In the newest edition of 31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman wonders about a number of players and what might happen with them following the conclusion of the playoffs:
- He wonders about Andreas Athanasiou, now with the Oilers, as he approaches restricted free agency with arbitration rights. As the Oilers cap situation is tight, they need to make a decision on if they could fit in Athanasiou’s potential arbitration award. Should they decide they can’t, they could try to trade him or simply not extend him a qualifying offer, making him a UFA.
- Friedman also questions whether it might be Semyon Varlamov or Thomas Greiss who works alongside rookie Ilya Sorokin in the Islanders’ crease next season. Greiss is a pending UFA, and Varlamov is signed for 3 more seasons at a cap-hit of $5 million. Given the Islanders’ cap position, he wonders if they might offer Greiss a more affordable deal in hopes of moving Varlamov’s contract out–which I would suggest would be difficult in the today’s cap environment.
- He also wonders about Mikael Granlund as he approaches unrestricted free agency. Granlund was having a quiet season for the Predators before exploding for 7 goals in 14 games in February. His value on the free agent market might be set by his play in the upcoming play-in and play-offs.
- He wonders about retirement for Wild captain Mikko Koivu. Koivu opted to use his no-trade clause is order to stay with the Wild at the trade deadline, despite interest around the league.
- Friedman hints that pending UFAs Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman might be casualties as the Panthers make an effort to trim payroll. Hoffman is a big part of Florida’s powerplay attack.
- Friedman quotes Penguins GM Jim Rutherford about how one of Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry doesn’t necessarily need to be the one moved in Pittsburgh. I’ll still bet on Murray being moved.
- He wonders if strong performances from David Rittich and/or Cam Talbot might convince the Flames to stay the course in net rather than a bold move to bring in a goalie from outside.
Andreas Athanasiou, Cam Talbot, David Rittich, Evgenii Dadonov, Matt Murray, Mikael Granlund, Mike Hoffman, Mikko Koivu, Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Greiss, Tristan Jarry
The Edmonton Oilers and RW Zack Kassian are closing in on a contract extension. Mark Spector has the projected terms:
Kassian was the be a UFA at season’s end. Kassian has 13 goals and 15 assists in 44 games with the Oilers this season, playing primarily on Connor McDavid’s right wing.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Nail Yakupov to a two-year, $5 million contract extension.
The 21-year-old Russian winger has come under fire for not producing as much as expected thus far in his NHL career, but managed this season to put up 21 points in 34 games following the All-Star break.
The deal doesn’t guarantee Yakupov will be part of Edmonton’s long-term core, but it shows the team has not given up on their former No. 1 pick.
Jeff Petry has been traded to the Canadiens for a 2015 2nd round pick and a conditional 5th round pick.
The 5th round pick can become as high as a 3rd if the Canadiens win two rounds of playoffs.
From February 26th’s TSN Insider Trading:
Bob McKenzie says the Blackhawks definitely want to use the money available from placing Patrick Kane on LTIR on a player with to term on his contract beyond this season. He says, at this point, the Hawks are the most interested team in making a deal before the deadline, and that Antoine Vermette is the player most in demand throughout the league. The Blackhawks are seriously interested in Vermette, but also Curtis Glencross and Cam Atkinson.
Pierre Lebrun reports that Capitals are interested in Erik Cole, Curtis Glencross and Joffrey Lupul.
Darren Dreger says there’s no guarantee that any of Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf or Tyler Bozak are traded before the deadline, there is “a lot of interest and activity” surrounding the trio.
Pierre Lebrun says the Boston Bruins have been looking for a winger for over a month. They’ve been in on Chris Stewart for a while now. They are also interested in Erik Cole, Cam Atkinson and Curtis Glencross.
Darren Dreger says a Jeff Petry trade talks haven’t produced a satisfactory offer as of yet, and re-signing is unlikely at this point, so GM Craig MacTavish continues to wait.
The Winnipeg Jets entered the All-Star break with a 26-14-8 record, good enough to secure a playoff spot with 34 regular season games remaining.
Should the team choose to make a trade to bolster their depth before the deadline, a rental might be the best option according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe.
Wiebe believes the Jets’ priority at the deadline is to improve their bottom-six forwards by possibly adding the likes of Matt Calvert, Mike Santorelli, Matt Hendricks, Daniel Winnik, and Torrey Mitchell.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports that, although it’s coach Mike Babcock’s preference to have a balance of right- and left-handed defensemen, the team’s roster consists exclusively of left-handed handed defensemen.
St. James lists Cody Franson, Eric Gryba, Jeff Petry and Tyler Myers as potential targets for the wings. She suggests Mike Green will probably stay put as long as Washington is in playoff contention, and wonders about Justin Faulk, whom I doubt Carolina would move.
According to discussion by Elliotte Friedman and The Fourth Period, the Toronto Maple Leafs are actively pursuing a trade involving Mike Richards. Dion Phaneuf seems like the most probable candidate to be traded, but the Leafs are also entertaining offers on Nazem Kadri, James Reimer, Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, and Joffrey Lupul.
The team is also interested in obtaining Jordan Eberle and Ryan O’Reilly, and any trade involving those players will likely contain Phaneuf. However, it is unknown if he is willing to wave his limited no-trade clause.
If the Leafs continue to struggle, which is likely, a trade will occur soon.