Each day through the NHL Draft on June 21-22 and free agency on July 1, TSN.ca breaks down the latest news and rumours around the NHL.
Sweeten the Deal?
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger agreed on Insider Trading that a swap of Milan Lucic for Loui Eriksson could make sense for both the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, but added the Oilers will likely have to add value to get a deal done.
"There could be a fit and if you look at it from Edmonton’s perspective, the interest might come from their newly hired coach Dave Tippett who had Loui Eriksson in Dallas for three years, so there is a familiarity there," Dreger said on Insider Trading. "The Vancouver Canucks do see value in Milan Lucic, in that they have a younger team, they have some smallish players if you look at Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson and now you have Quinn Hughes on the back end. Milan Lucic could add a little bit of bite, but for the Vancouver Canucks to consider that type of swap I think that there would have to be some type of sweetener coming from the Edmonton Oilers to take on the extra year."
Both players are signed at a cap hit of $6 million, though Lucic's deal runs through 2022-23. With that in mind Alan Mitchell of The Athletic believes the Oilers should be willing to at least talk about including unsigned prospect John Marino, a sixth-round pick in 2015, but should hang up the phone if the Canucks ask for anything more.
Eriksson posted 11 goals and 29 points in 81 games this season with a minus-11 rating. A six-time 20-goal scorer with two 30-goal seasons under his belt, he has scored a total of just 32 goals since joining the Canucks as a free agent in 2016.
The 33-year-old has a full no-trade clause for this upcoming season, though TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said last month that with Eriksson discussing his discord with head Travis Green in an interview with Sweden's HockeySverige, the Canucks could soon have an untenable situation on their hands.
“The coach and I don’t really get on 100 per cent,” Eriksson told the Swedish outlet. “It is difficult when I do not get the same trust that I received from all the other coaches I had during my career. Of course it is tough on that front.”
Lucic, a Vancouver native, scored six goals and posted 20 points in 79 games this season. He had 10 goals in 2017-18 after reaching the 20-goal mark in three of his previous four seasons.
The 30-year-old, who has a full no-move clause in his contract, is listed at No. 19 on the TSN Trade Bait board, one spot ahead of Eriksson.
Kapanen on the Block?
According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been "extraordinarily active talking trade" of late with Kasperi Kapanen, Patrick Marleau and possibly Connor Brown being discussed in potential deals.
Simmons reports he's received conflicting reports on whether the team is interested in trading Brown, who is signed through next season at a $2.1 million cap hit.
Kapanen, 22, is a restricted free agent this summer and is coming off a career-high 20 goals and 44 points in 78 games this season. Marleau, who carries a $6.25 million cap hit through next season, has informed the Leafs he would like to return to the west coast this summer and the team has discussed trades with the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings already this off-season.
Simmons adds that the Maple Leafs are trying to get Mitch Marner signed this month before he becomes a restricted free agent on July 1.
Another Oilers Option
The agent for Jesse Puljujarvi denied last week that the Oilers winger was looking to sign in the KHL, but that doesn't mean he'll be back with the Oilers next season.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal argues the Oilers should be investigating trading the former No. 4 overall pick to the Winnipeg Jets, who are facing a salary cap crunch. Matheson suggests packaging Puljujarvi, who he notes is a friend of Jets sniper Patrick Laine, with the Oilers' second-round pick and defenceman Ethan Bear to acquire Nik Ehlers from the Jets.
Puljujarvi has 17 goals and 37 points in 139 games since debuting with the Oilers in 2016. The 21-year-old was limited to just four goals and nine points in 46 games this season and will become a restricted free agent on July 1. An NHL executive told Matheson that he expects Puljujarvi to continue to struggle until he accepts his role in the NHL.
"Puljujarvi is a third-line player if he embraces that role but he thinks he is better than that," the executive said. "Until he embraces just being in the NHL, he will never succeed.”
Ehlers, 23, scored 21 goals and posted 37 points in in 62 games this season. He is signed through 2023-24 at a $6 million cap hit.
Friday's Insider Trading also included notes on Corey Perry, Dion Phaneuf, Matt Duchene and Jason Zucker.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that Perry and Ducks appear to be headed for a split this off-season with Anaheim looking to get younger. He notes the team will try to trade Perry, and are willing to retain a portion of his $8.625 million salary for the next two seasons, but could also opt for a buyout if they're unable to find a suitor.
As for Phaneuf, LeBrun notes that he is also a buyout candidate this off-season if the Kings can't find a trade partner for him. The 34-year-old has two years remaining on his contract at a $5.25 million salary.
Dreger reports that Duchene, who is scheduled to become a free agent on July 1, continues to have conversations with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but adds that the Arizona Coyotes will be among his suitors should he reach the free agent market. The Blue Jackets will surrender their 2020 first-round pick to the Ottawa Senators should Duchene re-sign in Columbus.
Zucker, who has been a part of trades that fell through with both the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins this year, appears to still be on the trade block. LeBrun notes that the Buffalo Sabres have "kicked tires on" the Minnesota Wild winger as they pursue a top-six winger this summer.