Latest on the Lightning, Red Wings & Senators – May 29, 2017
Pros and cons of trading Jonathan Drouin plus more speculation on possible moves by the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators in your NHL rumor mill.
Smith cites the financial cost of re-signing the 22-year-old, his current high trade value and the club’s need to bring in another top-tier defenseman as the reasons why the Lightning could consider a trade. With $18 million in cap space, he believes the Lightning lack sufficient cap space to re-sign RFAs such as Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson and still have enough to go around for the remainder of the roster.
Fennelly cites Drouin’s unique playmaking skills and offensive upside as the factors for keeping the talented winger. He instead believes Johnson should be dealt to ensure sufficient cap space to re-sign Drouin and Palat and to address their other roster needs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve summarized Smith and Fennelly’s arguments to present the main points. I recommend you follow the links provided above to read their full takes on this topic.
Drouin would certainly bring in that high-value puck-moving defenseman the Lightning need. There was talk that he was offered in a package deal last January to the St. Louis Blues for Kevin Shattenkirk before the rearguard was shipped a month later to the Washington Capitals.
But if they trade Drouin, there’s a definite risk he goes on to become an all-star with another club. I share Fennelly’s view that the Bolts should retain Drouin and shop Johnson for a d-man.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings would like to move one of their goaltenders (Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek) prior to submitting their expansion draft protection list on June 17. General manager Ken Holland admits he’s not sure what he’ll do but will continue working the phones. “Holland denied telling Grand Rapids Griffins radio announcer Bob Kaser that he intends to trade Mrazek,” writes Khan, who notes that it makes more sense to protect him in the draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Howard is exposed it’s possible the Vegas Golden Knights could select him, clearing nearly $5.3 million annually from the Wings’ salary-cap payroll for the next two seasons. However, there’s no guarantee Vegas will make this move.
If the Wings can find any takers for Howard via trade, they not only ensure moving his cap hit but could also get something back in return. However, they could be forced to pick up part of his cap hit to make him more enticing in the trade market.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion has lots of work to do in a shortened offseason. Garrioch speculates it’ll be surprising if veteran UFA forwards Chris Kelly, Chris Neil and Tommy Wingels return, but suggests they could attempt to re-sign winger Tom Pyatt. It’s expected goaltender Craig Anderson will sign a one-year contract extension this summer. Backup Mike Condon is a UFA but he’s indicated he wants to stay in Ottawa, leading Garrioch to speculate that a deal could be worked out.
The Sens must also decide if they’ll re-sign center Jean-Gabriel Pageau to a long-term deal or let an arbitrator decide. Pageau could also attract some interest from rival clubs interested in a trade. Fellow RFA Ryan Dzingel could sign his qualifying offer as he’s not dealing from a position of strength.
Garrioch also suggests asking Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause in order to protect Marc Methot in the expansion draft makes the most sense. The Sens don’t want to lose Phaneuf and Garrioch guesses they’ll get assurances from the Vegas Golden Knights that they won’t select him. They also have to decide if they’ll leave winger Bobby Ryan unprotected.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Anderson, Pageau, Condon and Dzingel will be re-signed. If Phaneuf and/or Ryan are exposed in the draft I doubt the Golden Knights will be eager to take on their expensive cap hits.