Will the Capitals trade Alexander Ovechkin? What roster moves could be in store for the Canucks under a new GM? Is Milan Michalek playing his final games with the Senators?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau doubts the Washington Capitals will move Alexander Ovechkin in the near future. He feels if they tried to move him now they’ll have to accept some bad contracts and/or eat a significant chunk of his remaining contract. He also doesn’t see Ovechkin’s lot improving via trade or buyout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recently speculated over Ovechkin’s long-term future with the Capitals. Unless he forces the issue, his future remains in Washington. That could change in a few years, however, if the Capitals become mired in mediocrity.
SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector offered up his analysis of the reasons behind the Canucks firing Mike Gillis as GM, as well as possible roster moves by his successor. He notes the Canucks need help in goal and with secondary scoring, which could mean trading a defenseman. Spector feels “a competent GM” can get a solid return for either Kevin Bieksa or Alexander Edler, provided ownership doesn’t meddle in management decisions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Bieksa or Elder means they must waive their no-trade clauses. Of the two, Edler has youth on his side but Bieksa carries a shorter, slight more affordable contract. The Red Wings had interest in Edler dating back to last summer, but given the improvement of their young blueliners this season, they might not feel the need to add an expensive puck-moving defenseman.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators winger and pending UFA Milan Michalek would like to return, but isn’t sure if he fits into GM Bryan Murray’s plans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Michalek is willing to accept a two- or three-year deal for less than his average cap hit ($4.3 million) of his current contract, the Senators will re-sign him. Otherwise, he’ll be playing elsewhere next season.