NHL Rumor Mill – June 12, 2017
A look at TSN’s updated trade-bait board in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Frank Seravalli recently updated his offseason NHL trade-bait board, adding Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane and Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith among his top ten with Kane at No. 8 and Smith at No. 10.
Seravalli reports Sabres general manager Jason Botterill is listening to offers for Kane, who’s been linked to the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botterill must bolster his defense and it’s rumored his asking price could be a top-four defenseman. Kane could be a good fit on the Kings but they’ll have a difficult time taking on his $5.25 million contract. They’ll have to shed salary or get the Sabres to pick up part of his cap hit. As for the Canucks, the interest in Kane supposedly died off midway through last season. If they’re truly committed to rebuilding with young player within their system, they won’t pursue Kane.
He also believes the Coyotes want to get younger in goal and are leaning toward 24-year-old Louis Domingue. The Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and Vegas Golden Knights appear the only obvious vacancies for Smith.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domingue isn’t ready yet to take on the starter’s job full time in Arizona. Moving Smith would be a big mistake unless they intend on finding a suitable replacement via trade or free agency.
The Dallas Stars reportedly have interest in Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev. Moving him before the expansion draft would allow the Canucks to protect Luca Sbisa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe I’m missing something here, but why would the Canucks trade Tanev to ensure they can protect Sbisa? This doesn’t make sense to me.
Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (No. 11 on the list) and Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown (No. 28) are also recent additions. Both clubs need to shed salary for next season. The Hawks have reportedly had multiple discussion with Vegas regarding Kruger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kruger’s widely considered the Blackhawks most likely trade candidate. However, recent speculation out of Chicago suggests they could ship out a core player to clear cap space, perhaps Artem Anisimov or Brent Seabrook. Still, Kruger seems the easiest to move.
As for Brown, there was some talk suggesting the Kings package him with a first-round pick in an offer to the Vegas Golden Knights, but folks shouldn’t assume Vegas will be a dumping ground for teams looking to shed bad contracts.