Updates on Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Chiasson, plus the latest on the Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan responded to readers’ questions about how the Detroit Red Wings can improve their defense corps this summer. He doesn’t believe they can pry Dougie Hamilton away from the Calgary Flames or Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets, speculating the asking price would be center Dylan Larkin.
If they pursue St. Louis Blues rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk, they’ll have to give up a valuable asset to get him, perhaps Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyquist. Khan doesn’t believe the Wings would trade Nyquist solely for the sake of moving him. The Anaheim Ducks have a plethora of young defensemen and could part with Sami Vatanen.
As for forwards, Khan believes Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd and St. Louis Blues right wing Troy Brouwer could be atop the Wings list of potential free-agent targets. Anaheim Ducks left wing Jamie McGinn would be a “Plan B or Plan C type”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Wing only have over $15 million in cap space next season, that could increase by $7.5 million if they can find a taker this summer for Pavel Datsyuk’s contract if he heads to Russia for next season. Should that happen, they’ll have lots of cap room to pursue a top-six winger and a top-four defenseman. They could certainly be in the bidding for Shattenkirk or Vatanen if they’re placed on the trade block leading up to the NHL draft weekend late next month. They could also look at potential free agent options such as Keith Yandle, Alex Goligoski or Brian Campbell.
NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford reports Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is putting his focus on his club’s quest for the Stanley Cup and not upon his future with the franchise beyond this season. Fleury lost the starter’s job to rookie backup Matt Murray. With a possible expansion draft on the horizon, speculation is growing suggesting he could be traded this summer. During the Eastern Conference Final, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford praised Fleury’s handling of this situation and rejected the notiont that the veteran netminder no longer has a future with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there’s an expansion draft next summer, the Penguins will have to choose between Fleury and Murray. Given the latter’s youth and performance in this year’s playoffs, it’s obvious they’ll want to protect Murray. While reports suggest players with no-movement clauses must be protected in an expansion draft, Fleury’s no-movement clause only covers waivers and demotions, as he has a partial no-trade clause. Therefore, It’s believed he can be exposed in an expansion draft. If that proves to be the case, the Pens could try to trade him this summer.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Dhiren Mahiban reports agent Kent Hughes, who represents Ottawa Senators winger Alex Chiasson, confirms he’s expecting his client to be moved this summer. “I think that’s a potential scenario, but I don’t know if you ever really know if anything materializes until it happens,” Hughes said. “But yeah, (a trade) wouldn’t surprise me.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In his two seasons with the Senators, Chiasson never played up to the promise he showed with the Dallas Stars. He’s coming off a one-year, $1.2 million deal and is eligible for arbitration this summer. The Sens could attempt to trade him or perhaps simply decide not to qualify his rights, thus enabling him to depart on July 1 as an unrestricted free agent.