Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Rick Nash, Loui Eriksson, and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
Latest on the Rangers, Panthers and Oilers.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard believes the New York Rangers should add defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk by offering up winger Rick Nash via trade to the St. Louis Blues and letting blueliner Keith Yandle walk via free agency. He also doubts the Rangers can move blueliner Dan Girardi via trade and isn’t sure GM Jeff Gorton will buy him out. With Shattenkirk in the lineup, Girardi wouldn’t have to play top-pairing minutes. Leonard wouldn’t be surprised if the Blueshirts pursued Anaheim Ducks winger Jamie McGinn through free agency. New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen and Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Blues retain head coach Ken Hitchcock (who Leonard calls Nash’s mentor) after this season, I don’t see them making a Nash for Shattenkirk swap. Nash is carrying two more years at $7.8 million per season. The Blues would be giving up a defenseman worth $4.25 million next season. Rrom a salary-cap standpoint, that doesn’t make sense for them.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov suggests some offseason moves for the Florida Panthers. He advocates re-signing Jaromir Jagr to another one-year, bonus-laden deal. He also believes they must decide if they’re bringing back Al Montoya as a backup, pursue a replacement like San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer or wait for prospect Samuel Montembeault to develop.He also thinks they should re-sign pending UFA blueliner Brian Campbell. Fialkov doubts GM Dale Tallon pursues offensive stars like Steven Stamkos, Kyle Okposo, David Backes or Andrew Ladd, but speculates he could go after defenseman Keith Yandle or winger Loui Eriksson. He also notes the Panthers are believed to be in talks with free agent winger Alexander Radulov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr will be back with the Panthers. Campbell could be too, if he’s willing to accept a pay cut. Yandle or Eriksson could be promising options. Given the Pathers’ improvement this season and their bright future, they could become a more attractive destination for unrestricted free agents.
EDMONTON SUN: With the Oilers sliding to fourth overall in the 2016 NHL draft, Terry Jones believes GM Peter Chiarelli will have to move a core player like Jordan Eberle or Taylor Hall to get a top defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli could also bundle that fourth overall pick in a trade to land a top-two defenseman. Some folks seem to be suggesting the Oilers “lost” the draft lottery by not getting a selection in the top three. Really? You can get a pretty good player with that selection. Possibilities include a left wing like Matthew Tkachuk and Alexander Nylander or a defenseman like Olli Juolevi or Jakob Chychrun. Indeed, ver the past ten years, some teams have landed pretty good players with the fourth overall selection. Calgary got Sam Bennett in 2014, Nashville got Seth Jones in 2013, New Jersey got Adam Larsson in 2011, Columbus selected Ryan Johansen in 2010, St. Louis picked Alex Pietrangelo in 2008 and Washington got Nicklas Backstrom in 2006.
Highlights from Matheson’s latest “Hockey World” column.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently reported if the Montreal Canadiens get offers on P.K. Subban they’ll have to move quickly as his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.
He can’t fathom how the Pittsburgh Penguins can keep both Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray when the expansion draft is held in 2017. Fleury had a no-movement clause and a modified no-trade. He believes Murray, who has a bright future, has to be protected.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins could protect Murray and swing a deal with the expansion club(s) to ensure Fleury isn’t selected in the expansion draft. Or they could just leave him unprotected and hope for the best.
He suspects the Edmonton Oilers will shop defenseman Mark Fayne, though his $3.5 million annual cap hit for two more years is problematic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They either retain some of his cap hit or take back a bad contract in return.
Matheson believes if anyone pays pending UFA Eric Staal more than $4 million per season for three years they’re not paying attention to his game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed.
Defenseman Justin Schultz has only seen one playoff game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Matheson wonders what his value on the UFA market will be.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Less than his current $3.9 million for this season.
If the Detroit Red Wings find a way to move the final season of Pavel Datsyuk’s contract they’ll take a run at Steven Stamkos via free agency.
Matheson suggests Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman could be a good fit with the Chicago Blackhawks for one year on a dollar-in, dollar-out deal, wondering if an offer of forwards Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell for Wideman might work.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No.
While the Philadelphia Flyers would like to add St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk via trade, their biggest need is for a scoring left wing. Matheson speculates they’ll take a run at signing Loui Eriksson via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt it. GM Ron Hextall seems intent on rebuilding from within and adding affordable talent. If Eriksson’s pursuing $6 million per season, Hextall probably passes.