NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2017
Latest on Jonathan Drouin and Troy Brouwer plus an update on the Colorado Avalanche’s efforts to re-sign top prospect Will Butcher.
LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Yvon Pedneault recently wondered if Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin attempts to make a bold move this summer by signing a restricted free agent such as Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin to an offer sheet this summer.
Pedneault cites the Lightning’s salary-cap issues this summer as a reason why they could be vulnerable to an offer sheet. If Bergevin were to successfully sign away Drouin with a long-term deal worth $7 million annually, it would cost the Habs a first-, second- and third-round picks as compensation to the Lightning. Still, Pedneault suggests that move could prove worthwhile to improve the Canadiens’ offense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In his season-ending press conference, Bergevin said he would consider all options to improve the Canadiens this summer. An offer sheet cannot be ruled out, but it’s also unlikely that the Habs GM will go that route.
The last player to be successfully signed away by an offer sheet was Dustin Penner 10 years ago, when the Anaheim Ducks opted not to match an offer from the Edmonton Oilers. The last time an offer sheet was made was in 2013, when the Calgary Flames signed Ryan O’Reilly but the offer was matched by the Colorado Avalanche.
I believe Bergevin will go the traditional route of trades or signing unrestricted free agents to bolster his roster.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis recently speculated Flames winger Troy Brouwer could be exposed in June’s expansion draft. The acquisition of Curtis Lazar as a reclamation project could make the 31-year-old Brouwer expendable only a year after he signed with the Flames as an unrestricted free agent. He has three years left on his contract worth $4.5 million annually. Francis suggested the Vegas Golden Knights could pass on Brouwer, but being exposed in the draft could hurt the winger’s relationship with Flames management.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Brouwer is mature enough to understand the situation.
BSN NETWORK: Adrian Dater reports the Colorado Avalanche’s efforts to sign 2017 Hobey Baker Award-winning defenseman Will Butcher appears to be fading. Butcher can become eligible for unrestricted free agent on August 15. Dater speculates the young blueliner might not be Avalanche property much longer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If it appears Butcher is unwilling to sign with the Avs, they could shop his rights in June.