In this article we look at some of Sportsnet.ca Insider Elliott Friedman brings us in his weekly 30 thoughts. This one has an off-season flavor to it with plenty of trade rumors and roster moves.
Who’s in charge?
Friedman reports that Maple Leafs have sent a communique across the league last week to determine who is running what in their department. We reported this over a week ago in another post but in case you missed it, here is how it will go. Any trade talks will be assumed by assistant general manager Kyle Dubas. The interesting part in all this is that many executives thought Dubas would be elevated to the position of general manager, and that is not the case – at the present anyway. Foe Shanahan to trust Dubas at the most important part of the off-season an in a season where the rebuild of the Leafs is as crucial as it is ever been.
Now who is taking of the draft? That will be director of player personnel Mark Hunter. he knows who is in the draft like the palm of his hand and he has the full confidence of Shanahan as far as the draft goes. On Kessel, friedman thinks the Leafs will have to assume part of Phil Kessel’s salary, no doubt. He says there has to be a limit though since the Leafs are looking at making a ddeal which will bring them picks and prospects at low salary. For the Leafs tpo receive a similar contract in exchange for Kessel simply doesn’t make sense.
The NHL goalie situation
First while we are still with the Maple Leafs, the situation with Jonathan Bernier. He hears that the Maple Leafs will continue to negotiate with Bernier and try to avoid salary arbitration, if at all possible. He qualifies the move by the Leafs “aggressive” with regards to Toronto filing for salary arbitration, last week. The message the Leafs are sending to their players is that there will be no contract dispute heading into next season. The Leafs are believed to be offering a short term at an average of 4.0M salary while Bernier is looking for long term.
Is Dubnyk staying in Minnesota?
According to Elliott Friedman and Michael Russo from the Star-Tribune, Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher will be meeting with Devan Dubnyk Tuesday and his agent Mike Liut on Wednesday. On June 25th, the other teams will be allowed to talk and negotiate with the unrestricted free agents and this is seen as the last ditch effort to sign Devan Dubnyk. Friedman points out that if anything should preempt Dubnyk’s signing with the Wild, that would make it interesting since an additional team would be in the market for a goalie. He mentions that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Wild goes after a goalie or two at the draft to fill that shortage on their depth chart. Same goes for the Philadelphia Flyers who have had issues with goalies for years.
Cam Talbot’s limitations
Friedman mentions also that the biggest limitation for the New Rangers to get a good return on Cam Talbot is the fact he has one year left on his contract, before he becomes a unrestricted free agent. He says that Talbot has good value but the uncertainty of keeping him long term does hurt his current value. As mentioned before on here at Trade Rumors.ca, the only option for New York is to package Talbot with a good value roster player to get more value of a deal with Talbot included in it.
Teams querying on Frederik Andersen
As hard as it is to believe, teams are querying on no.1 goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks. Ducks’ general manager wouldn’t comment when asked, but teams have been wondering that if Andersen couldn’t take them to the Stanley Cup Finals, could he change his mind and trade Andersen. Friedman is quick to say that the price would be very steep if Andersen was on the market. It may get revisited next season sonce contracts for his two goalies will need to be addressed.
Eddie Lack can’t move too close to Vancouver
Friedman also stated that the situation in Vancouver of trading a goalie is difficult because of the fact that many teams in need of a goalie are all within the Canucks’ division. For the Vancouver Canucks to trade a goalie within the division to a rival may come to haunt them in the future. Teams like the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks could all use a goalie like Eddie Lack or Jacob Markstrom. Within the conference, you could also add the Minnesota Wild if Devan Dubnyk doesn’t sign on with the Wild.
Ryan O’Reilly’s negotiations
Now that the Colorado Avalanche have hired an assistant manager in Chris MacFarland, the negotiations between Colorado and the O’Reilly clan may run smoother. This could result in O’Reilly staying in Colorado and not be traded. The issue of signing Ryan O’Reilly to a lucrative contract may present a problem for next year when the contracts of Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson will all need to be renewed with a substantial raise on each. Friedman is saying that maybe one high salaried will need to be traded.
Hurricane Trade Rumors
Friedman is hearing that the Jeff Skinner name is being asked frequently by other teams. Skinner’s contract is a good value contract for other teams. he is a cap hit of 5.725M a year but he is 23 and is one goal shy of obtaining a 33 goal a season. Although he has had injuries lately, mainly concussions, Skinner represent an excellent value on the return based on his age and what he brings to the table.
One other rumor circulating is Alex Semin (cap hit of 7.0M) being packaged with the fifth selection at the NHL Entry Draft this weekend. Friedman indicates the Calgary Flames tried last year with goalie Cam Ward as long as the seventh pick was part of the deal to unload Ward’s salary. Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis, declined and the deal never materialized. There is no doubt the Hurricanes want to unload Semin’s salary but not at the expense of the fifth pick.
Free Agent News
Friedman mentioned that forward Scottie Upshall who will not be retained by the Panthers is willing to sign a one year deal but with a contender.
As for Justin Williams and the Los Angeles Kings, negotiations are pretty much dead since no common ground can be reached between the two sides.
In the Mike Reilly derby, it was rumored only the Chicago Blackhawks, the Los Angeles Kings and the hometown favorites Minnesota Wild were left in the acquisition of his rights, but apparently it has not been confirmed. Some are also saying the Pittsburgh Penguins are still in it.
Friedman also ponders if the Arizona Coyotes are thinking to bring back Antoine Vermette back in the desert. He will be 33 and ask for a considerable raise this time around. After two winning goals in the Stanley Cup Finals and a Stanley Cup ring to show for, Vermette could be tempted to go back in Arizona. He really liked it there and the Coyotes could use some good publicity by signing Vermette again.
On the restricted free agent front, Brandon Saad could be presented with an offer sheet, but general manager Stan Bowman has mentioned he will be matching the offer. Saad will be an important piece for the Blackhawks in the future and Bowman will not accept Saad to go even with a tight payroll.
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