BUFFALO – In what has become an annual event, the Chicago Blackhawks have done a summer dismantling of their team in an effort to fit their roster under the salary cap. Along with the Carolina Hurricanes, the Montreal Canadiens are the beneficiaries. And it may have come one year late, but Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin got a Blackhawk he coveted.
It was widely believed Bergevin was prepared to give Brandon Saad an offer sheet last summer, which was what prompted the Blackhawks to trade him to the Columbus Blue Jackets. But at the draft this year, Bergevin got Andrew Shaw, a player he scouted for the Hawks when he was their director of player personnel in 2011.
BUFFALO – If you thought Dougie Hamilton getting traded at the draft last year was a monumental event, how would you react if P.K. Subban were moved by the Montreal Canadiens? That is not to say it will happen at the draft tomorrow, or ever, but if you’re a ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ kind of person, you’d have to think this story is getting some serious legs.
Because there’s smoke. Lots of it. Like more than there is when all the kids decide to hotbox after the prom. There has been chatter for sometime about the possibility of Subban getting dealt, and Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning did nothing to quell the wildfire when he told Matt Sekeres and Blake Price of TSN 1040 in Vancouver when asked whether he has called Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin about Subban, “Yeah. I think there’s a lot of teams that have reached out to find out what it would take to try to complete a deal of that magnitude. We’ve been one of the teams that have talked to them, but we haven’t gone down the path to make belief that’s something that’s going to be real or not.”
One of the Florida Panthers’ needs heading into the off-season was a backup goaltender to relieve Roberto Luongo here and there.
Al Montoya had performed admirably over the past two seasons in just that role, but with some options for him to go elsewhere — and maybe even earn a larger share of the net duty — the 31-year-old appeared ready to head elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent. That left the Panthers in the market for some backup help, but they took care of that Thursday by shipping Rocco Grimaldi to the Colorado Avalanche for netminder Retto Berra.
Berra, 29, is locked up at $1.45 million for the upcoming campaign, per CapFriendly, and he’s coming off of a somewhat decent run in the Colorado goal this past season. Read more
Defenseman Alex Goligoski, who won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, is now officially a member of the Arizona Coyotes. The veteran defenseman had his rights traded from Dallas for a fifth-round pick in 2016 last week and the Coyotes wasted no time in locking him down with a long-term contract.
For the new brain trust in Arizona, this is a big win.
In what has already been a busy day on the trade market, the Florida Panthers are getting in on the fun.
Looking to build their blueline, the Panthers have sent a sixth-round draft pick and conditional fourth-round selection to the New York Rangers for the negotiating rights to veteran blueliner Keith Yandle, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The conditional selection will only be included in the deal if Yandle, 29, signs with the Panthers, and Florida will have little less than two weeks to make that happen before free agency opens on July 1.
Locking up Yandle would be a big get for the Panthers, who would end up the winners of the sweepstakes for arguably the top free agent rearguard. Yandle scored five goals and 47 points in his first and only full season as a member of the Rangers. Though he played a second-pairing role with the Blueshirts, Yandle would almost certainly become a top-pairing defenseman in Florida, especially if free agent-to-be Brian Campbell doesn’t end up returning to the Cats. Read more
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier entered training camp on a brand new two-year, $8.3-million contract in 2015-16. This year it appears he’ll be heading into camp with some serious competition for his starting job.
The Maple Leafs announced Monday afternoon they have acquired restricted free agent goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks for two draft picks — the first-round, 30th-overall selection in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2017.
Anaheim had long been trying to get Andersen under contract, with GM Bob Murray saying as recently as this past weekend that he was working on getting a deal done. Murray did, however, acknowledge that eventually one of Andersen or John Gibson would have to be moved. With Gibson being the presumptive goaltender of the future, though, it seemed Andersen would be the one sent packing. Monday’s deal makes that official.
The acquisition addresses a definite need for the Maple Leafs, who were hoping to rely on, but were mostly let down by, the play of Bernier this past season. Read more
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. At least, that’s the approach the Arizona Coyotes are taking when it comes to landing one of the off-seasons big free agent defensemen.
The Coyotes dealt a fifth-round pick in 2016 draft to the Dallas Stars Thursday afternoon for the negotiating rights to blueliner Alex Goligoski, who is set to become a free agent July 1. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the Coyotes don’t have a deal in place with Goligoski, who is coming off of a four-year, $18.4-million contract, but the hope is that GM John Chayka and staff can hammer something out with the 30-year-old and have him join their defense corps next season.
Goligoski was set to become one of the bigger fish in the free agent market, especially among defensemen. This past season, he scored five goals and 37 points for the high-flying Stars. What likely attracts the Coyotes most is that Goligoski can play big minutes against top competition and he’d be a strong addition to the top pairing. He averaged nearly 24 minutes per game for Dallas over the past three seasons. Read more
The most common question I’ve received about next week’s NHL draft is, by far, “What should the Edmonton Oilers do with the fourth overall pick?”
So let’s tackle it. We know GM Peter Chiarelli has indicated the No. 4 pick is available should the right offer come his way. That doesn’t guarantee Edmonton trades it or should want to trade it. Let’s look at a few different options for Chiarelli next Friday night in Buffalo.