The latest on Rick Nash, Steven Stamkos, P.K. Subban, Jake Gardiner and Evander Kane, plus an update on the Red Wings.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers have no intention of asking winger Rick Nash to waive his no-movement clause, which is in effect until the end of 2014-15. Nash also isn’t interested in requesting a trade…The NY Islanders are in need of a defenseman, and Brooks suggests pursuing Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Jake Gardiner, whose puck possession numbers “were pretty darn good on the league’s worst possession team.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash has four years remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $7.8 million, though in actual salary it rises to $8.2 million by the final year of the deal. If the Rangers at some point decide to trade Nash, they’ll probably have to pick up part of that hefty salary…It doesn’t appear as though the Maple Leafs intend to trade Gardiner this summer. Perhaps it’s something worth looking at later in the season if the Leafs are struggling again.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau wonders if young stars like Steven Stamkos or P.K. Subban might one day return to their hometown of Toronto to join the Maple Leafs, just as basketball star LeBron James recently returned to his hometown of Cleveland to rejoin the Cavaliers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t freak out, Lightning and Canadiens fans. Proteau’s simply musing over the possibility, suggesting stars like Stamkos or Subban have the personality to handle the pressure of playing in a high-pressure market like Toronto. Perhaps one day Stamkos, Subban or John Tavares (another star from the Toronto area) will return to Toronto, but it’ll probably be as aging free agents past their playing prime. As Proteau suggests, if the Leafs want a young local star who wants to play in Toronto, they’ll have to draft one.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes “If anyone other than the just-happy-to-be-there Kevin Cheveldayoff were general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, Evander Kane would have been traded by now.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps, but I daresay most general managers would struggle with the Kane conundrum. Saying to just trade an unhappy young star is one thing, but finding the right return is another. I think Cheveldayoff’s handling this well. He’s not making any knee-jerk decisions or pronouncements. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s fielding offers, but he’s not going to make a move just because of media pressure to do so. Wait and see how this season, and the trade market, develops. If Kane publicly demands a trade, then things get more difficult.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently reported the Detroit Red Wings are no long seeking a bargain defenseman via free agency, while trade talks have slowed down. They continue to search for a top-four blueliner with a right-handed shot. “I explored trades through June, couldn’t find a fit,” Holland said. “Now I sense a quiet three, four, five weeks. In the meantime I’ll reach out to some of those (GMs).”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things really have slowed since the opening frenzy of free-agent signings earlier this month. Perhaps things might pick up following the upcoming arbitration period (20 July to August 4).