Updates on Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall, Kevin Shattenkirk and more in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN 1050 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Darren Dreger reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has said to others he can’t go above $8.5 million per season to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos. Dreger wonders if Yzerman will boost the term. If its for the maximum eight years, Stamkos will be walking away from a lot of money to test the free-agent market. If the Detroit Red Wings can shed Pavel Datsyuk’s $7.5 million cap hit for next season, Dreger believes they could offer up $10 million per season for seven years. He also notes there’s talk of interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Still, Dreger wonders how many teams are willing to pay Stamkos more than $10 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A few months ago, I fully expected Stamkos could get over $10 million per season from the Lightning or another team. The combination of the Lightning playing well without Stamkos during this year’s playoffs combined with a marginal rise in the salary cap for next season leaves me less certain he’ll get that much now. Ultimately, it comes down to whether Stamkos is willing to leave some money on the table to stick with a Stanley Cup contender in Tampa Bay or pursue bigger bucks elsewhere and set back his championship dreams for another few years.
Dreger also comments on the Edmonton Oilers efforts to bolster their blueline and how their first-round pick (fourth overall) is believed to be in play. “Lots of rumblings around the National Hockey League. ‘Maybe this is the time the Oilers change the culture of their club and Hall really is a target that they’d consider moving.’ Still, Dreger said he’d like to hear what the return would have to be for Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli to part with Taylor Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Oilers decide that taking Matthew Tkachuk with the fourth overall pick will make a fine immediate replacement for Hall at left wing, I doubt they’ll move him. Hall is what it could take to land a top-two defenseman, but that move blows a gaping hole on left wing that will be tough to fill.
Dreger also took to Twitter to declare the Kevin Shattenkirk trade watch is on. ” Seems unlikely Blues will be able to extend him. Boston among those most interested in trade, but interest is high.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Almost seems a question of when, not if, Shattenkirk gets dealt. The Oilers are also reportedly interested in him, but speculation suggests Shattenkirk wants to play for an Eastern Conference club and the Blues will try to accommodate him.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is among several defensemen he suspects the Boston Bruins are interested in.
Teams have already reached out to the PIttsburgh Penguins regarding goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, including the Calgary Flames.
LeBrun expects Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill to remain patient regarding his goaltending for next season.
Several league sources claim the Carolina Hurricanes are still looking around for a top-six impact forward.
Updates on the Bruins, Wild, Red Wings and Sharks
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty speculates over the possibility of the Boston Bruins attempting to sign Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba to an offer sheet. Other defensemen who could become offer sheet targets include Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm, Columbus’ Seth Jones and Minnesota’s Matthew Dumba. He claims the Bruins would have trouble out-bidding teams such as Edmonton or Colorado in trade offers for Trouba. Trade options could also include St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk and Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov while free agent possibilities include Keith Yandle or Alex Goligoski.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are believed very keen to land Shattenkirk. Indeed, the Blues could prefer shipping him to an Eastern Conference club rather than a Western rival like Edmonton or Colorado. They have the depth in draft picks and prospects to pitch a worthwhile offer. An offer sheet to Trouba, Lindholm, Jones or Dumba is possible. Such attempts, however, are rare and usually unsuccessful.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Rand reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher admitted receiving some trade calls on goaltender Darcy Kuemper. While he’s open to dealing Kuemper for the right price, Fletcher said he didn’t want to leave himself short at that position. He also said there’s lots of interest from clubs in acquiring one of the Wild’s young defensemen.
MLIVE.COM: Responding to questions from his readers, Ansar Khan believes Teemu Pulkkinen or Tomas Jurco could be in play if the Detroit Red Wings attempt to dump Pavel Datsyuk’s contract via trade. He also believes it would cost the Wings between $9-$10 million per season on a seven-year deal to possibly land Steven Stamkos if he hits the open market on July 1. Khan doubts the Wings can move goaltender Jimmy Howard, adding they’re not going to absorb part of his $5.3 million cap hit. He doesn’t see any way the Wings can land a prominent free agent this summer without first dealing away Datsyuk’s contract.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan believes Wings GM Ken Holland will try to move Datsyuk’s contract (one year remaining at $7.5 million salary-cap hit) but it appears he’s unwilling to add a high draft pick or talented young player to the deal. Failing that, perhaps Holland will try shopping Howard, defenseman Brendan Smith or forwards Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar in their quest to add a scoring forward or top-four defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland might not have much choice but to add a high draft pick or promising player into the mix if he hopes to shed Datsyuk’s cap hit for next season. I don’t see much of a market for Holland and Smith probably doesn’t have a high trade value. Nyquist or Tatar could fetch a return that addresses their blueline requirements but not their scoring forward needs.
CSN BAY AREA/THE GACKLE REPORT: It could be a fairly quiet offseason for the San Jose Sharks. GM Doug Wilson could be in the market for a reliable backup goalie if James Reimer departs via free agency on July 1. Signing Brent Burns, who’s eligible next summer for UFA status, to a contract extension is another item on Wilson’s agenda. When asked about Patrick Marleau’s future with the Sharks, Wilson said the veteran forward is “an important member of our team. He has been for a long, long time. And we feel he has a lot of good hockey left in him.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see much of a trade market for Marleau, who’s 36 with a cap hit of $6.66 million and a full no-movement clause. If Wilson wishes to go the UFA route to replace Reimer, there’s plenty of options (Al Montoya, Jhonas Enroth, Chad Johnston, Carter Hutton) available.