Rumor Roundup: Flyers, Sharks and Oilers buzz
Luke Schenn. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Rumor Roundup: Flyers, Sharks and Oilers buzz
The Philadelphia Flyers have again attempted to ship out Vincent Lecavalier, but still to no avail. The Flyers currently have less than $1 million in cap space and could look to deal players before the season begins, and defenseman Luke Schenn could be one option. Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks are looking to add on the blueline and the Edmonton Oilers could be searching for a bottom-six forward.
It appears efforts by the Philadelphia Flyers to trade Vincent Lecavalier have once again proven futile. GM Ron Hextall told CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio his club remains “status quo” with the 35-year-old center, adding they intend to start the season with Lecavalier to see how it goes.
Last summer, there was interest in Lecavalier from the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers, prompting speculation Hextall might find a taker this year. However, the combination of Lecavalier's ongoing decline and his $4.5-million annual cap hit through 2017-18 makes him a tough sell, even to clubs which have the cap space to absorb. it.
Panaccio reports Hextall was hoping interest in Lecavalier might increase after the Flyers paid his $2-million signing bonus on July 1, but received no offers. Without freeing up cap space, Hextall could find it difficult promoting a promising defensemen next summer.
To clear cap space for a young rearguard, Hextall must consider other options. NJ.com's Randy Miller believes the Flyers GM will ship out a veteran defenseman, as the club currently has eight under one-way contracts for 2015-16. Miller considers Luke Schenn ($3.6-million cap hit) the likely trade candidate.
The 25-year-old Schenn could attract some interest if Hextall puts him on the trade block. He's still young, has good size (6-foot-2, 229 pounds), possesses a right-handed shot and only has a year left on his contract.
If Hextall shops a veteran defenseman, it likely won't occur until training camp or pre-season. He'll want to assess his young blueliners to determine which of them are ready to move up before testing the trade market.
SHARKS LOOKING FOR DEPTH D
CSNBayArea.com's Kevin Kurz believes the San Jose Sharks could use another depth defenseman. He made that assessment during a recent mailbag segment with his readers.
Kurz believes the Sharks top-four defense is set with Paul Martin, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, while the recently re-signed Brenden Dillon is a lock as their fifth blueliner. Mirco Mueller and Matt Tennyson, however, are question marks.
The Sharks limited cap space, however, could make it difficult to add another rearguard. Kurz acknowledges that issue, but believes they could free up room by demoting Mueller or if winger Raffi Torres ($2 million) hasn't fully recovered from his knee surgeries.
Affordable veteran options via free agency could include Christian Ehrhoff, Andrej Meszaros, Jordan Leopold, Anton Volchenkov and Tim Gleason. Cody Franson is also available, but his search for a lucrative, long-term contract put him out of the Sharks' price range.
OILERS COULD SEEK BOTTOM-SIX FORWARD
Could the Edmonton Oilers pursue an affordable depth forward via free agency? The Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis recently posed that question. Citing the Anaheim Ducks signing winger Chris Stewart to a one-year, $1.7-million contract, Willis suggests the Oilers could add a UFA forward on the cheap end. Options include Curtis Glencross, Sean Bergenheim, Jiri Tlusty and Scottie Upshall.
General Fanager indicates the Oilers have over $2.88 million in cap space for 2015-16. They also have 15 forwards under contract. Three of them – Tyler Pitlick, Andrew Miller and Connor McDavid – are on two-way deals. That makes it easy to remove their respective cap hits from the books via demotion, though it's safe to assume McDavid won't suffer that fate.
For now, there's no indication the Oilers intend to dip into the shallow free-agent pool for a forward. Management will evaluate their forwards during training camp and pre-season action before deciding if such a move is necessary.
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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