Updates on Pavel Datsyuk, Travis Hamonic, Ben Bishop and Jonathan Drouin in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest on Datsyuk and Hamonic.
TSN (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Citing “some intel” he’s been getting from the Detroit Red Wings, Darren Dreger believes center Pavel Datsyuk will return with the Wings next season and complete the final year of his contract. He claims speculation regarding Datsyuk leaving the Wings and returning to Russia for family reasons has floated around for the past couple of seasons. Dreger believes Datsyuk is leaning toward staying with the Wings.
Dreger also believes Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will have to “bite down hard” to part with the return the New York Islanders seek for defenseman Travis Hamonic, that being a good young defenseman with a comparable contract. That could mean parting with Oscar Klefbom, though on his own he’s not enough of a return for the Isles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Datsyuk could return and finish the final year of his contract. After that, his NHL career is over as he’ll certainly head to Russia after next season and finish his playing days in the KHL. As for Chiarelli “biting down hard” on meeting the return for Travis Hamonic, I don’t think that’s going to address the Oilers’ needs. If it’s going to cost them Klefbom in a package deal, I think Chiarelli would consider other options.
Updates on the Lightning.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports there’s talk the Calgary Flames might attempt to acquire Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop this summer. The asking price could be steep, with Matheson believing promising young forward Sam Bennett as part of the return.
SPORTSNET: Despite all the trade hype surrounding Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin this season, Chris Johnston isn’t 100 percent convinced Drouin will be dealt this summer. “I got a sense from being around the situation that maybe some of the, whatever bad blood there was, or hurt feelings or whatever you want to term it as… everyone’s been able to set that aside,” he said. If Drouin remains with the Lightning for their final games of this season, he’ll burn off another year of his entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop is eligible next summer for UFA status, which likely explains why his name is occasionally surfacing in the trade-rumor mill. However, that’s not a certainty. Much will depend upon his performance in the upcoming playoffs, as well as the type of return a rival club is willing to pitch to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. Bishop’s played well this season and Yzerman could consider hanging onto him for another shot at a Stanley Cup run next year and then try to trade him before the expansion draft.
As for Drouin, he’ll have to have one helluva performance in the upcoming playoffs to convince Yzerman not to trade him. That’s assuming, of course, Drouin actually wants to keep playing for head coach Jon Cooper. Regardless of his play, if Drouin still wants out, Yzerman will move him at this year draft in June.