Updates on the Islanders, Red Wings & Flyers – April 16, 2017
Latest on John Tavares plus more speculation on the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky year-long search for a new president of hockey operations either failed to turn up a suitable candidate or they were impressed by the club’s solid second-half under GM Garth Snow and interim coach (now head coach) Doug Weight.
Staple believes re-signing John Tavares to a long-term contract extension is foremost on the owners’ minds. They had courted Tavares’ agent Pat Brisson this season and keeping them informed about the club’s future home, front office and more.
Tavares will reportedly let the club know of his intentions in a few weeks. Staple believes it’ll take an eight-year deal worth $10 million annually to retain the Isles captain. If unable to re-sign Tavares, Snow could shop him this summer.
Staple also thinks the Isles need a second-line center, they could move an established defenseman as well as lose one in the expansion draft, their goaltending still isn’t stable and they must make room for for prospects Mathew Barzal and Josh Ho-Sang in their opening-night roster for next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares can officially re-sign on July 1 as he’s a year away from UFA status by then. I expect the Tavares trade speculation will start ramping up again by mid-May and build to a frenzy heading into the NHL Draft weekend (June 23-24) if there’s no indication they can get a deal done before then.
If they need to trade an established blueliner, Nick Leddy or Travis Hamonic could be used to bring in that second-line center. Johnny Boychuk has a no-movement clause and must agree to be dealt.
The goaltending must be addressed, either via free agency or trade. They cannot return for another season with the troika of Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss and J-F Berube.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently examined possible offseason moves by the Detroit Red Wings. He felt winger Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist must step up their production next season, assuming they’re still with the club as one of them could be used as a trade chip to land a top-three defenseman.
Landing that type of blueliner is a priority. Kevin Shattenkirk of the Washington Capitals is the best available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market, but Khan doubted he’ll sign with a team that finished 25th overall this season. He pointed out the Wings pursue Anaheim’s Cam Fowler and Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba in the past. He wondered if they might revisit their interest in either guy this summer, though it could cost the Wings one of their top young forwards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Wings can land Shattenkirk, Fowler or Trouba, but this summer’s expansion draft could create opportunities for land a good young defenseman via trade, perhaps by dangling Tatar or Nyquist. The Carolina Hurricanes could also be a trade option. They have depth in young blueliners that could interest the Wings and need some scoring punch at forward.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports a revolving door of left wings contributed to Philadelphia Flyers’ center Claude Giroux’s sub-par performance this season. He believes finding a top-line left wing with size could be on GM Ron Hextall’s offseason wish list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Toronto Maple Leafs could be left wing (and former Flyer) James van Riemsdyk on the trade block this summer if unable to re-sign him to a contact extension this summer. The Leafs, however, need a good young top-four blueliner and could ask for Ivan Provorov in return. The Buffalo Sabres could be looking for takers for Evander Kane.