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 Rangers have announced they have loaned C Lias Andersson to HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League.
Andersson hasn’t played since he left the Rangers’ AHL affiliate and asked for a trade in late December. He has reportedly been dealing with a foot injury.
The relationship between the Rangers and Lias Andersson appears to be strained. It’s likely the Rangers view loaning Andersson to the SHL as a play to rebuild his trade value. Andersson had 16 goals and 17 assists in 64 SHL games in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The Rangers have announced that they have re-signed winger Brendan Lemieux to a 1-year deal.
The Rangers’ training camp opens tomorrow. Lemieux and Tony DeAngelo were their two RFAs that were unsigned. DeAngelo is now the only one without a contract.
The Rangers acquired Lemieux along with Winnipeg’s first round pick at last season’s trade deadline in exchange for Kevin Hayes.
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford put an end to the recent rumors that the team was considering dealing superstar center Evgeni Malkin.
Rutherford went on to say that both sides were happy and Malkin’s goal is to win in Pittsburgh. Instead the team will focus on adding quality wingers to complete their offense with the hope of returning to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Penguins were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs with a 4-1
series loss to the New York Rangers.
The New York Rangers have officially traded for Keith Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes.
As tweeted by Bob McKenzie, the team gave up Anthony Duclair, John Moore, a 2015 2nd round pick, and a condition 2016 1st round pick for Yandle, Chris Summers, and a 4th in 2015.
The Rangers are clearly looking to win this year, and by picking up Yandle, the team has a much stronger chance of going on a deep playoff run.
Image from Michael Miller via WIkimedia Commons
Per both Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, the Rangers have some interest in Tyler Bozak of the Leafs.
Leafs GM Dave Nonis was scouting the Rangers and Flames game Tuesday night.
Dreger says he’s not convinced that Bozak is move, but he’s slowly moving in that direction with each passing day. He says it would take a quality offer for another team to get Bozak from them.
Bozak has 3 years remaining on his contract past 2014-15 at a cap-hit of $4.2 million. He hasn’t been too productive in his career away from Phil Kessel.
Image from Benjamin Reed via Wikimedia Commons
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the field of interested parties in acquiring Carolina defenseman Andrej Sekera is a large one. The Hurricanes, capitalizing on the demand, are asking for a first round pick and a prospect for the pending UFA.
Brooks reports that the Rangers are among the interested teams, and that getting Sekera should be their top priority, above upgrading their bottom-six forwards.
Image from 5of7 via Wikimedia Commons
Elliotte Friedman reports that he believes the Canucks would be interested in Arizona’s Martin Hanzal.
Friedman says Yotes’ GM Don Maloney‘s will likely ask for Bo Horvat plus, an asking price the Canucks would assuredly refuse.
Hanzal, 27, is signed through 2016-17 at a cap-hit of $3.1 million. He will make $3.5 million in salary in each of the next two seasons, however.
Last week, Steve Zipay of New York Newsday suggested that the Rangers should be interested in Hanzal as well, suggesting the (laughable) package of John Moore, J.T. Miller and a mid-round pick.