Latest on the Canucks, Sabres, Predators & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SOME TRADE TARGETS FOR THE CANUCKS
VANCOUVER SUN: Jason Botchford lists Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Tyson Barrie, Boston Bruins center David Krejci, Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane and Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell as suggested trade targets for the Vancouver Canucks.
To get Landeskog or Barrie, Botchford suggests it could cost the Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev as part of the deal. He wonders if Alexander Edler might interest the Bruins, though probably not straight up. If the Canucks can get Kane for a low price, it could be worthwhile. While Hartnell’s $4.75 million contract is “terrible”, Botchford speculates few in Vancouver would complain if the Canucks could part with Luca Sbisa, even by eating part of his salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Avs being tempted by Tanev to give up Landeskog or Barrie unless something else was added. Yes, I know, the Oilers traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson last month so anything’s possible, but we can’t assume Avs GM Joe Sakic would be as desperate as Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton.
The Bruins might have interest in Edler for Krejci, but I think their focus is on St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk or Anaheim’s Cam Fowler. If the Canucks truly interested in Evander Kane, the Sabres will probably listen. I don’t see the Blue Jackets being tempted by an offer of Sbisa and a portion of his cap hit for Hartnell.
UPDATES ON HOWARD, VESEY AND KANE
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont speculates if Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland is convinced Petr Mrazek is his No.1 goalie, trading goalie Jimmy Howard and his $5.3 million cap hit would be the most obvious way to get under the salary-cap ceiling for 2016-17. Dupont suggests Howard’s current cap hit for the next three seasons is “a fairly comfortable number for a No. 1, especially with his solid résumé.” The Wings are currently over $4.2 million above the cap ceiling. He suggests one move could see the Wings absorb a third of Howard’s cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dupont should take a closer look at Howard’s resume. Since 2013-14, it’s nowhere near as impressive as it once was. The Wings reportedly gauged Howard’s trade value this offseason and apparently couldn’t drum up sufficient interest. That could change in training camp, preseason play or at some point in 2016-17. For now, Howard is probably untradeable, unless they agree to pick up a significant chunk of his cap hit.
Unless the Boston Bruins can sign pending unrestricted free agent prospect winger Jimmy Vesey, Dupont doubts they’ll make any significant roster additions before the start of training camp. Defense remains a concern for the Bruins.
Speaking of Vesey, if the Buffalo Sabres can re-sign him, Dupont believes they’ll move quickly to unload troubled left wing Evander Kane.
LATEST ON THE PREDATORS AND JETS
NHL.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Dan Rosen speculated Nashville Predators GM David Poile will see how the season plays out with Ryan Johansen, Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro as his top-three centers. Fisher and Ribeiro are aging, while Johansen still hasn’t shown the same offensive potential as he did in the AHL. He points out Poile isn’t afraid to make a blockbuster move, suggesting something could brew a few months into the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The addition of P.K. Subban on the Predators blueline could boost Johansen’s offensive numbers. This will also be the young center’s first full season with the Preds, which could also help his production. Rosen’s point about Fisher and Ribeiro getting long in the tooth is certainly valid. If one or both show signs of flagging as 2016-17 rolls on, Poile could be prompted to swing a deal.
Rosen also believes the Winnipeg Jets will re-sign, not trade, defenseman Jacob Trouba. With Trouba coming off his entry-level contract, Rosen notes the blueliner doesn’t have much leverage in contract talks with the Jets to land a lucrative long-term deal. He expects the two sides will reach an agreement on a new deal before the start of training camp, doubting he’ll want to play in the World Cup of Hockey without a new contract. Rosen doubts the Jets have any desire to trade Trouba.