Updates on Steven Stamkos, Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and many more in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest from TSN’s Insiders.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wants to re-sign pending UFA Steven Stamkos and reiterated that to Stamkos during their end-of-season meeting. LeBrun believes it’s up to Stamkos whether he re-signs or not. Bob McKenzie wonders what that could take, noting the only offer the Lightning are known to have made was $8.5 milion per season for “five or six years”. McKenzie speculates they’d prefer it to be $9 million or less and even then there’s no guarantees.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Stamkos is likely to dominate the rumor mill throughout this month, thankfully his status will be resolved one way or the other in a month’s time.
Darren Dreger claims the Detroit Red Wings are looking at Stamkos as a UFA option but they must move out Pavel Datsyuk’s $7.5 million cap hit if he plays next year in the KHL. He claims Wings GM Ken Holland is working hard to move that contract to a team that needs to reach the salary-cap floor next season, but suggests names like Tomas Jurco or Teemu Pulkkinen must be attached as a sweetener to move that contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also been suggested it could only cost the Wings a draft pick or two (no higher than a second) to move Datsyuk’s contract.
LeBrun believes there’s a mutual willingness between the Los Angeles Kings management and pending UFA left wing Milan Lucic to get a deal done, but there hasn’t been much to report since their late-season contract discussions. He claims Lucic has grown open toward the possibility of going to market. LeBrun expects the Vancouver Canucks could make an offer and he thinks Lucic would be open to an offer from Edmonton Oilers general manager (and former Boston Bruins GM) Peter Chiarelli. Right now, he’d still like to stay with the Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lucic is within his rights to consider testing the market, but revealing he’s open to offers from other clubs also puts pressure upon the Kings to re-sign him.
Leafs first-overall pick
McKenzie thinks the Arizona Coyotes could make a courtesy call to the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding the availability of the first-overall pick, but he doesn’t believe the Leafs have any interest in giving up that pick, which they will use to select Arizona native Auston Matthews. He doesn’t believe the Coyotes would move any of their young foundation players (such as forwards Max Domi or Dylan Strome) as part of the deal. They have the 7th and 20th overall draft picks plus prospects such as Christian Dvorak, but he doesn’t believe those would interest the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading the first-overall pick to the Coyotes is a possibility, but everything I’ve heard and read indicates the Leafs intend to keep that pick and select Matthews.
New York Rangers
McKenzie considers the New York Rangers “wide open for business”. Apart from Henrik Lundqvist and perhaps captain Ryan McDonagh, the Rangers could be talking to a lot of teams about a lot of players in a bit of a retool. Whether it is Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, McKenzie said they’re not going to give those players away, but those names and just about everyone on the roster could be wide open for discussion.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t sound like Rangers management wants to blow up the roster but they certainly seem keen to shake things up. Lundqvist isn’t available and I doubt they’ll part with McDonagh. But I think they’ll certainly try to move Dan Girardi and/or Marc Staal, and I don’t rule out shopping Nash, who now has a 12-team no-trade list.
Dreger claims the Detroit Red Wings are comfortable offering Alex Radulov a one-year deal between $4-$5 million, but a couple of NHL sources claim Radulov seeks a two-year deal at $7.5 million per.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov’s dreaming if he thinks he’s getting $7.5 million per season from anyone in the NHL. If the Wings are willing to ink him for a year at between $4-$5 million, he better jump on it.
LeBrun claims one team contacted the Montreal Canadiens about P.K. Subban, whose no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. He doubts the Canadiens move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As do I.
Canucks and Barrie
ESPN.COM: LeBrun also believes the Canucks priority is to add a winger through free agency, the draft or via trade. He believes they could target Lucic or Boston Bruins right wing Loui Eriksson. He also believes the Colorado Avalanche could trade defenseman Tyson Barrie if unable to re-sign him, suggesting the Edmonton Oilers could be among the bidders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed Canucks GM (and former Bruins assistant GM) Jim Benning covets Eriksson, and I certainly believe he’d pursue Lucic if the Kings winger is interested in returning home to Vancouver. As for Barrie, if the Avs shop him, I think the Oilers will pursue him.
TSN 690 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): McKenzie believes the New York Islanders could make moves via trade or free agency if right wing Kyle Okposo and center Frans Nielsen depart via free agency.
McKenzie can’t say unequivocally that the Winnipeg Jets will trade RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba as they could very well get him re-signed. However, he expects there will be teams calling the Jets to express interest in Trouba.
McKenzie doesn’t rule out the St. Louis Blues trading defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk but doesn’t rule out the possibility he returns with the Blues next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Blues can’t find a suitable return for Shattenkirk this summer they could try moving him later next season, perhaps near the trade deadline.
McKenzie feels finances are driving the Anaheim Ducks situation with pending RFA defensemen Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm. It may be they cannot afford to re-sign both and could be forced to move one of them this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve read and heard some folks claim the Ducks aren’t a budget team, but every knowledgeable insider (such as McKenzie) claims they cannot afford to re-sign both Vatanen and Lindholm. I’d also add Frederik Andersen, though that seems more a case of choosing between he or John Gibson going forward. If it comes to a choice between those two defensemen, I think they keep Lindholm and move Vatanen.
McKenzie believes the Edmonton Oilers are open to trades. Possibly center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be moved, possibly right wing Jordan Eberle or maybe something can be done with the fourth overall pick.