NHL Rumor Mill – March 10, 2017
Latest on Leon Draisaitl, Brian Elliott, Sami Vatanen, Dustin Brown & more in your NHL rumor mill.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: If the Edmonton Oilers are thinking of re-signing forward Leon Draisaitl to a three-year bridge contract rather than a long-term extension, Jim Matheson suggests Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov’s three-year deal worth $4.76 million annually as the benchmark.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what type of deal Draisaitl receives. He’s completing his three-year entry-level contract and one of the reasons the Oilers are a playoff contender this season. Previous management would lock up Draisaitl to an expensive seven-year deal as they did with Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but current GM Peter Chiarelli might prefer a shorter term.
Matheson also believes the Calgary Flames will re-sign pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Brian Elliott but maybe not backup Chad Johnson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott’s performance improved following a horrible first half of the season. However, I still think they’ll look at Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury via the trade market or Los Angeles’ Ben Bishop or Chicago’s Scott Darling via free agency this summer.
He also wonders if there’s a club that will take defenseman Sami Vatanen’s contract (three more seasons at $4.875 million annually) from the Anaheim Ducks this summer. He considers Vatanen the Ducks’ fourth-best blueliner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Somebody will. The Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils all need experienced skill on their respective blue lines.
Matheson acknowledges the Winnipeg Jets need a goaltender but also believes they need a top-four shutdown blueliner.
He also feels the Los Angeles Kings will have to get creative to get the Vegas Golden Knights to take winger Dustin Brown off their hands. Brown would have to agree to waive his no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t see Brown waiving his no-movement clause for an expansion team. He’s also got five more seasons at over $5.5 million annually left on his contract. Even if he agreed to waive his clause for the draft, the Golden Knights could pass on that contract.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports no one was close to offering up what the Colorado Avalanche sought for forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog before the trade deadline. ” A team may have offered three or four pieces, and while the quantity was there, the quality was not to Colorado’s liking,” said Friedman.
He also speculates the Carolina Hurricanes could look for a trade option for struggling goalie Eddie Lack this summer. He believes the happy-go-lucky Lack isn’t a good match with the Canes. The goalie recently received a public dressing down from coach Bill Peters for his poor play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lack played well as a backup with the Vancouver Canucks. Perhaps a change of clubs is necessary to help him regain his form. He has a year remaining on his contract worth $2.75 million.