Rumor Roundup: Better fit for Red Wings – Green, Myers or Petry?

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Having been thwarted in his efforts to land a top-four, right-handed defenseman via free agency, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland will, according to Ansar Khan of mlive.com, continue to explore trade options.

Khan considers Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green a viable candidate following their recent blueline additions of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. CSNWashington’s Chuck Gormley speculates the Capitals could draw upon their blueline depth as trade bait for depth at center, with Green topping his list of possible trade candidate. The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt believes Green (who will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer) might make a good trade-deadline chip, but Capitals management intends to keep him for the upcoming season.

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press suggests Buffalo Sabres blueliner Tyler Myers as a trade target, citing Myers youth (24), size (6-foot-8), offensive skills and mobility. He’s also under contract until 2018-19 at an annual cap hit of $5.5 million, which the Wings can afford. St. James also notes the downside of acquiring Myers could cost either Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco as part of the return, along with perhaps another young player and a high draft pick.

Another possibility listed by Khan is Jeff Petry of the Edmonton Oilers. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug and CBC’s Elliotte Friedman both claim hearing Petry’s name bandied about in trade chatter. Having dealt away Sam Gagner, the Oilers need to add depth at center. The Red Wings could try offering veteran Stephen Weiss, but the Oilers could prefer a younger pivot like Riley Sheahan or Luke Glendening.

WHO WANTS VINNY?
The Philadelphia Flyers remain stymied in their efforts to move center Vincent Lecavalier.  CSNPhilly’s Tim Panaccio late last week reported Flyers GM Ron Hextall continued to talk with clubs, even revisiting discussions with the Nashville Predators. He cited a source claiming the Flyers were only willing to absorb $1 million annually of Lecavalier’s contract, while teams Hextall spoke to want him to pick up more.

Panaccio also reported Hextall shifted his focus to the Ottawa Senators. With the Senators signing David Legwand to a two-year, $6-million contract on Friday, they no longer have a need to add a second-line center. Panaccio’s colleague John Boruk believes a Lecavalier trade will come down to how much of the center’s contract the Flyers are willing to absorb.

Boruk notes Lecavalier was paid his $2-million bonus on July 1, meaning the 34-year-old center is owed $14 million in actual salary (minus bonuses) over the remaining four years of his contract. Under the terms of the CBA, the Flyers can pick up half of that, meaning Hextall would have to agree to take back $1.75 million annually over the remaining term.

Even that might not be enough. Rival GMs know Hextall wants to dump Lecavalier’s salary and will squeeze him to include a pick, prospect or player in the return.

If Hextall cannot find a trade partner, his other option is buying out Lecavalier’s contract at two-thirds the remaining value over twice the remaining tenure. According to capgeek.com, the cap hit is $1.5 million in the first year, $3 million in years two and three, $2.5 million in year four, then dropping to $1 million for each of the final four years.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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