Updates on Loui Eriksson, Dustin Byfuglien, Jonathan Drouin, Mikkel Boedker, Teddy Purcell and more in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest from LeBrun’s “Rumblings.”
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun believes contract negotiations have begun between the Arizona Coyotes and pending UFA right wing Mikkel Boedker, but gets the sense nothing’s been offered yet to Boedker’s liking. With the Coyotes jockeying for a playoff berth, it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll retain Boedker or moving him if he’s still unsigned before the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boedker’s among the Coyotes’ leading scorers and a key reason why they’re in the playoff chase in the Western Conference. I think they’ll get a deal worked out at some point, even if it goes past the trade deadline to do so.
The Calgary Flames are getting calls about pending UFA right wing Jiri Hudler. LeBrun doesn’t think Hudler will sign an extension and suggests he’d be a good fit for the right price for a contender seeking a top-six forward.
The Edmonton Oilers haven’t decided yet if they’ll re-sign or trade winger Teddy Purcell, who’s also slated for UFA status in July.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien claims he’d love to stay. He’s eligible for UFA status in July but re-signing him could be costly. LeBrun speculates it could take between $7-$7.5 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Jets re-sign Byfuglien, they’ll probably have to part ways with Tyler Myers ($5.5 million cap hit through 2018-19) or Jacob Trouba (reportedly seeking around $7 million per season). They’re a budget team and I don’t see them tying up over $22 million in three defensemen.
Updates on Eriksson and Drouin.
NBCSN (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): TSN insider Bob McKenzie believes Boston Bruins winger Loui Eriksson seeks a long-term deal between five-six years worth maybe upwards of $6 million annually. While there’s a sense the Bruins could trade Eriksson if still unsigned by the trade deadline, McKenzie stresses no door has been fully close yet in negotiations between the two sides.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins slide out of playoff contention, I believe Eriksson is a goner. However, as long as they remain in the hunt, they could be reluctant to trade him. They certainly won’t give him away, as they’ll want a return that helps them now and in the future.
McKenzie also reports dialogue continues between Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman and the teams believed to be interested in suspended winger Jonathan Drouin. It’s uncertain if Yzerman will move the unhappy Drouin before the trade deadline. The St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are believed to be among the suitors.
Latest on the Hurricanes and Sharks.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes defenseman John-Michael Liles could be a trade candidate as the deadline approaches. The veteran blueliner is having a solid season and could attract interest from clubs seeking a rental player to add to their blueline. However, the Hurricanes are also jockeying for a playoff berth, leaving management with a interesting decision.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: Responding to a reader’s question, Kevin Kurz believes adding a defenseman should be a priority for the San Jose Sharks. He suggests they look at Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Roman Polak, who’s rumored to be available. Kurz also doubts the Sharks will trade veteran forward Patrick Marleau by the trade deadline, suggesting that’s a possible offseason move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau has a full no-movement clause and carries a $6.6 million annual cap hit through 2016-17. He’s not being moved at the trade deadline.