Ahead of the NHL Draft on Oct. 6 and the opening of free agency on Oct. 9, TSN.ca keeps you up to date with all the latest rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.



"I hear that (trade talk) a lot"

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie is back in the fold with our Draft and Free Agent Frenzy coverage, offering up this little tidbit regarding Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres:

What would be the price for Patrik?

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported last week that the Montreal Canadiens do not intend to become involved in the Patrik Laine sweepstakes. Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette, however, believes the Canadiens would be remiss to miss out on opportunity to improve the team after a strong showing in the postseason.

Hickey believes the Canadiens could offer the Jets a mix of Max Domi, Brett Kulak, a young player such as Cale Fleury or Noah Juulsen and, if need be, their first-round pick this year to complete the deal. Laine is signed through next season at $6.75 million cap hit, which Hickey notes the Canadiens could easily squeeze under the cap.

The 22-year-old is listed at No. 5 on the latest TSN Trade Bait board and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger confirmed last week that the Jets are indeed willing to move him.

"Absolutely they're serious," Dreger said on Insider Trading. "Look, I mean, Patrik Laine's name on the Trade Bait board isn't just eye candy or speculative. The Winnipeg Jets know what their needs are.

"They need a No. 2 centre and they need to bolster the top four on their blue line. And Kevin Cheveldayoff, the general manager, they can't solely rely on free agency. What's curious about this, though, is that there hasn't been a lot of action around Patrik Laine. I mean, everyone in the National Hockey League can recognize that he is a star winger. So maybe clubs don't believe that he is available or they're concerned about the economics moving forward as well being an extension or what an arbitration case for Patrik Laine might look like after next season. One way or another Cheveldayoff is listening on Patrik Laine."

Laine, 22, scored 28 goals and posted 63 points in 68 games this season during the regular season. He was limited to just one game during the Return to Play due to injury.

Veteran Exits

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said Saturday the team will not re-sign veteran defencemen Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley. 

Ericsson, 36, has spent his entire 12-year career with the Red Wings, while Daley, also 36, has spent the past three seasons with the team. 

Ericsson was without a point in 18 games this season with the Red Wings. Daley had seven assists in 43 games. 

Yzerman made the announcement shortly after the Red Wings acquired 33-year-old defenceman Marc Staal and a second-round pick from the New York Rangers in exchange for future considerations.

After adding Staal's $5.7 million cap hit, which runs through next season, Detroit still has more than $27 million in cap space ahead of next season. The Red Wings have seven players slated for restricted free agency and five players - including Ericsson and Daley - set for unrestricted free agency.

“We have cap space, we have roster spots to fill, (but) we have to be careful … you can get to the cap very quickly, but we’re in a position to potentially do future deals like this, if they come along,” Yzerman said, per MLive.com. "They don’t happen a lot.

“There’s so much uncertainty in the league right now. We don’t really know when we’re starting, what the landscape is going to look like next year. For the Red Wings, we do have cap space, we can use it. I hope to use it wisely but one way we would like to try to use it is to acquire future assets should any teams be in a position where they have to move contracts and don’t have any other options. Nobody wants to give up picks or prospects, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make your team better. We’re trying to add picks or prospects and at the same time ice a team.”

No Buyout Coming

According to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, the San Jose Sharks will not be buying out any players on their roster during the currently-open window. 

Kurz notes there had been speculation as to whether the Sharks would part ways with goaltender Martin Jones, but he is instead expected to return next year and work in tandem with another goaltender.

Jones has four years remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $5.75 million. 

The 30-year-old recorded a .896 save percentage and 3.00 GAA in 41 games last season. Undrafted, Jones won a Stanley Cup as the backup goaltender with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014 and backstopped the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 before bowing out in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sharks have $14.1 million in projected cap space this off-season with three restricted free agents and six players slated for unrestricted free agency - including backup goaltender Aaron Dell.