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Insider Trading: The latest 'near-offseason' updates

Insider Trading, June 12 Insider Trading - TSN

TSN’s Hockey Insiders have the latest on Jacob Markstrom, Mitch Marner, Nik Ehlers, Patrik Laine and Martin Necas, as well as why Leon Draisaitl wasn’t suspended and Team Canada/Jon Cooper.

JAMES DUTHIE: Cup Final edition of Insider Trading with Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun, and Darren Dreger. We go back to the trade deadline and we know Jacob Markstrom was really frustrated about all of the pubic talk about a possible deal from the Flames. Fair to say that that continues the frustration and grows at the uncertainty right now?

CHRIS JOHNSTON: Well there’s definitely a level of that, and I’m sure he’s not even going to like that we’re addressing it right here, right now so I recognize that we’re part of the problem. But look, the timing of how this all plays out, I do think, will be interesting, and right now it does seem as though we’re not seeing trades around the league picking up just yet, obviously with the Stanley Cup Final still ongoing, but if this drags a little bit longer I can’t imagine his mood or anyone else’s will get better. The Flames are at the point where they feel they have to get a certain return to make this deal. You can fully understand that given who Jacob Markstrom is, how accomplished he is. The New Jersey Devils remain the team I think is most highly motivated to try to get a trade done. But there’s only so far they’re going, so I think in the middle here you have a goaltender with a no movement clause, who I think would like to move sooner than later if that is at all possible, because he’s got two years left on his deal and it’s a big move for him and his family.

DARREN DREGER: You know, ample speculation with a couple of other Canadian franchises, as well. I’m looking at Toronto and I’m looking at the Winnipeg Jets. The whirlwind that continues to swirl around Mitch Marner seems endless, but really nothing has changed on that file. Marner has another year remaining on his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he intends to play it out, so maybe we’re having this conversation heading into July 1, 2025?

DUTHIE: Every week next season likely on Insider Trading, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

DREGER: That’s an absolute given, but that doesn’t mean that Brad Treliving and the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t have conversations and explore possibilities. But as we have this conversation, the focus for Marner is training in the offseason and getting ready to come back to camp in Toronto. And then you’ve got Winnipeg, and a lot of speculation around one of their veteran forwards, and that’s Nikolaj Ehlers. He too, is going into the final year of his contract, and I know that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is at least open to having conversations with interested general managers. I think of the Carolina Hurricanes, potentially the connection there with Marty Necas also in play. But this is more of a financial issue for the Winnipeg Jets. Yeah, they’d like to keep Nikolaj Ehlers and extend him, but they’ve Kyle Connor who has two years left on his deal, and he is going to be a big money ticket. So, the speculation in Toronto and Winnipeg will continue until further notice.

DUTHIE: In Columbus, is it a mutual agreement now that they are going to move on from Patrik Laine and that he’ll be traded?

PIERRE LEBRUN: That’s the goal from everyone involved. We know that Patrik Laine entered the player assistance program, had the courage to seek help and he’s still in the program right now. So, we have to consider that factor. But, he would like to move on. His agent has had conversation with the Blue Jackets about it, and both sides are going to work together to try and get that done. He wants a fresh start, it hasn’t been a good time in Columbus. Two more years at $8.7 million a year, let’s see how big that market is, but we know what the potential is.

DUTHIE: And Dregs mentioned Necas, the latest there?

LEBRUN: Well, they’ve heard from basically every team in the league, and what they’ve tried to do is narrow down the realistic possibilities for a potential trade. I’m told five to seven teams invite intriguing possibilities for the Hurricanes, but no one’s gone up to the price that they’d like to see. Winnipeg, you mentioned, Chicago, Boston, and Montreal among the teams that have inquired.

DUTHIE: And we’ve known for more than 24 hours that Leon Draisaitl was not going to be suspended for his hit on Barkov, but I don’t know that we really got an explanation why. Why?

JOHNSTON: Well look, when the Department of Player Safety looked at this, I don’t think anyone in the room or that is part of those conversations liked the hit, they saw there was a bit of an elbow, obviously he left his feet, and in this case Barkov misses half a period. But, you look at where we are, we’re at the Stanley Cup Final, I think ultimately they want to look at how they got to where it’s no suspension, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Barkov appears to be healthy, but also the fact that the standard does go up. The cost of what a Game 3 of the Cup Final would be is pretty significant, and so ultimately that has Leon Draisaitl eligible for Game 3.

DUTHIE: Finally, originally Hockey Canada said they were going to make two different coaching decisions for the two big international events coming up, the Four Nations and then the Olympics. Has that changed and do they have one guy?

LEBRUN: Or at least they wanted to give themselves time if it was going to be the same person to wait and see, but there will be no wait and see. The likely candidate, we believe will be Jon Cooper, will get both gigs, the Four Nations and the Olympics. And listen, I think in the conversations between Jon Cooper, who was at the World Championships hanging out with Team Canada people last month,  was that, well, is this guy really going to audition at the Four Nations for the Olympics? I don’t think so, so everyone took a second thought at this and said, “Yeah, let’s just name Jon Cooper.” It should happen after the Stanley Cup Final.

DUTHIE: And you’d think Paul Maurice would get consideration somewhere on that staff considering the last couple of years that he’s had, as well.