Dorion doesn't sound like a GM who will go big-game hunting. "You can't give up pieces that you know will be impact players down the road."
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) January 24, 2017
Transitioning from the impact that the Stamkos injury has had on the Lightning, Friedman also mentioned that “their defense has kind of fallen apart. That’s been a big one. Yzerman is looking for a defenseman.”
The sentiment that Yzerman would like to add a Top 4 blueliner has certainly been a common theme for well over a year. We’ve barely seen any deals this season because the NHL trade market has basically been frozen because of both league parity – meaning a lack of defined deadline sellers so far – and salary cap restrictions that have handcuffed a large portion of franchises.
It was a few days after Yzerman’s trade comment that TSN’s Bob McKenzie had mentioned that he didn’t think the general manager would trade Jonathan Drouin.
Here’s what I think is going to happen: As the March 1 trading deadline approaches, whether that means in the final weeks or the final minutes, the Avalanche will have decent — not great — offers on the table for Duchene and Landeskog.
By “not great,” I mean a package that doesn’t qualify as a mouth-dropping difference maker. A great “offer” is: Did they really offer that? To qualify as great, it would have include an eventual long-term, standout defenseman for the franchise. And more.
Take every name you hear this time of year with a grain of salt, but I'm told #Blackhawks have at least sniffed around Nyquist and Tatar.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 21, 2017
Maybe it’s too late already. Maybe the hole is too deep and there are too many teams to leapfrog to make the playoffs again. Maybe Holland will have to trade his pending unrestricted free agents — Vanek, Drew Miller, Steve Ott, Brendan Smith — to gather assets for the future. Maybe he should make more moves to clear out veterans and open opportunities for younger players.
Vanek, 32, has been traded prior to the deadline before, when the New York Islanders sent him the Canadiens in 2014. He is the Red Wings’ most attractive chip with 30 points in 33 games. He knows the deal.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger joins Naylor and Landsberg to discuss the possibility of the Maple Leafs trading for Kevin Shattenkirk, if he is a good fit in Toronto and which coaches are on the hot seat.
During a lengthy Friday morning discussion on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 which included a section on the Jets’ issues, NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman was asked if the franchise’s struggles meant we could potentially see Trouba in play earlier than we might have expected.
“I think Trouba is almost always in play. I really do.” said Friedman. “I still think there are teams – nobody looks at this two-year deal as a long term solution. I just think that Winnipeg’s thought process hasn’t changed. ‘You’re going to have to make it worth it to us to do it.’ I think at some point in time somebody is going to. I do.
All eyes are on Joe Sakic, with his Colorado Avalanche on track to barely crack 50 points and trending toward the worst season in franchise history.
For that, forwards
and both land in the top five of TSN’s first Trade Bait list of the 2016-17 season. Sakic’s price for both players remains high. It may be more prudent for Colorado to wait until the off-season to reshape the franchise, when more teams will be willing to part with prized pieces, but the clock is ticking.
The Red Wings are going to face an interesting choice concerning Thomas Vanek.
If the team steadily drops out of playoff contention, or the gap widens just enough where the playoffs become a longshot, does general manager Ken Holland turn to seller and dangle Vanek, a prospective unrestricted free agent, for the March 1 trade deadline?
Surely, in what could be a weak trade market in terms of impact players, Vanek could be considered a prize for a playoff contender.
Sharks center Joe Thornton has a history of signing three-year contracts, currently on his fourth such deal right now, taking him through the conclusion of this season.
And, he reportedly wants another one, as agent and brother John Thornton recently told ESPN.
There’s probably no rush to get it done from either side. For Thornton’s part, he enjoys playing in the Bay Area, and with two young children it’s no surprise he’d like to remain where the sun’s always shining, yet the NHL spotlight isn’t quite so bright.
That is one thing they might do at trade deadline if they start to make a push. My guess would be speedy winger on expiring contract. https://t.co/zvMSMYqq60
— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) January 9, 2017
Muzzin Kempe and 1st. Seller's market. I would counter with Martinez Kempe and 2nd. I don't think Duchene lands in LA. We'll see. https://t.co/VaynaDmXTA
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) January 8, 2017
“If there was something I could have done to this point that would make our team better, I would have done it,” Yzerman said. “We’ll keep trying.”
Yzerman said this trade market is as challenging as he can remember. There’s the salary cap, which has remained relatively flat the past few years, and likely will again next season. There’s the expansion draft in June. And with so many teams within striking distance of a playoff spot, Yzerman said many GMs are uncertain about what direction they want to go in. “It’s been very, very quiet,” Yzerman said.