Updates on on Tyson Barrie Justin Faulk & P.K. Subban, plus the latest on the Oilers, Ducks, Coyotes and Senators in your NHL rumor mill.
Tyson Barrie and Justin Faulk.
630 CHED (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman thinks Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie is “definitely in play”. He gets the impression the Barrie camp and the Avalanche aren’t on the same page contract-wise. Barrie is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He and host Bob Stauffer discussed what it might take for the Carolina Hurricanes to land Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, with Stauffer claiming it’ll take more than defenseman Justin Faulk, whereas Nugent-Hopkins might be closer to full price for Barrie. Friedman countered that it’ll take more than Nugent-Hopkins to get Faulk from the Hurricanes.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Citing Friedman’s comments on Barrie, David Staples believes the Avs defender is just what the Oilers need on their blueline. He isn’t sure what the asking price might be, suggesting it might be so expensive as requiring a return like RNH.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: First of all, I don’t see why the Hurricanes would trade Faulk. He’s their best defenseman and carries a very affordable contract ($4.833 million annually) through 2019-20. Unless Faulk demands a trade, I don’t believe there’s any reason why GM Ron Francis would consider moving him. They can find another way to boost their offense than moving their top blueliner.
As for Barrie, while I think it would be folly for the Avalanche to trade him, who knows what’s going through the minds of GM Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy? I get a feeling of unpredictability about them. Granted, Barrie is an expensive re-signing, perhaps over $6 million per season, but for a team that struggles in its own zone like the Avs, it doesn’t make sense to trade away a top-pairing puck-moving rearguard. Can they really risk watching another star player departing Colorado because they didn’t want to pay up to retain him? Probably won’t sit well with the Avs faithful. If they make that move, all I can say is I hope they can find a suitable replacement for Barrie via trade or free agency.
Updates on P.K. Subban.
TSN Radio (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): On Thursday, Darren Dreger said he’s heard nothing new about P.K. Subban and the possibility the Montreal Canadiens might trade him before his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. He considers it a “massive long shot” the Habs trade Subban, pointing out the difficulty of replacing him and how much it could hurt the Canadiens organization. On Friday, Bob McKenzie noted how the media is becoming “forensic wordsmiths” examining comments from Habs president Geoff Molson and GM Marc Bergevin for any potentially revealing clue about Subban’s trade status. Like Dreger, he believes trading Subban won’t be easy and could do more harm than good for the Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This concludes your weekly Subban trade speculation. I share the views of Dreger and McKenzie, but by all means, feel free to discuss/debate it in the comments section.
Latest on the Oilers, Ducks, Coyotes and Senators.
TSN 1040 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie believes the Edmonton Oilers first-round pick (fourth overall) in this year’s draft is “most certainly in play”. He isn’t sure if the Oilers have had any talks with rival teams like the Anaheim Ducks for a defenseman. He thinks everyone will be watching the Ducks to see how they handle their contract talks with blueliners Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen.
630 CHED (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman speculates the Anaheim Ducks could try to make Lindholm and Vatanen play next year under their qualifying offers. “I think teams are rooting for him to do it, because they think the second contracts have gotten out of control. They all want somebody else to do it. They don’t want to do it themselves,” said Friedman, though ultimately he doesn’t think that’s what the Ducks want to do.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They could successfully take that direction with Lindholm, who’s coming off an entry-level contract, though that would be a pretty crappy way to treat one of their best blueliners. Vatanen, however, has arbitration rights and could be awarded a more expensive one-year contract by an arbiter. I doubt the Ducks will try that tactic.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Sarah McLellan recently reported the Arizona Coyotes new general manager John Chayka believes defense and impact players are among his club’s needs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have the depth in prospects and draft picks to dangle as trade bait this summer plus they also have over $39.3 million in projected salary-cap space if they wish to pursue an impact player or two via free agency.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported ramping up contract talks with RFAs Mike Hoffman and Cody Ceci are among the priorities for Senators GM Pierre Dorion now that he has a new coach in place. “If Hoffman can’t get a contract done, the Senators will likely just file for arbitration and take a one-year deal again but that’s a long way off,” said Garrioch.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a change from a month ago when the speculation suggested the Senators could shop Hoffman if unable to reach an agreement on a new contract. The recent management and coaching changes may be affecting how they approach Hoffman’s contract talks.