With the NHL media rumor mill quiet this morning, here’s a look at what’s been kicking around the blogosphere of late. Enjoy!
BLEACHER REPORT: presents “Top 12 Forwards Guaranteed To Be Dealt This Summer”: Rick Nash, Derek Roy, Sam Gagner, James van Riemsdyk, Jarome Iginla, Mike Ribeiro, P.A. Parenteau, Brandon Dubinsky, Patrick Marleau, Vincent Lecavalier, Mason Raymond, and Ray Whitney.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of this bunch, the only one I’d say is “guaranteed” to be dealt this summer is Nash. Most of the rest would fall into various degrees of trade possibilities, but are by no means “guaranteed” to move. Lecavalier won’t be traded, certainly not to Vancouver for Luongo. The Canucks already have centers for their top two lines in Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler, so where would Lecavalier play? Parenteau and Whitney are UFAs this summer, and while it’s possible their rights could be dealt, that’s not guaranteed.
HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: “Eklund” recently suggested the Buffalo Sabres are “the most likely to be front and center at the draft” with interest in acquiring Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal, citing their depth in quality defensemen they could offer up as trade bait. He’s also heard Toronto and Chicago connected to Staal…He also recently claimed (May 10) the Montreal Canadiens had interest in acquiring winger Evander Kane from the Montreal Canadiens. “This is not an instance where an offer sheet is made”, he wrote. “However Montreal could offer sheet a defenseman as well.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the record, Penguins GM Ray Shero recently stated his intent was to open contract extension talks with Staal and Sidney Crosby this summer. If the Sabres, Maple Leafs or Blackhawks were to pursue Staal, they’d better make sure they have what could be over $6 million in cap space to take on his salary, as he’ll likely seek around that much in a new contract. That being said, I doubt the Sabres or Blackhawks have serious interest in Staal, as both clubs already have significant salary tied up in a handful of players. The Maple Leafs might be interested if Staal’s available, and have a good defenseman (Luke Schenn) and some promising prospects upon which to draw for trade bait, but there’s no certainty they could land him.
As for the Canadiens supposed interest in Kane, new GM Marc Bergevin was on the job only a week when this came out, so I doubt he had much time by that point to start targeting specific players from other clubs. Even if he did, Kane isn’t available. Offer sheets have been empty threats in recent years, so I doubt we’ll see them employed by teams this summer. Drew Doughty and Steven Stamkos didn’t even get a sniff last summer, and it’s increasingly unlikely we’ll see teams pitching offer sheets with the end of the CBA fast approaching. Also, why would the Habs “offer sheet a defenseman” (sounds like a summer camp prank) when their obvious need is size and skill at forward? That makes no sense.