Lists of notable remaining UFA players plus updates on Kevin Shattenkirk & more in your NHL rumor mill.
Updates on Shattenkirk and Fowler
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports it appears defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will remain with the St. Louis Blues when the 2016-17 season opens. Shattenkirk is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. Blues GM Doug Armstrong said his goal is to re-sign the blueliner. The Boston Bruins were reportedly interested in the Blues defenseman, but might now look elsewhere to bring in a top-two defenseman. “With Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and David Backes all signed to big contracts, perhaps the Bruins explore dealing Krejci for another one of the available transition D-man on the market,” writes Haggerty. He suggests Colorado’s Tyson Barrie and Anaheim’s Cam Fowler as possible trade targets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues losing David Backes and Troy Brouwer to free agency yesterday could change how they view Shattenkirk’s future with the franchise. They now have more cap space beyond next season than they would’ve had if they re-signed one or both forwards to long-term contracts.
I don’t doubt Bruins GM Don Sweeney could look into the trade status of Barrie and Fowler, but I doubt the Avs and Ducks will be interested in Krejci. The asking price is likely to be what it was for Shattenkirk, and that’s promising winger David Pastrnak in a one-for-one deal or packaged with a high draft pick or top prospect.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington speculates Sabres GM Tim Murray is still trying to pry defenseman Cam Fowler away from the Anaheim Ducks. Harrington suggests Murray offer up next year’s first-round draft picks. He also believes Murray will begin wooing prospect Jimmy Vesey in earnest soon and is also in the market for a backup goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray has depth in draft picks and young talent to tempt the Ducks. A reader yesterday asked me what I thought of the Sabres offering up Evander Kane for Fowler. Given Kane’s ongoing off-ice issues and declining production, however, I don’t think the Ducks will be interested.
Latest NHL UFA News.
NBC SPORTS/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jason Demers, Jiri Hudler, Kris Russell, Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, Justin Schultz, Brad Richards, Brandon Pirri, Roman Polak and Sam Gagner are among the notable players still available in the 2016 NHL free-agent market.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli no longer plans to pursue defenseman Jason Demers. He also adds right wing Nail Yakupov remains on the roster at this point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve included these lists as I’m sure some of you would like to speculate on where some of these players could end up. Definitely down to the secondary talent now, folks. Several of these could be signed today.
In addition to the Oilers, Demers was linked to the Montreal Canadiens, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are among those reportedly with interest in Russell. Schultz could be a good under-the-radar signing.