With last weekend’s NHL draft lottery results secured, more general managers find themselves carrying specified trade assets with which they can work as June trade season approaches.
The latest edition of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast whet the appetites of fans with a few deal-related speculations, including the possibility of higher-end picks being in play.
“I’ll tell you something, I’ve got to say this: I think the trade offers are going to be really interesting,” predicted Friedman while answering a listener question in the Ask 31 section of the podcast. “Buffalo is not trading their pick; but I think that even from 2 on down, I think there’s going to be offers. I don’t see Carolina trading their pick either. I think it’s more likely they keep the player.
“But I do think Montreal is going to get tempted, and I think Ottawa is going to get tempted. And then I think Arizona will be interesting, because that’s after where the three forwards are going to go, and then I think Arizona is going to be in that spot where teams will be calling them too.
“I think 3, 4, and 5 are going to be fascinating.”
There seems to be plenty of trade-related discussion involving picks in that range of the draft each year, although few actually come to pass.
The Buffalo Sabres won the lottery and will select Rasmus Dahlin first overall. The Carolina Hurricanes own the second pick, the Montreal Canadiens have the third selection, and the Ottawa Senators are in the fourth slot. The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by the Arizona Coyotes, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, and Edmonton Oilers.
If John Tavares decides to re-up with the Islanders, Garth Snow will have potentially interesting trade leverage with the 11th and 12th picks. Tavares opting to leave or at least explore the free agent interview period would almost certainly mean the Islanders simply hang onto the selections and continue to restock the cupboard.
The Dallas Stars are at 13, the Philadelphia Flyers are at 14, and the Florida Panthers are at 15.
Also in the Ask 31 section of the podcast was a question from a listener wondering what will be the biggest trade of the summer.
“That’s a great question,” said Friedman, to which co-host Jeff Marek wondered if it might be someone in Ottawa.
“Ottawa, I think, has done the smart thing. They’ve taken a timeout,” noted Friedman. “But I think Karlsson is going to be a big one if it happens. I’m sure they’re all sitting there and saying, ‘Is there any way that this can change.’ So I’m sure they’re thinking about that.
“Ottawa has got a lot of chances there. It could be Hoffman. It could be Karlsson. If they decide to do something, they could make the biggest deal of the summer.”
“Pacioretty,” Marek mused, moving on to another name potentially on the move.
“Pacioretty is a big one,” agreed Friedman. “Spezza.”
Marek wondered if a new coach coming in – Friedman actually found out it would be Jim Montgomery during the recording of the podcast – might change the dynamic with Spezza.
“He’s got one year left on his contract,” noted Friedman of the veteran forward. “Jeff Skinner. I’ve heard that L.A. has interest in Jeff Skinner.
“Last year there were blockbusters that came out of nowhere. Like what happens, if for argument’s sake – and I have no reason to believe this is happening – first of all, what happens if Tavares turns into a sign-and-trade. That’s your big one. But what happens if say Columbus feels that Panarin won’t sign there.
“I think Corey Perry gets one more year in Anaheim at least, but that could be your answer.”
Marek wondered about “anyone in Calgary.”
“I think they’re going to try to do something,” noted Friedman. “I think there’s a lot of interest in Dougie Hamilton.”
Marek replied with a guttural, “Don’t do it Calgary,” which is a sentiment that should be shared by Brad Treliving.
“It would be a big deal,” said Friedman. “It would be. I think those are probably some of your big ones.
“The other thing too is Winnipeg, what do you think HelleBuyck is going to make now. Like you know Laine is going to be a big number, and you know Trouba is going to be a big number. But all of the sudden you’re looking at Hellebucyk and what’s his number going to be.”
Marek asked if the Jets were going to be a cap team.
“They’re going to have no choice,” replied Friedman. “Here’s the other one: Wheeler is going to be 34 when he signs his new deal. What do you do there? He was on my Hart ballot this year.”
It is certainly shaping up to be an interesting few months of speculation.
Karlsson has another season left on his contract, but was in play before the trade deadline and certainly could be dealt in June if his camp won’t commit to an extension with the Senators.
Teammate Mike Hoffman has two seasons left on his pact, but was also in continual trade rumors this year.
Tavares is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.
Pacioretty has one season left before he can become a UFA.
Jeff Skinner is also a year away from unrestricted free agency, and The Tom Dundon Show promises to be popcorn-worthy. The possibility of a significant roster move with the Hurricanes seems likely, although desire to make change and effecting change are two completely different entities in the hockey roster world.
The Anaheim Ducks are locked up with a few big no-move clause contracts and Perry is one of them – $8.625 million for another three campaigns – although it does appear as if there would be trade interest should the Ducks want to pursue that route with the winger or center Ryan Getzlaf.
Hamilton, incidentally, has three seasons to go on his six-year pact and there would most certainly be suitors from around the league. His modified no-trade clause doesn’t kick in for another year either.
And yes, while the Jets continue to enjoy their stellar season and look to push this impressive playoff run, eventually the piper – and players – will have to be paid in this salary cap world.
As alluded to, Laine has another season remaining on his entry-level deal. Trouba will be a restricted free agent this summer, and he holds the arbitration hammer as well – a position in which Hellebuyck finds himself as well.
The Insider beat should be quite intriguing over the coming months – stay tuned.
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