trade option from the Flames, as well as young forwards to offer up. He notes Wideman’s no-trade clause, but overlooks the fact Russell is a left-handed shot.
Johnston considers the Leafs a long-shot. While they have depth in young forwards as trade bait, they’re thin in right-shooting blueliners, though Jake Gardiner can play both sides of the ice. He also shoots left, so no fit there.The Avs are also a long shot. While Johnston notes Tyson Barrie is an RFA this summer, the Avs (who are in need of blueline depth) aren’t going to part with him.
I also don’t see the Habs as having a shot at Drouin, for precisely the reasons Hickey listed, plus I doubt Yzerman is keen to swing a deal with a divisional playoff rival like the Habs.