Latest on Steven Stamkos, Ben Bishop, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jonathan Bernier & more in your NHL rumor mill.
Stamkos, Bishop, Shattenkirk and Bernier.
TSN 1040 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Pierre LeBrun believes “Detroit, Buffalo, Toronto, potentially Vancouver, Montreal, Boston” will be among the clubs interested in bidding for Steven Stamkos on the open market on July 1. He also doesn’t rule out the possibility of Stamkos re-signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports the Montreal Canadiens will chase Stamkos, though they face long odds of landing him.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika replied to a reader’s question regarding rumors of the Dallas Star acquiring goalie Ben Bishop from the Lightning. He considers it a tricky move for both clubs. On the Lightning’s side, why not stick with Bishop for one more season to chase the Stanley Cup and trade his rights afterward? On the Stars side is concern over the cost in both return and a new contract for Bishop, who’s eligible next summer for UFA status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was considerable buzz during the draft weekend in Buffalo about a Bishop-to-Dallas deal, but it doesn’t appear as though anything will come of it.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeremy Rutherford report defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk doesn’t expect he’ll be with the St. Louis Blues for much longer. Indeed, his agent is surprised he hasn’t been dealt yet. The asking price set by Blues GM Doug Armstrong is reportedly high. “Reports around the NHL this season suggested that the Blues asked the Lightning for forward Jonathan Drouin, while another indicated that the club inquired of Detroit about forward Dylan Larkin. Other teams have backed out of talks with the Blues, citing the costly return.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues GM Doug Armstrong doesn’t seem too concerned about his high asking price. He’s willing to wait and see if a one of the clubs interested in Shattenkirk gets desperate enough to meet it.
TSN 1040 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Pierre Lebrun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs did get some trade calls on goalie Jonathan Bernier. The Florida Panthers are thought to have “kicked the tires” on Bernier, possibly as a backup for Roberto Luongo. However, nothing appears imminent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Leafs recent acquisition of Frederik Andersen, there’s no question Bernier’s on short time in Toronto. However, he’s carrying a $4.15 million cap hit for next season. I daresay interested clubs will either want the Leafs to pick up part of it, or take back a toxic contract.
Oilers and Avalanche
EDMONTON SUN: Robert Tychkowski reports the pressure is mounting upon Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli to find a top-pairing defenseman with a right-handed shot. Montreal’s P.K. Subban is apparently out of the picture while the asking price for St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk is too high. New York Islanders blueliner Travis Hamonic dropped his trade request and Colorado claims they’re not trading Tyson Barrie. Options seem to have dwindled to Minnesota’s Matt Dumba or pending UFA Jason Demers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Oilers insider Bob Stauffer suggesting Chiarelli might be targeting a defenseman no one has yet tied to Edmonton in the rumor mill. “It could be a player no one has mentioned. Could be an organization looking for some scoring. Could be a player no one has mentioned. We’ll see.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While we can make jokes about the Oilers pursuing a mystery defenseman, it’s quite possible Chiarelli is inquiring about blueliners who haven’t been linked to the Oilers in the rumor mill. It wouldn’t be the first time a trade was made involving players no one expected to be dealt. Feel free to weigh in with your theories in the comments section below.
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers reports the Colorado Avalanche inted to buy out the final season of veteran blueliner Brad Stuart’s contract. “Colorado could still add free agent forwards or defensemen but they won’t be expensive or long-term pickups.” The club also reached out to pending UFA forwards Mikkel Boedker and Shawn Matthias.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Avs putting the focus on re-signing Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon, it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re not looking to make a big splash in this summer’s trade and free-agent pools.