Will the Oilers shop for a puck-moving defenseman and a backup goalie? Will they trade Benoit Pouliot? What moves are in store this summer for the Senators? Read on for the latest.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will go shopping this summer for a puck-moving defenseman. Matheson’s choices would be St. Louis Blues rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk or Anaheim Ducks blueliner Sami Vatanen. Shattenkirk is only a year away from UFA status and Matheson suggests he’ll have to agree to a long-term contract before a trade.
Matheson also believe the Oilers need to add an experienced backup as Laurent Brossoit isn’t ready yet. He notes there will be plenty available this summer, suggesting options such as Buffalo’s Chad Johnson, Columbus’ Curtis McElhinney, Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson and perhaps Carolina’s Cam Ward.
Jonathan Willis recently wondered if the Oilers’ recent addition of Patrick Maroon could result in winger Benoit Pouliot getting shopped this summer. He noted a rumor claiming the Montreal Canadiens had interest in Pouliot prior to the Feb. 29 trade deadline. The winger was also thought to be linked to the Anaheim Ducks until sidelined by an injury. Willis feels trading Pouliot would be a mistake.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Depending on the Blues performance in the upcoming postseason, Shattenkirk could be shopped this summer. If the Oilers want him, however, they must ensure he’ll re-sign an extension before agreeing to a trade. The Ducks have plenty of blueline depth and could part with Vatanen if they have difficult inking the pending RFA to a long-term deal. I think the Jets’ preference could be to shop Ondrej Pavelec while keeping Hutchinson to tandem with promising Connor Hellebuyck next season. As for Pouliot, Chiarelli could test his value on the trade market. Perhaps the winger becomes part of a package deal to land that much-needed puck-moving defenseman.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed owner Eugene Melnyk’s claim that significant changes could be coming this summer after another disappointing season. Murray said there’s no question his club needs another top-six forward and a veteran third-pairing defenseman. Garrioch claims the Senators had mild interest in Edmonton Oilers winger Nail Yakupov before the trade deadline. They were also linked to disgruntled Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, who could be traded at this year’s NHL draft in Buffalo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Senators have more interest in Drouin than Yakupov, though there’s no guarantee they’ll land the Lightning winger. The rumored asking price included Senators defenseman Cody Ceci and a top prospect. Don’t see the Senators parting with Ceci.