NHL Rumor Mill – May 31, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – May 31, 2017

New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero not actively shopping goaltender Cory Schneider.

Latest on the New Jersey Devils, Vegas Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero telling TSN’s Pierre LeBrun that he isn’t actively shopping goaltender Cory Schneider. While Schneider has a no-trade clause, Shero said no one’s untradeable on his club.

That being said, Shero’s told the goalie he’d love to have him bounce back next season. Regarding trade speculation about Schneider, the Devils GM said he hasn’t called other clubs to inquire about moving the netminder. 

Shero also told LeBrun he’s already received some calls about the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft. The Devils won that selection during the draft lottery back in April. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero didn’t say if he’s getting calls about Schneider, but he doesn’t sound as though he’s looking into moving him. Despite Schneider’s age (31), Shero appears intent to stick with him as his starter. He really doesn’t have anyone in his system to step in and replace Schneider as a reliable starter, nor is there anyone available via free agency or in this summer’s trade market. 

As for that draft pick, if Shero could get a good young defenseman or scoring forward as part of the return, I think he might consider it. However, the last time a first-overall pick was traded at the draft was in 2003, when the Florida Panthers shipped the first overall selection to the PIttsburgh Penguins in exchange for the third overall pick. I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting Shero to move that pick. 

TSN: Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee expects to acquire more draft picks in the 2017 NHL draft. He said he hopes to start announcing trades by next week.

McPhee’s also hoping to use his club’s window for signing free agents to get a better player than one that a team might otherwise expose in the expansion draft. A free agent signing would count as Vegas’ selection from the player’s previous team.

He also said he’d be open to signing an unrestricted free agent and then trading them for draft picks, though each move like that would leave his club with one less pick in the expansion draft. He could also move some players within days of selecting them in the expansion draft.  Though the Golden Knights can select 30 players in the expansion draft, McPhee acknowledged he can’t keep all of them “because we can’t get six or seven players through waivers if we wanted to, most of them are not waiver exempt.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears McPhee will be quite busy throughout June attempting to wheel and deal in hopes of stockpiling assets and trying to add better players to his inaugural roster. It’ll be interesting to see what trades he makes and which players he signs in the coming weeks. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion intends to renew contract discussions with pending UFA goalie Mike Condon. He admits the two sides aren’t close to a deal, though Condon on Saturday told reporters he hopes to return. Dorion even threw out the possibility of Andrew Hammond returning as their backup next season if unable to re-sign Condon. Hammond has a year remaining on his contract. Garrioch speculates the Sens could pass on Condon if he seeks north of $2 million annually on his next contract.