Could the Blackhawks trade Patrick Sharp or Johnny Oduya to become cap compliant this season? Will the Rangers re-sign or trade Marc Staal? What will the Bruins do to address their surplus of defensemen?
ESPN.COM: Scott Powers reports Blackhawks players understand one of them could be moved to ensure the club is cap compliant when the season begins. The Blackhawks currently sit above the cap by over $2.2 million. Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya have been mentioned in recent trade rumors. Both acknowledged the speculation. Oduya believes he’ll be back next season while Sharp noted his agent’s recent vehement denials the winger was on the trade block. GM Stan Bowman wouldn’t reveal his intentions but isn’t concerned about it.
“Like I said all along, we have some ideas of what we’re going to do. A lot of things happen once camps open both for us and for other teams, in terms of players maybe you expect to meet expectations don’t quite do it and certain teams are looking around trying to find players. I always think you’re always in a good position when you have a lot of established players. I think that’s better than the other way around.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Defenseman Nick Leddy ($2.7 million) was also mentioned as a trade possibility. Sharp would certainly attract the best return, but if the intent is shedding salary the Blackhawks can’t take back much in the return. Oduya is eligible for UFA status next summer and appears the likely candidate, but his no-trade limits potential destinations, whereas Leddy lacks a trade clause and would be easier to move.
NEW YORK POST: Once the Rangers are done dealing with the respective contract statuses of Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Chris Kreider, Larry Brooks believes the Rangers should get busy working on a new contract for defenseman Marc Staal. Brooks believes Staal could seek a six-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, provided he can avoid another concussion. If the Rangers aren’t willing to pay it, Brooks feels they should start investigating what he can fetch in a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein locked up to long-term deals, and the addition of Dan Boyle on a two-year contract, the Rangers could move Staal if they’re unwilling to meet his contract demands. That being said, they’ll probably retain him for the upcoming season.
BOSTON GLOBE: Amalie Benjamin reports on the Bruins surplus of defensemen (Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, and David Warsofsky ), noting GM Peter Chiarelli acknowledged he’ll have to shed one before the start of the season. She notes Chiarelli’s desire to keep his core intact but points out Boychuk is a UFA next summer who could command over $5 million per season and would fetch more return and cap space. Chiarelli has shown a willingness to move Bartkowski, as he was nearly moved to Calgary for Jarome Iginla in 2013.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli has options and isn’t in any hurry to make a move right now. That could happen in September after he’s had an opportunity to evaluate his defense core during training camp and preseason.