The NHL with its general managers are meeting this week in Las Vegas prior to the NHL Award to be presented Wednesday night before heading to Sunrise Florida for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft on Friday. This is a perfect opportunity to get trade talks up a notch and create more rumors.
In this segment, we look at the potential of a blockbuster trade by the San Jose Sharks with the aim of changing the culture in the team as well what the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will do with some agent news for Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens.
** Update – 9:51pm ** Ottawa showing a sense of urgency
The Ottawa Senators are stepping up efforts to clear a little space in their crowded crease.
The Ottawa Senators and their general manager Bryan Murray are showing a sense of urgency in wanting to trade one of their two goaltenders, Bob Mckenzie TSN Trading insider is reporting. McKenzie is reporting that the Senators are “stepping up” trade talks for their goalies and a trade could be done by Friday. On the block are veteran Craig Anderson and prospect Robin Lehner.
With the current goalie trade market, the Senators are feeling the need to have a trade in place sooner than later in order to maximize the return. murray will also want to trade one of his two goaltender prior to the July 1st unrestricted free agency start date, where goalies such as Devan Dubnyk, Karri Ramo and Antti Niemi will be available.
McKenzie reports that Lehner seems to be the lead candidate teams are asking the most about.
San Jose Sharks discussing potential blockbuster trade
If the San Jose Sharks want to get back to greatness they once had for the exception of the playoffs, they will need to change the team’s culture and possibly some elements of their core. The san Jose will attempt to continue that this week by keeping the right elements and possibly let go other elements. This change of culture which started last year is ound to take another leap this year. For the Sharks, we can say they are in transition and changes are looming.
Along those lines, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports that the Sharks may be working something big ahead of the draft. General manager Doug Wilson is talking to teams and some of the players involved could be some of his veterans. Kurz mentions that maybe some of the Shark’s veterans like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau or Brent Burns could be in play. We all know the feud last season between Thornton and Wilson and the stripping of his captaincy and you have to believe if that hasn’t left any scars.
Some of the questions Kurz asked his readers is if Wilson is willing to relocate vetrans such as Marleau and Thornton to a contender and for them to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup and get a decent return as part of his “culture change.” He wonders if Logan Couture is happy enough to stay and if Brent Burns wasn’t moved on defence just for the purpose of showcasing him and increase his value. San Jose have a lot of cap space and will be in on a few free agent comes July 1st.
Wilson could also be tempted to present an offer sheet to restricted free agent that is in a cap strapped team such as Boston, Chicago and the New York Rangers. Kurz indicated in his article that the San Jose Sharks and Doug Wilson have hinted to test waters in the RFA pool.
Washington Capitals’ options leading to the draft
The Washington capitals and general manager Brian MacLellan will have their work cut out this year prior to the draft. First they have only five selections in the seven rounds of the NHL Draft taking place this weekend. Second they are restrained on the salary space they have and may need to let go some salary if they want to acquire the right winger capable to score on their top six. Washington’s pick will be the 22nd (1st round), the 62nd (3rd Round from Buffalo), 113th (4th Round), the 143rd (5th Round), and finally the 173rd (6th Round). They have no picks in the second round but may choose to trade the negotiating rights of let’s say defenceman Mike Green and get a second round pick in return.
Washington may also want to trade a draft pick if MacLellan feels like he can get the rights of a forward such as Justin Williams. Williams negotiations are at this point reaching a point of no return since LA and Williams can’t seem to find any common ground. For the Capitals to get a Patrick Sharp (Chicago), T.J. Oshie (St-Louis) or a Radim Vrbata (Vancouver), they will definitely need to let go salary
Pittsburgh Penguins’ interest in Kessel
According to Dave Molinari from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Penguins are showing some interest in Toronto Maple Leafs scoring forward Phil Kessel. general manager Jim Rutherford has admitted of inquiring on kessel to fill one of the top six forward hole he currently has, but the price for Kessel is steep and assuming his salary is also part of the problem for the Penguins who have salaried players like Crosby, Letang, Fleury and Malkin. There is no doubt the Penguins would ask for the Leafs to take some salary but to what level is Toronto willing to take Kessel hefty pay is another question.
Rutherford indicated that aside from Crosby and Malkin, the wingers he is currently projecting to have on his top six are: David Perron, Patric Hornqvist and young newcomer Kasperi Kapanen, who Rutherford seems to think he is NHL ready. “Training camp will be big for him,” Rutherford said. “It’s good that he got over and got some experience in North America [after his season with KalPa in Finland ended]. “He’s tracking in the right direction. He’s certainly closer than he was a year ago, based on the experience he has. But we all have to remember that he’s still a pretty young guy. He falls into that group of guys who will be given a good opportunity.”
Rutherford also points out that a few other teams are looking at a top six forward and a winger to boot. The market for a top six is not rich and those available are very expensive – in return requested and in salary as well. “It’s a pretty competitive market right now,” Rutherford said.
The Penguins will also be hard pressed to acquire a selection in the early rounds. Pittsburgh has only one selection in the first four rounds. Rutherford may wait until Saturday to make a trade for a pick in the second or third or both. It will all depend on what Friday turns out to be. Rumors that Brandon Sutter has been shopped are still lingering and that could prove to be the ace Rutherford wants to deal for an early selection pick or a top six forward.
** Update – 10:02pm ** Galchenyuk’s agent fired
According to La Presse newspaper columnist Richard Labbé, forward Alex Galchenyuk has fired his agent Igor Larionov as negotiations are about to commence for a new contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Galchenyuk a restricted free agent, has completed the third year of his entry-level contract and was in negotiations with Canadiens for new deal. The moment of the firing is a bit surprising and could be due to a negotiation tactic that Galchenyuk didn’t approve from Larionov.
TVA Sports Renaud Lavoie also reports that the negotiations are now on hold with Galchenyuk until he hires a new agent. The Canadiens only have $4.5M under the current salary cap to resign Galchenyuk to a new deal. It is believed that he will get a raise based on the good season where he reached new highs for goals (20) and points (46) and finished seventh in scoring for the Canadiens.
** Update – 10:02pm ** Galchenyuk has apparently hired player agent Pat Brisson. According to Igor Larionov, Galchenyuk’s previous agent, the young player and his family weren’t listening to Larionov and his associate Ian Pulver’s advice. Galchenyuk is saying that when Larionov and Pulver’s contract ended, Galchenyuk changed agent based on his reflection in preparation to his next contract negotiation with the Canadiens.
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