Fallout from the Jets re-signing Dustin Byfuglien, potential trade destinations for Patrick Marleau and updates on the Rangers, Canucks and Predators in your NHL rumor mill.
Byfuglien’s re-signing with Jets could affect trade market.
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector believes the Jets re-signing Dustin Byfuglien sends the right message to Winnipeg fans that the club is willing to invest in retaining their best players. He also believes the Jets will trade left wing and captain Andrew Ladd (pictured left) by the trade deadline, suggesting one expensive contract for a player who turns 31 later this year is enough.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun believes the Byfuglien signing eases pressure upon Jets management to re-sign Ladd, adding no one will criticize them for trading their captain when they got Byfuglien re-signed. He notes several teams, including the Los Angeles Kings, had interest in the big blueliner and must now look elsewhere in the trade market for help. Finally, the signing raises questions about the status of contract talks with RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba. LeBrun wonders if the Jets might listen a little more attentively to trade offers for Trouba.
SI.COM: Allan Muir also examines the ripple effect of the Byfuglien signing. He also believes Ladd is likely to hit the trade block for a draft pick plus a prospect who can join the Jets’ lineup next season. He thinks this move takes the Jets out of the Travis Hamonic sweepstakes, plus it could improve the trade value of New York Rangers blueliner Keith Yandle and Vancouver Canucks rearguard Dan Hamhuis.
USA TODAY: Jimmy Hascup also weighs in on the Byfuglien signing. Like the others, he too believes Ladd is likely a goner at the trade deadline, Yandle’s nd Hamhuis’ trade value will increase, and that this raises uncertainty over Trouba’s future with the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien’s new deal undoubtedly changes things in the trade market. It now seems increasingly likely Ladd will be traded, though there’s some reports claiming the two sides could still hammer out a deal. I think talks will continue for another couple of weeks, but if there’s no deal before month’s end, Ladd could be shipped out for the best offer. With Byfuglien off the market, the value of Yandle and Hamhuis should improve. Trouba’s situation will also be interesting, considering a report earlier this season claiming he was seeking an eight-year, $56 million extension. Because of his RFA status, the Jets aren’t in a rush to move him. If need be, they could wait until the June draft weekend to seriously entertain offers.
Possible destinations for Marleau.
CSN BAY AREA: If the San Jose Sharks and Patrick Marleau agree to part ways (Marleau has a full no-movement clause), Kevin Kurz lists the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and New York Rangers among potential destinations. Kurz ultimately believes Marleau won’t be dealt at the deadline. He cites Marleau’s age (36) and salary ($6.6 million annual cap hit through next season) as factors that could keep him in San Jose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks and Rangers are believed on Marleau’s three-team list of preferred trade destinations, but I don’t see the Sharks shipping him to a California rival, while the Rangers can’t afford to take on his salary for next season. I don’t see the Blues or Predators pursuing an ageing, expensive winger. I expect Marleau will finish this season with the Sharks.
Updates on the Rangers, Canucks and Predators.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests a recent concussion suffered by Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh could have an effect upon Keith Yandle’s availability near the trade deadline. If McDonagh is sidelined long term, it would be folly for the Rangers to trade Yandle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If McDonagh’s sidelined long term, Yandle won’t be available in the trade market.
THE TENNESSEAN: Responding to a reader’s question about the Nashville Predators pursuing a scorer at the trade deadline, Adam Vingan points out GM David Poile recently told ESPN he’ll be scouring the trade market in search of a offensive boost. Vingan suggests Columbus Blue Jackets winger Scott Hartnell as the type of winger who can help the Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting suggestion by Vingan, who took pains to point out he’s suggesting Hartnell or a player like him could help the Predators. Recent speculation suggests the Blue Jackets could be willing to part with Hartnell, but there’s no speculation claiming the Preds are pursuing him.
THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Vancouver Canucks right wing Radim Vrbata acknowledges the trade rumors swirling about him, acknowledging there’s not much he can do about it. Vrbata could bolster the offense of a playoff-contending team.