Speculation is brewing in Philadelphia over possible moves by the Flyers to shed salary and free up a roster spot for an affordable young player before the start of the upcoming season. The Flyers currently have just over $583K in salary-cap space, giving them no wiggle room to promote a deserving prospect.
CSNPhilly.com’s Greg Paone reports defenseman Luke Schenn seems the most likely to move. The 25-year-old has one season remaining on his contract worth $3.35 million. NJ.com’s Randy Miller claims the Flyers tried dumping Schenn’s $3.6-million cap hit for the past two years. He speculates they might get a third-round pick in return.
Though Paone observes Schenn hasn’t developed into a top-pairing blueliner, the 6-foot-2, 229-pounder has the size and big shot that could prove useful to a rival club. He also lists Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald as trade options, but the 37-year-old Streit is getting long in the tooth while few clubs will have interest in MacDonald’s $5-million annual cap hit. Read more
Welcome back to my mailbag, where all manner of questions on prospects and the draft are answered. If you have something you want to know about, hit me up on Twitter at @THNRyanKennedy and hashtag it #thnfutures. You might see the question here in a couple weeks.
In the meantime, let’s get to the latest round of inquiries, the first of which is very timely:
For the third consecutive season, goaltender Eddie Lack is entering the season as one of the better backup goaltenders in the league but has a veteran starter who he’ll have to beat out if he wants the No. 1 job. If style points count for anything, Lack might have gotten himself a slight lead on Hurricanes starter Cam Ward to start the pre-season.
Early in the second frame of Carolina’s pre-season opener against the Washington Capitals, Lack was caught moving the opposite direction on a beautiful pass across the ice by Stanislav Galiev to Jakub Vrana. With Lack out of position, the 19-year-old Vrana patiently pulled the puck across the crease and opened up the entire right side of the goal.
But with nothing but daylight to slide the puck into, Lack stretched out his massive 6-foot-4 frame and got his left leg out in time to stifle Vrana’s attempt: Read more
Most of the recent NHL media speculation is focused upon the respective contract statuses of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. Lately, however, attention has shifted onto forward Eric Staal’s future with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Like Stamkos and Kopitar, the 30-year-old Hurricanes captain is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. In an interview with Sportnet The Fan 960, Elliotte Friedman claims Staal’s agent Rick Curran and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis were no closer to a deal.
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Curran and Francis had a great open dialogue, but no time frame on reaching an agreement. He points out Staal’s status is different to that of Stamkos and Kopitar, who are playing on postseason contenders. Read more
Welcome back to the Futures mailbag, where prospects and the draft are always in the spotlight. We’re getting into real games these days and the All-American Prospects Game hits Buffalo next Thursday, so we can officially say it’s hockey season. Remember: if you have a question you would like answered, hit up my Twitter page (@THNRyanKennedy) and tag your query with the hashtag #thnfutures. Let’s get to it:
There’s an argument to be made that no goaltender in the NHL has quite as much fun as Eddie Lack.
The 27-year-old Swedish netminder has made a lot of fans with his wacky antics. From his dinner with a cardboard cutout of former teammate Ryan Kesler and his off-season taco tattoo, Lack is usually up to something worth a laugh.
Following an off-season trade to the Hurricanes, Lack was in need of a new mask for the upcoming season. And, after giving fans a taste of what was to come, the completed work has been unveiled. It’s even more glorious than one could have expected. Read more
TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. – Another tourney is in the books, as the Columbus Blue Jackets defending their Traverse City prospects tournament title with a 5-2 win over the home team Detroit Red Wings. There was a lot of talent again this year, so I’ve put together mini scouting reports on many of the big names, plus others who caught my eye.
I was at two days of games, watching double-headers that were staggered between two rinks in the same building. So I saw more of some teams than others, though I tried to keep it even. If you don’t see your fave player here, it’s because he didn’t catch me eye enough – which is not to say he didn’t play well, but rather that there were a lot of prospects in play and I wouldn’t want to pretend to see more than I did.
Also, some teams had a lot of free agents on their squads since NCAA players couldn’t participate due to eligibility issues and some teams don’t have deep prospect pools right now. Chicago and the Rangers – both in contender mode right now – are two examples. They fought for last place, so we’ll start with them and work our way up to the champs.
TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. – The here and now is going to be painful for Carolina Hurricanes fans. But the future? Much, much brighter. GM Ron Francis and his staff have very quickly built one of the most impressive cadres of blueliners in their prospect pipeline and at least one of those players will likely suit up in Raleigh this season.