The New York Rangers traded the rights to defenseman Keith Yandle to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a sixth-rounder pick in 2016 plus a conditional fourth-round pick in 2017 if he signs with the Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting move by the Panthers, who traded away Erik Gudbranson last month to the Vancouver Canucks. They also face the possibility of losing Brian Campbell to unrestricted free agency and Willie Mitchell (concussion) to retirement.
This move could lend credence to recent speculation that the Panthers are entertaining offers for blueliner Dmitry Kulikov. If they re-sign Yandle and Campbell, Kulikov could be a goner. The Boston Bruins were reportedly interested in him.
As for the Rangers, no surprise here. They couldn’t afford to re-sign Yandle so they’re getting what they can for him, rather than losing him for nothing to free agency.
The Nashville Predators traded the rights to college prospect forward Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the 76th pick in the 2016 NHL draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vesey isn’t obligated to sign with the Sabres. He’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agent status on August 15.
While there’s rampant speculation Vesey could sign with his hometown Boston Bruins or the Toronto Maple Leafs (his dad works as a Leafs scout), he shares the same player agent as Sabres center Jack Eichel. Perhaps the notion of teaming up with Eichel will be appealing to Vesey.
Regardless, it’s a worthwhile gamble by Sabres GM Tim Murray. At best, he’ll sign a highly-touted college prospect. At worst, he’s only out a third-round pick that originally belong to the Minnesota Wild.