Updates on Steven Stamkos, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop and many more in your NHL rumor mill.
Stamkos, Shattenkirk, Bishop, Reimer.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, a pending unrestricted free agent, can now speak with other clubs. However, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said all avenues remain open to re-sign him. He also didn’t rule out doing a sign-and-trade.
Darren Dreger notes the Detroit Red Wings shipping out the final season of Pavel Datsyuk’s contract ($7.5 million salary-cap hit) makes room for Wings GM Ken Holland to pursue Stamkos on the open market. Dreger said the Wings could table a seven-year offer worth at least $10 million annually.
Bob McKenzie believes Stamkos wants to return with the Lightning, but now that the window is open to speak with other clubs, why not listen to what they have to offer. While the Lightning reportedly offered $8.5 million per season, there’s no state tax in Florida, meaning that could go further than a $10 million per season offer from Toronto. James Duthie, however, points out Stamkos could make around $3 million per year through endorsements in Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s looking increasingly likely that Stamkos will depart Tampa Bay. If the Wings don’t land him, they’ll certainly have the cap space to chase one of the other top players in this summer’s UFA market. Toronto and Buffalo are also expected to be among the suitors for Stamkos.
Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers will continue shopping for a defenseman. The asking prices are very high, but with the Oilers selecting Jesse Puljujarvi with the fourth overall pick in the NHL draft, perhaps that makes it easier to move someone like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle for a blueliner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to cost the Oilers one of those three forwards if they hope to land a quality defenseman. Of the three, Hall would fetch the best return. Now that they’ve kept the fourth-overall pick to select Puljujarvi, this should bring the “P.K.Subban to Edmonton” speculation to a close. That pick was supposed to be a key part of those rumored deals for Subban.
LeBrun believes Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will have to step it up if he wants St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Blues GM Doug Armstrong said the offers he’s currently received for Shattenkirk aren’t anywhere close to what he’s seeking. Armstrong is willing to be patient and wait for the right offer.
McKenzie reports Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop and Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury could be staying with their current clubs for the time being. The Calgary Flames acquisition of Brian Elliott means there’s no club right now willing to pay up for top goalies such as Bishop or Fleury.
Frank Seravalli reports Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving might not be done shopping for a goalie after acquiring Brian Elliott on Friday from the Blues. With Elliott signed through 2016-17 at $2.5 million, Seravalli suggests San Jose Sharks pending UFA James Reimer might be an option to form the other half of the Flames’ goalie tandem.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquiring another goalie suggests they lack confidence in RFA netminder Joni Ortio, which could put his future with the Flames in doubt.
Fleury, Kulikov, Bonino, Strome.
SPORTSNET: Prior to the opening round of the NHL draft, Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes might be a destination for Marc-Andre Fleury, suggesting a flip of Cam Ward or Eddie Lack for Fleury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an interesting suggestion, but I think the Hurricanes will stick with Ward and Lack for next season.
Friedman also wondered how the Florida Panthers re-signing Keith Yandle could affect blueliner Dmitri Kulikov. He’s been linked to the Boston Bruin, Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Team may be interested, but in recent days various reports out of Florida claim Kulikov isn’t available.
Teams could contact the Pittsburgh Penguins to inquire about center Nick Bonino. He has a year left on his contract ($1.9 million cap hit) and will be due a big raise.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are currently over the $73 million cap ceiling for next season, though they could get under that ceiling if Pascal Dupuis officially retires and his $3.75 million cap hit comes off the books. Still, that won’t leave much room for other moves. Moving Fleury’s $5.75 million cap hit would address that issue, but there doesn’t appear to be a market for him this summer. GM Jim Rutherford could be forced to consider other moves, though I’m sure dealing Bonino is not something he wants to do.
New York Islander GM Garth Snow said he’s not interested in moving forward Ryan Strome.
Oilers, Ducks, Rangers, Bruins and Senators.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers and Minnesota Wild had discussions on the draft floor yesterday, most likely about center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins going to the Wild for a young defenseman such as Matt Dumba or Jonas Brodin. He claims nothing came of it and Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli declined to discuss the specifics of their talks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication if the Oilers and Wild will revisit those discussions today. Doesn’t sound like it.
The Buffalo Sabres reportedly had some interest in Oiler right wing Nail Yakupov. It’s believed the Sabres wish to move winger Tyler Ennis to free up more cap room for a run at Steven Stamkos via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At $4.6 million per season through 2018-19, Ennis could be a tough sell. I doubt the Oilers would agree to a swap of Yakupov for Ellis.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports the Anaheim Ducks didn’t move defenseman Cam Fowler because GM Bob Murray didn’t receive any satisfactory trade offers. Murray acknowledged teams are making calls but he was never close to a deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s assumed Murray wants to move out Fowler’s $4 million cap hit to make room for Hampus Lindholm’s new contract. This could be something that percolates beyond the draft weekend.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports a source said Rangers GM Jeff Gorton “looked into potential suitors for either or both of defensemen Dan Girardi and Marc Staal” before the opening round of the 2016 NHL draft. It is not believed either player was asked to waive their no-movement clauses. Leonard also learned Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is willing to take a discount on any contract extension signed with the Rangers if he ends up traded to New York.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers aren’t pursuing a defenseman like Shattenkirk who has only one year left on his contract. He also claims a deal that would’ve sent the Blues defenseman to the Edmonton Oilers fell through.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports a source claiming Shattenkirk would end up with the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyer or New York Rangers for 2016-17. Haggerty notes that Bruins GM Don Sweeney said other teams’ managers asked him “to include both of his 2016 first round picks and more to swing a deal for a defenseman.” Winger David Pastrnak’s name came up in those discussions, but Sweeney isn’t willing to part with him.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion will today focus on trying to move defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and winger Alex Chiasson. The Sens have until Monday to decide if they make qualifying offer to the two restricted free agents. Wiercioch would cost $2.7 million while Chiasson would cost $1.2 million.