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.
“Probably the guy who is going to get a lot of attention, and he doesn’t get a lot right now, is Michael Stone in Arizona. He’s an unrestricted free agent after this year. Pretty decent player. I think he’s a name you’re going to hear a lot.
“It’s interesting. It sounds like a lot of teams are trying to get their hands on Brandon Carlo, the young defenseman from Boston, but so far they’ve resisted Jacob Trouba and Gabriel Landeskog deals for him. So that tells you that if you want a young player or a young player with term, it’s going to cost you and it’s going to cost you big.
“But a rental like a guy like Michael Stone? You’re right. I’m not sure the Leafs will want to pay that price because even though I think they’re going for it as a team this year, they still do look at the big picture.”
If the Senators are going to upgrade at the forward position, worth careful consideration is a 29-year old centre in Arizona.
Martin Hanzal is in the final year of a contract that pays him $3.1 million and, with the Coyotes going nowhere, they should be all ears.
The only other team in the West that has no hope of a playoff spot is the Colorado Avalanche. They have Jarome Iginla on the last year of his deal, but at 39 years old, he does not move nearly well enough to keep up to the pace in Guy Boucher’s system.
Hearing Boston has had talks with Avs over Landeskog. Sakic wanted Carlo, and B’s said no
— Adrian Dater (@adater) January 5, 2017
If there was ever a time for Dean Lombardi to shake up the Kings roster, tonight’s performance is all the motivation he needs.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) January 6, 2017
And if Iginla does move, would the logical destination be Edmonton, his hometown, to play for an improving young team that could use his leadership skills and, by the way, is currently run by a general manager, Peter Chiarelli, who also brought Iginla to Boston in the fall of 2013?
It would appear to be a good match, with Iginla offering the sort of veteran gravitas that a talented but inexperienced team could use. Milan Lucic, his linemate for that year in Boston, is there, patrolling the wing with Connor McDavid.
The Blackhawks have an itchy trigger finger. They are looking for someone to play with Jonathan Toews, especially as Marian Hossa battles injury.
Colorado has told teams not to bother asking about Nathan MacKinnon or 2015 first-rounder Mikko Rantanen. After that, it sounds like the organization is determined not to make a panic move just to mollify everyone. The Avalanche know $17 million comes off the books after the season and they will have flexibility. Right now, cap room is as valuable as diamond ore. The price on Matt Duchene in particular would be pretty high.