Top offseason defense targets, the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Bruins more likely to trade for a right wing, Blackhawks could move Johnny Oduya, plus updates on the Devils and Wild.
ESPN.COM: Tim Kavanagh lists Washington’s Mike Green, Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf and Buffalo’s Tyler Myers as this summer’s top offseason trade targets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the three, Green is the most likely to be dealt. The Leafs apparently aren’t getting any calls about Phaneuf nor are they actively shopping him. Sabres GM Tim Murray has said he’ll listen to offers for pretty much everyone on his club, but he’ll set a very high asking price for Myers, which could scare off potential suitors.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports it appears Ryan O’Reilly and Colorado Avalanche management appear headed to arbitration on July 23rd as contract talks have stalled. O’Reilly will have his choice of a one- or two-year contract from an arbiter, which can’t be less than 85% of his base salary from last season ($6.5 million), guaranteeing he’ll receive at least $5.525 million per season. The Avalanche took O’Reilly to arbitration as it would’ve cost $6.5 million to qualify his rights for next season. While an arbitration award could be worth less than that, it also runs the risk of driving O’Reilly to arbitration when he becomes eligible in two years, unless he’s traded before then.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If O’Reilly chooses a one-year award, he’ll be a restricted free agent again next summer. The Avs cannot take him to arbitration again, but he can file if he chooses. If he accepts the two-year deal, he could be as good as gone to unrestricted free agency in 2016.
The previous Avs front-office badly handled this situation from the start by playing hardball with O’Reilly following the last lockout, leading to the Flames offer sheet of two-years, $10 million which forced the Avs to match. They cannot trade him until after his arbitration awarded contract,
provided the Avs don’t walk away from the award. I don’t expect they’ll do the latter as that makes O’Reilly an unrestricted free agent, which would certainly provide some spice to what’s now become a dead UFA market this summer. It remains to be seen if they’ll trade him before the expiration of his contract.
**UPDATE** As the Avalanche filed for salary arbitration with O’Reilly, they cannot walk away from the arbiter’s decision.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports a Boston Bruins source said the club could stand pat, but would be more likely to add a right wing via trade if they decide to upgrade. The source shot down speculation the Bruins could have interest in UFAs Peter Mueller or Lee Stempniak. The Bruins will have to move salary in order to add an established right wing to play on their top line.
The Bruins have some solid trade chips in Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and David Warsofsky if they’re looking for a depth player, but a potential top line player could come with a cost along the lines of Johnny Boychuk, or a Brad Marchand. There have been some twitter murmuring of a Johnny Boychuk-for-Tomas Jurco swap between the Bruins and Red Wings, but there have been no indications that the divisional rivals would be willing to help each other out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will have nine defensemen under NHL contract and, as Haggerty reported earlier this summer, GM Peter Chiarelli acknowledged he can’t go into next season with that many blueliners. At least one of them could be traded or demoted before the season starts.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is still interested in re-signing winger Ryan Carter but nothing has happened thus far. Lamoriello also said he could make a trade this summer.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher hasn’t ruled out making a trade to replace Clayton Stoner, who signed with Anaheim earlier this month.