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 NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida.
Here is what we collected today on the Ottawa Senator’s plan with their goalie, the Pittsburgh penguins stategy to go up I the draft and the priority of the Kings to dump Mike Richards’ contract.
Ottawa Senator’s requirement for their goaltender
Ottawa Senators general manager, Bryan Murray has made it clear on what is requiring in exchange for either Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson. Murray will need a young prospect developping into a top six forward and a high draft pick. With the NHL Draft fast approaching, and a need to get a draft pick at this NHL Draft, Ottawa is looking at concluding a deal soonest and not wait into next season. The preferable option is to enter next season with only two goaltender. Right now the focus for Bryan Murray is to make the necessary phone calls and look at what the offers are. This week is more into analyzing what would best fit their roster.
With regards to Murray’s demands, one league executive stated “That could be tough.” The market for a goaltender and a good one is somewhat an obstacle for the Senators this year. The Senators have competition with Devan Dubnyk who could become a free agent if he doesn’t resign in Minnesota. There is Antti Niemi in San Jose in the same situation who could be available, Ray Emery in Philadelphia. Cam Talbot with the New York Rangers could also be packaged with a Keith Yandle or even Rick Nash for a top six forward return. The Vancouver Canucks have made it clear they will either trade Eddie Lack or Jacob Markstrom who’s currently outstanding in the AHL Finals. Bottom line, the market for a goalie is deep in this off-season. So can Murray afford to be picky in his return?
As mentioned here in a previous post, the interest seems to swirl around Robin Lehner who is younger, is cheaper and has more upside. St-Louis has been rumored inquiring about Craig Anderson. Even if Murray is quick in saying he is not feeling any pressure to act early, the fact remains that the teams will want to act early to maximize the return.
Penguins strategy move for the NHL Draft
With the Pittsburgh Penguins who could be up for sale in the near future, general manager Jim Rutherford is conducting business as usual. So his focus is the draft coming up on June 26th in Sunrise, FL. Rutherford would like to move up in the draft and one possible way he is looking in doing it is to use the two third round draft acquired from the Devils who recently hired John Hynes and the Sabres from hiring head coach Dan Bylsma. As reported on Wednesday, rumors are also circulating with regards to Brandon Sutter which could be added in a package to move up in the draft. On the signing front, the Pittsburgh intend on re-signing RFA Beau Bennett and Ian Cole. The Penguins are also in the chase for Mike Reilly.
Mike Richards’ future with the Kings
The Kings are known right now to be shopping around Mike Richards who finished last season in the AHl playing for their AHL affiliate in Manchester. According to Pierre Lebrun the Kings are searching for a taker but looking at his hefty contracts and cap hit of 5.75 for 5 more years could an obstacle for the Kings. Richards since arriving in LA has seen his production decline and he found himself relegated to the thrid and eventually to the fourth line. Finally he was a healthy scratch at the beginning of last season and ended up demoted to the AHL.
In Richards’s case it will be only possible if a team with a lower cap brings an offer forward for a potential buyout. Or if the Kings sweeten the deal by sending also one of their best prospects or simply by assuming at least half of Richards salary for the remainder of the contract. Teams that could bite assuming Los Angeles picks up half the tab are the Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres.
Barret Jackman won’t be back in St-Louis
The St-Louis Blues have informed veteran defenseman Barret Jackman that he wouldn’t be back with the team next season giving him the ful rights to negotiate with whichever team he wishes to pursue his career with. Jackman is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1st. Drafted in the first round (17th) at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Jackman played 13 seasons with the Blues. In 803 career games all with St-Louis, Jackman recorded 28 goals and 153 assists for 181 points. He is a career plus -53 and has cumtated 1053 PIM. Jackman distinguished himself winning the Calder trophy in 2003. Known for his defensive abilities, he brings also leadership which could interest a team like Edmonton Oilers.
** Update ** Cody Hodgson likely to be bought out
According to Bob McKenzie from the TSN Insider Trading panel, he strongly suspect that Cody Hodgson will be bought out by the Buffalo Sabres to make to create a roster spot on the team. Hodgson who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in 2012 has not flourished into this player that was so dominant in his junior days. In 78 games played this season, Hodgson only recorded 6 goals while assisting on 7 others for 13 points. Hodgson’s best season goes back to to 2012-13, where he collected 34 points in 48 games, which was the lockout shortened season. Hodgson is currently on a third year of a six year contract signed as a RFA with the Sabres.
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