We looked at some of the rumors circulating prior to the NHL Draft, where it is expected there will be some actions. Many teams are looking to move up in the draft or some are looking to get a first round pick since they have traded it away in a previous deal. Add to this, the fact the free agency pool is not deep and that some teams are near the cap on their roster salary cap, you have a perfect storm of many changes leading to the NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida.
Today we find out that the Detroit Red Wings have lost interest for Dion Phaneuf, that Cam Talbot and Patrick Sharp could be traded very soon and that Antti Niemi may be wearing the black white and teal again next season. Finally, Mikael has resigned a new deal with the Calgary Flames.
Red Wings are not interested in Phaneuf anymore
According to Anzar Khan from MLive.com, the Red Wings are no longer pursuing Toronto Maple Leafs veteran defenceman Dion Phaneuf. The reporter brought this news up from his Twitter account. Phaneuf was linked to the Red Wings since last season prior to the trade deadline where negotiations between the two teams were heating up for the acquisition of Phaneuf. The trade never materialized and Phaneuf never left the Leafs. The deal broke when the Toronto Maple Leafs insisted on having prospect Anthony Mantha and a 1st round as part of the deal which the Red Wings walked away on. When the two teams were out of the season and playoffs, negotiations restarted but the price again for Phaneuf remains prospect such as Mantha. We reported a little while ago that the Wings may let go Mantha based on his average season he had with the AHL affiliate team Grand Rapids Griffins but this turn of event may signify that the Wings will hold on to Mantha. This move may also mean that the Red Wings will try to sign a free agent defenseman like Mike Green or Cody Franson.
Talbot to be traded soon
As we have reported on a few occasions, the New York Rangers are looking at trading backup goaltender Cam Talbot. But according to Darren Dreger and reported on TSN 1050, the deal could be very soon, like this weekend. Dreger reports that quite a few teams have expressed interest in Talbot and the Rangers are looking at getting a draft selection in the first round. The most aggressive team at this moment has been the Edmonton Oilers. They have the 16th pick overall and are willing to trade it to get a solid defenceman or a goaltender that can help them next season. Dreger is stating that as much as six teams are in the race to acquire Talbot. He declared this on Talbot: “Not sure yet what the return would be, but the Rangers are – they’re motivated to move. And they don’t have to. He’s got another year at a very good number under contract. So there’s no sense of urgency here. He’s a 27-year-old. “But if the return is solid enough, then absolutely the Rangers are going to trade him. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes down this weekend, or before the draft next week.” Talbot may be packaged to another player in order for the Rangers to free cap space and obtain a first round pick.
Detroit is working the phones
According to Helen St-James, the Detroit Red Wings are working the phones and are trying to find a dancing partner. Detroit is looking to make a trade or two with the aim of acquiring top six forward and a productive top four defenceman. Should the Wings get what they are looking for they may be forced to buy out Stephen Weiss’ contract. “Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is working the phones exploring what’s available via trade, which ties into whether or not the team decides to buy out forward Stephen Weiss.
The buy out will depend on how much salary the Red Wings would take and how much they would let go. Weiss has had a sub-par season and at his salary, the Wings are faced with a decision to make with regards to his future with the team. Weiss’ contract is a five year deal worth 24.5 million dollars that he signed back in 2013. Holland realizes that the Wings would be faced with six years of Weiss’ contract counting under the cap, which he is not sure if he wants to take that risk or not. A buy out would mean a rate of approximately $1 million, $1 million, $2.5 million, and then three successive years of $1.67 million of salary counting under the salary cap. In another note with regards to the Red Wings, Anzar Khan of MLive.com reports that Rick Nash or Martin St-Louis are not the top six forwards the Red Wings are after. St-Louis has aged considerably and the cap hit of Rick Nash at 7.8M for the next three seasons with a degrading performance in the playoff has the Ken Holland cautious and not willing to assume this type of cap hit.
Niemi may stay in San Jose
After looking at possibilities to acquire a new goalie, San Jose Sharks Doug Wilson is hinting to medias that Niemi may be back with the Sharks next season with a new contract. David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Wilson is not revealing officially that the Sharks are letting go goaltender Antti Niemi. Niemi is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. Here is an extract of what Pollack had to say in the San Jose Mercury News: “Wilson met with the media in his annual pre-draft session that is the session where he usually spells out which pending free agents will not be coming back. He stated that neither forward John Scott nor defenseman Scott Hannan would be returning, but Wilson did not include either Niemi or defenseman Matt Irwin in that group. ” Wilson also declared this in his press conference: “I’ve talked to their agents. We’ve had some discussions,” Wilson said. “Obviously we’ve been exploring many different ways to improve this hockey team.” Although the Sharks are pursuing Cam Talbot and Robin Lehner, you can add their own goalie Antti Niemi as one of their targets for goaltender next season.
Sharp to be traded by next week
In other trade rumors, Darren Dreger also stated that wheels are in motion for the Chicago Blackhawks to trade veteran forward Patrick Sharp and he believes a trade could be completed next prior to the NHL Entry Draft in Florida. Sharp has been linked to the Washington Capitals recently but the Montreal Canadiens may also have interest in Sharp based on the connection Marc Bergevin has with the Hawks’ management.
Flames resign Backlund to a three-year deal
The Calgary Flames have resigned restricted free agent Mikael Backlund in what seems to securing the team’s core of young players. The deal is said to be worth $10.725 million for three years. Backlund, 26, was drafted in the first round, 24th overall at the NHL Draft of 2007. In 2014-2015, Backlund recorded 10 goals and 27 points in only 52 games played. In this year’s post-season, he had one and one assist in 11 games played for the Flames.
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