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
Elliotte Friedman reports the Nashville Predators will announce John Hynes as their new coach.
The Predators fired Peter Laviolette yesterday. Laviolette had coached the Predators since 2014-15.
Hynes coached the New Jersey Devils for the past four seasons, guiding them to the playoffs once in 2017-18.
The Predators are about to sign captain Roman Josi to a long-term contract.
Josi, 29, has played his entire career with the Predators, putting up 98 goals and 263 assists in 574 games with the club. He was set to be a UFA after the season.
The Nashville Predators have acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Leafs for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and the Preds’ 2015 1st round pick.
Not surprisingly, Jokinen was not enthused about going from the Predators (1st in the NHL) to the Leafs (26th).
The Leafs are likely to try to move Jokinen in advance of the deadline, though at a $2.5 million cap hit, their market be limited to teams that have budget their cap situation conservatively.
Leipsic, 20, is a solid bottom-six prospect. In his first professional season, he has 7 goals and 28 assists in 47 games for Milwaukee of the AHL.
Image from Lisa Gansky via WIkimedia Commons
From February 5th’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading:
Bob McKenzie reports that any team interested in acquiring Evander Kane from the Jets will have some concerns about his health, as a team can’t make a player their top deadline priority if he will eventually have his season cut short.
Darren Dreger says that most playoff contenders would be interested in acquiring Kane, including the Penguins, Bruins, Ducks, Canucks and Canadiens. He says that any trade of Kane would require the Jets getting both immediate help and young assets that make a long-term impact.
Dreger says there has been “a ton of interest” in Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik, with speculation that the Predators may be among those interested. He says the offers on those players will likely happen within days.
Dreger reports that the Coyotes might consider making a change with their head coach Dave Tippett, who is believed to be making $2 million per season for the next three seasons.
Pierre Lebrun reports that Predators’ GM David Poile is making a lot of calls trying to improve his team.
Said one rival GM:
David, I think, wants to go for it, that’s the sense I get.
Poile said last month that he wanted to add a top-six forward.
Image from Leech44 via WIkimedia Commons
From a HNIC segment last night with Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox:
Cox reports that the Leafs aren’t looking to add pieces to improve the team’s chances at this season’s playoffs any longer. They are, however, looking to sign Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, two players UFA-eligible after this season.
He also notes that while general manager Dave Nonis’ future is foggy at this point, president Brendan Shanahan isn’t a candidate to take over that role.
Cox notes that the Leaf player that teams ask about most is Morgan Rielly. Elliotte Friedman speculates (and he’s clear this is speculation), if the Leafs and Kings would consider a trade involving the large contracts of Dion Phaneuf and Mike Richards.
Friedman says that the Nashville Predators may have some interest in Chris Stewart of the Sabres. He mentions that the Flames have been linked to Stewart for some time. Stewart has been in trade rumors virtually since the moment the Sabres acquired him in the Ryan Miller deal last season.
Friedman says the Canucks and steady RD Chris Tanev are expected to begin serious contract talks this week. Tanev will be a RFA this summer.
Per the Oilers, the club has acquired center Derek Roy from the Predators in exchange for Mark Arcobello.
Roy cleared waivers this morning, but the Oilers elected to trade Arcobello for him in lieu of claiming their target. Moving a player clears up a spot on the 50-man limit. I also wouldn’t be shocked to learn that the Predators are picking up a bit of salary. (UPDATE: This is not the case, per Elliotte Friedman)