NHL Draft Day Rumor Mill (Part Two) – June 23, 2017
Updates on Evander Kane, Travis Hamonic, Alex Galchenyuk, Marc Methot and Jason Demers in Part Two of your NHL Draft Day rumor mill.
Friedman noted the Los Angeles Kings had interest in Kane but only on a “one-year thing” so he doesn’t know what that stands now.
Dreger said he hasn’t been able to nail down the specific clubs with interest in Kane but said they’re believed in “win-now mode”. He noted the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers are among the teams in that mode, though he doesn’t know if they’re targeting Kane.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kane rumors simply won’t die, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s on the move. I think Sabres GM Jason Botterill is doing the right thing by listening to offers but I don’t think he’s under pressure to move Kane, who carries a $5.25 million cap hit next season and is eligible next July for UFA status.
Friedman may have been referring to Kane’s current contract when he spoke of that “one-year thing” the Kings were interested in. Perhaps he was talking about a one-year extension.
Friedman also wouldn’t be surprised if teams were asking the Sabres about forward Sam Reinhart and suggested Buffalo could be a destination for Washington Capitals pending UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart struggled at times last season but still finished with a respectable 47 points in his sophomore campaign. Botterill could listen but I don’t think he’s that keen to move this kid.
As for Shattenkirk, if he prefers to sign close to New York City, Buffalo would be a good option. However, are they prepared to pony up over $6 million per season for him? And does he want to join a rebuilding team? Not sure he could be a fit there.
Dreger notes the New Jersey Devils remain a contender for Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rumored the Habs seek a top-four defenseman as part of the return. The Devils don’t have any to spare.
If you’re a Canadian team with interest in Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Marc Methot, forget about pursuing him via trade. Dreger reports all but the Ottawa Senators are on his 10-team “no-trade” list. The Senators (if interested) can’t get him back until after January 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, Methot could waive it to join another Canadian team, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.
Friedman also considers the rumor of the Calgary Flames with interest in New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic to be 100 percent accurate. He thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the mix but isn’t sure about the Dallas Stars. He’s also heard rumors the Isles seek two first-round picks for Hamonic and speculates they want to keep sufficient cap space clear for John Tavares. Friedman reports Florida Panthers defenseman Jason Demers is “definitely available” and wouldn’t be surprised if the Flames were checking him out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two first round picks is a very high price for Hamonic. Still, he could be worth it for the Flames if they hope to strengthen their top-four defense as they attempt to rise toward Stanley Cup contention. The Leafs have plenty of youth to draw upon in their pipeline and hold two second-round picks this year and next. The Stars have that third overall selection this year and are in the market for an established top-four blueliner. Demers, meanwhile, could be a more affordable option for clubs that lose out on Hamonic.
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