Latest Post-Trade Deadline Rumors – March 3, 2017
More fallout from the NHL trade deadline including such notables as Matt Duchene, Ben Bishop, Marc-Andre Fleury and more.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks considered all their options in their recent organizational meetings leading up to the trade deadline. Among them was the possibility of moving defenseman Alexander Edler and/or Chris Tanev. Given the youth on their defense, team president Trevor Linden said they decided they must have people who can “steady the ship.” Friedman said that’s also why they’re considering keeping goalie Ryan Miller, who’s eligible for free agency in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t expect Tanev or Edler to be on the trade block this summer.Miller seems to enjoy playing in Vancouver. Perhaps a one-year bonus-laden deal can be worked out.
Linden also said no one should expect his club to be busy in this summer’s UFA market. Unlike last summer’s signing of forward Loui Eriksson, the Canucks now seek “bridge” support on shorter terms.
The Edmonton Oilers have have looked into acquiring New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, who’s currently toiling in the minors. It’s possible they discussed swapping Halak for blueliner Mark Fayne. Both have a year left on their contracts.
Perhaps up to 10 teams reportedly had interest in Detroit Red Wings center Riley Sheahan. The Wings, however, decided not to move the struggling Sheahan, opting to evaluate his performance and attempt to improve it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sheahan has a year left on his contract at an affordable $2.075 million cap hit. He’ll still be a restricted free agent when that deal expires. It’s worthwhile giving him another season and an opportunity to bounce back from this season’s poor performance.
The LA Kings didn’t look at now-former Detroit winger Thomas Vanek. Before he was shipped to the Florida Panthers, the New York Islanders gave him some consideration.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Isles fail to land Matt Duchene from Colorado or another notable forward this summer, I wonder if they’ll think about bringing Vanek back via free agency on an affordable short-term deal. Thoughts, Isles fans?
Speaking of the Islanders, they were among the biggest pursuers of Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. The Montreal Canadiens were out as they’re unwilling to part with blueline prospect Mikhail Sergachev. Friedman guesses if Duchene, who has two years left on his contract, was eligible to sign an extension and if the Carolina Hurricanes believed they could get it done, he’d be there by now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman points out, the Hurricanes probably weren’t willing to swing a blockbuster to acquire a player with only has two years remaining on his contract. Other clubs, such as the Isles and Habs, could also have a similar concern.
Prior to acquiring winger Drew Stafford from the Winnipeg Jets, the Boston Bruins kicked tires on Arizona Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata. It also sounds like they had some interest in Buffalo Sabres blueliner Dmitry Kulikov. It’s also believed the Bruins put out a couple of feelers on struggling winger Matt Beleskey. Friedman suggests his former club, the Anaheim Ducks, could be interested in him this summer, depending upon their playoff performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beleskey hasn’t worked out as hoped for the Bruins. He’s got three seasons left on his contract at a cap hit of $3.8 million plus a modified no-trade clause. The salary is reasonable but those three years could be a sticking point.
Friedman believes the Nashville Predators were among the clubs that looked at Buffalo winger Evander Kane. Sabres GM Tim Murray shot down speculation claiming promising Alexander Nylander was available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s on pace to reach 30 goals for the second time in his career. Since returning from an early-season rib injury he’s been a consistent scorer for the Sabres. His improvement this season could bolster his trade value this summer. Then again, it could also tempt the Sabres to keep him. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out this summer.
The Los Angeles Kings looked into the trade value of declining winger Marian Gaborik, who has four years remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Kings can bundle Gaborik this summer with a high pick or top prospect to a rebuilding team with lots of cap space willing to absorb his $4.875 million annual cap hit, they’re stuck with him. They’ll likely leave him exposed in the expansion draft but I don’t see the Vegas Golden Knights selecting him. A buyout would have three costly seasons where the cap hit would be over $3 million annually.
Prior to being dealt from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Philadelphia Flyers, center Valtteri Filppula had the Toronto Maple Leafs on his no-trade list. Friedman said veteran players were reluctant to accept trades to the Leafs over concerns of getting buried in the minors. The Leafs were linked to Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison and Sabres blueliner Cody Franson.
The Calgary Flames had some interest in goaltender Ben Bishop, but the Kings were the only real taker for his services. The Flames reportedly also inquired about Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury several weeks ago but Friedman doesn’t think there was anything close.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames goaltending will once again be an offseason topic of interest. Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson are UFAs in July and have been inconsistent this season. Do they chase Ben Bishop via free agency or go shopping for a starter in the trade market? Will Elliott or Johnson win new contracts if they backstop the Flames into the playoffs? Should make for interesting times again in Calgary.
The Lightning still need a right-shot defenseman. Whatever GM Steve Yzerman was planning to move for Kevin Shattenkirk is, as Friedman puts it, “still in his holster”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some speculation Lightning center Tyler Johnson would’ve been part of the return to the St. Louis Blues for Shattenkirk. Not sure how reliable that chatter was, but had Shattenkirk accepted a seven-year, $42-million contract from the Bolts, one has to think it would’ve taken a player like Johnson as part of the return to make that deal happen.