In this article we look at some of Sportsnet.ca Insider Elliott Friedman brings us in his weekly “30 thoughts”. Friedman focuses on what occurred at the NHL Draft and some of the trades that could have happened but didn’t.
Vancouver’s interest in Lucic
According to Elliott Friedman’s “30 thoughts”, he states that the Vancouver Canucks were in on the Milan Lucic trade to Los Angeles. Jim Benning revisited his old team on Saturday to see if they had interest in taking Kevin Bieksa and even offered Zach Kassian whom Boston had a lot of interest in the past. He mentions Sweeney probably needed a “trade time-out” to do any these trades with the Canucks, meaning at stepping back and see if it is worth it at this point.
Jim Benning had a lot of interest in the no.31 pick, which was owned by the Buffalo Sabres originally. Benning was offering Eddie Lack for the pick which never materialized. Instead the Buffalo Sabres used that pick to get Ryan O’Reilly. Rumor is that Buffalo also dangled that no.31 pick to lure goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks, but the Ducks were asking a lot more in exchange for Andersen.
Winnipeg making progress with Stafford
Friedman points out that echoes from the NHL Draft is that the Winnipeg Jets were making progress with their negotiations with forward Drew Stafford acquired last season in the Evander Kane and Tyler Myers trade. Stafford is due to become an unrestricted free agent July 1st. he mentions too that in the case Michal Frolik it will be free agency. Frolik seems to be asking a price is not willing to pay apparently.
Echoes from the Dougie Hamilton trade
The Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames was hectic which had a rollercoaster ride effect on the draft floor. Apparently the Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes had almost a deal completed for the 3rd selection and sources revealed to Friedman that Arizona Coyotes general manager and his staff were not willing to let go the opportunity for another team to draft Dylan Strome. Arizona walked out on the deal and eventually Calgary became the next team willing to trade with Boston in the acquisition of the 22 years-old Hamilton. Friedman indicates in his 30 thoughts that many teams were upset that Hamilton’s availability was not known to them and they probably figured Sweeney wanted to send him to a Western Conference team.
On the draft floor Friday Boston couldn’t get any higher than thirteen in the ranking selection. It is not for the lack of trying. Boston general manager Don Sweeney attempted to get the no.10 from the Colorado Avalanche, but nothing panned out. There were talks with the Edmonton Oilers and the possibility to get an array of draft picks Edmonton had but general managers peter Chiarelli it would take more to build a package of his trade picks to make it happen. Finally there were no deals with Edmonton either. Boston apparently asked for Darnell Nurse as well and Chiarelli was not willing to include him.
Friedman also indicated that the way the Bruins acted in two of their prominent player (Lucic and Hamilton) was with a lack of practical analysis. he reminds us of the days when Harry Sinden used to manage the Bruins. In fact one general manager of a rival team drew that comparison of Sweeney’s action to those of Sinden’s.
In the old Harry Sinden days, if a player was asking too much he would simply end up being traded vice negotiating a fair deal for both sides. In a fairness statement to Sweeney, Friedman is quick in saying that Don Sweeney was up against a possible offer sheet for Hamilton, which he was ready to match but not at ease to manage after the fact. The offer to Hamilton by the Bruins management was apparently six years and $33M to Dougie Hamilton. The Hamilton side was in the range of an additional 2 million higher per season. Needless to say, both sides were far apart.
In the case of Lucic and Hamilton, he figures the team acted too soon and maybe the two sides could have come to a better deal with more thorough negotiations.
McQuaid was inquired about
As for the other Bruins players like Adam McQuaid, he signed on for another four years (one less than the asking price of five years) with the Bruins and that is one player Don Sweeney wanted to keep at the right price. Apparently the Edmonton Oilers and the Ottawa Senators did inquire on McQuaid and after deal was done with the bruins, Edmonton obtained Eric Gryba from the Senators while the Coyotes who were also sniffing around before got Nicklas Grossman from the Flyers. It is believed the Oilers did sniff around on Grossman as well.
If Colin Greening was offered by the Senator to the Oilers, the Edmonton Oilers didn’t like his contract terms, which is why Edmonton didn’t acquire Robin Lehner from the Senators.
Free agency targets
Because of past interest in Chris Stewart when he was on the trading block and playing with the Buffalo Sabres, Friedman wonders if the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames will pursue Chris Stewart on the free agency market. Stewart could be the player that can add that roughness to a younger core of talented players like they have in Calgary and Ottawa.
Is Doug Wilson after a goalie not on the trade market?
Apparently San Jose Sharks surprised many medias and other general managers over the weekend when he declared that the goalie he is pursuing is not that has been rumored for the last two months. “There are more people available in discussions than you guys hear about,” he said. That statement had the medias more puzzled and started to scratch more the surface on who could he be after.
One option Elliot Friedman eluded to is that the Sharks could be asking about Tuukka Rask in Boston now that they have Malcolm Subban, Zane McIntyre and Martin Jones. This option was quickly dismissed by Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, saying that Subban and McIntyre are not ready and Rask is not going anywhere.
Editor’s Opinion: One goalie that could be an option for the Sharks is if Tampa Bay is willing to either trade Ben Bishop or Andrei Vasilevskiy. Now that Antti Niemi is in Dallas from the trade on Friday, Wilson will need to acquire a no.1 goaltender next season. More to come from San Jose on that front.
Upcoming contract extensions
Ryan Kesler’s contract extension
The Anaheim are expected to get center Ryan Kesler signed to a contract extension well before he would reach free agency after next season. Friedman reports that conversations have started to take place between the Kesler side and Anaheim general manager Bob Murray. Friedman also guess that the obstacle in a contract extension with Ryan Kesler will be the term of the contract since he will be 32 at the contract will end.
Seabrook a priority
One other high priority for a contract extension will be Chicago Blackhawks veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook. Stan Bowman apparently told Seabrook in the celebration moment following the Stanley Cup win that he wasn’t going anywhere. For Chicago, keeping their top two defencemen is paramount if they want to repeat next season. Brent Seabrook has one more year remaining on his current contract before he hits free agency. Bowman would like to lock him up well before then. It’s expected Seabrook will be Bowman’s next priority. In order to clear some salary, Bowman will look at Marcus Kruger, Brandon Saad, or Patrick Sharp.
Galchenyuk discussions have started
Apparently Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens and his new agent Pat Brisson have started talks with Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin. The Montreal Canadiens are looking at a bridge type of deal in the $3.0M range, while it is expected that Brisson will be looking at quite a bit more for his new clients. Rumors are Galchenyuk could be looking at a salary similar to what Nazem Kadri is getting in Toronto.
Odds and Ends from the draft floor
James Wisniewski’s trade value
Friedman reports that the trade that sent James Wisniewski to Carolina for Anton Khudobin is purely a cash value trade. Wisniewski’s salary for 2015-2016 will be three million dollars with a higher cap hit of $5.5M. if Carolina would have gone on the free agency market to find a puck moving defenceman they would have paid considerably more.
With Kudobin’s salary being $2.5m for next season and the incoming salary of Eddie Lack at $1.3M the Hurricane made an economic sound trade with Wisniewski. One interesting fact that about the eddie Lack trade to Carolina is that him and Cam Ward will be unrestricted free agency. When asked whether Cam Ward was asked to lift his no-trade-clause during the draft, Ron Francis gave Friedman a definite no.
Bozak and draft picks
The Maple Leafs looked at obtaining draft picks for Tyler Bozak but that didn’t materialized.
Pittsburgh and Phil Kessel
According to Elliott Friedman, he mentioned too in his “3o thoughts”, that the Pittsburgh Penguins were in on Phil Kessel quite seriously and at some moment at the trade, a Phil Kessel trade had some “serious tractions”. he adds that Toronto was willing to pick up some salary from the Penguins ut not enough to complete a deal. Speaking of Pittsburgh, they were also chasing T.J. Oshie, Jiri Hudler and Jeff Skinner.
Montreal and Versteeg
Montreal apparently did try to land Kris Versteeg from Chicago in exchange for a fifth rounder but it never materialized. Rumors were that Versteeg vetoed the deal and didn’t want to come to Montreal over the lack of an extension. When Versteeg was asked if that was the fact, Versteeg denied being approached for lifting his no-trade-cause to go to Montreal. We’ll never know the real story, but reading between the lines shows that Versteeg probably was told by the Chicago Public relations Director to say that he was never approached b anyone to lift his clause to go to the Habs.
Inquiries on Okposo
New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow was asked if Okposo was subject of any trade discussions over he weekend. Snow responded: “A couple teams called to ask,” he admitted, “but nothing serious.”
The Antti Niemi trade to Dallas
With Antti Niemi going Dallas, you have now two no.1 goaltenders in Dallas capable of taking the team to the next level. Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi are good friends and actually were roommates on the Finnish National Team. Will they remain as friendly once September comes around? Jim Nill, general manager of the Dallas Stars didn’t hesitate to mention that one will push the other at being better and that will create some interesting competition amongst Lehtonen and Niemi. Is Lehtonen getting a buyout, Nill answered “No” to this question but the fact remains that Niemi could be the no.1 heading into next season.
Jim Nill is still looking for help on the blue line in a heavy body type of player. he states that he has 11 NHL ready defenceman and hopes to see one developping into one of those type of player.
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