Poulin on Shesterkin outshining Hellebuyck, Jets' trade deadline plans
The NHL's Mar. 21 Trade Deadline is approaching and teams are making decisions on whether to buy, sell and decide which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out today's trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat. And follow TradeCentre on TSN and TSN.ca through Deadline Day for all the updates.
PK on the Move?
New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald held discussions with pending unrestricted free agents P.K. Subban, Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, Andy Greene and Blake Coleman over the weekend regarding the trade deadline.
Fitzgerald told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in The Athletic that he informed Subban the team would not be opening contract discussions with him.
“I sat down with P.K. yesterday and we talked about uncertainty and the deadline and that we’re not at a spot where we’re looking to extend him at this point,’’ Firtzgerald said.
Subban carries a $9 million cap hit as he plays out the final season of the eight-year, $72 million contract he signed with the Montreal Canadiens in 2014. The 32-year-old has three goals and 18 points in 53 games this season, his third with the Devils after a 2019 trade from the Nashville Predators.
LeBrun notes that the Devils will have to retain salary if they move Subban, while Fitzgerald said he will only make a deal if it makes sense for both the franchise and veteran defenceman.
“He’s done a lot for community here and the organization,’’ Fitzgerald said. “But I told him, ‘On the last day, somebody may lose a right-shot D and may call me and if the move makes sense for the New Jersey Devils and makes sense for you to potentially have a chance to win, I have to do what’s best for the organization.'"
A second-round pick of the Canadiens in 2007, Subban has 113 goals and 463 points in 810 career NHL games. He has 18 goals and 62 points in 96 career playoff games and reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Predators in 2017.
Down to the Wire?
Speaking to season ticket holders on Saturday, Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek said contract negotiations are ongoing with pending unrestricted free agent Hampus Lindholm.
Verbeek, however, added that he is very open to dealing any of the team's pending UFAs if they remain unsigned to an extension by March 21.
“I’m trying to sign these players, but if it doesn’t work out I might have to make some tough decisions and trade them,” Verbeek said per the Orange County Register. “I’d be worried if they walked out the door without getting anything in return. I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I let that happen. We’re going to do our best to get it done and, if not, we’ll have to go in another direction.”
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported last month that the Ducks had opened extension talks with Lindholm, but added the 28-year-old is atop the wish list of many contenders ahead of the deadline. Signed at a cap hit of $5.2 million, Lindholm has five goals and 20 points in 56 games this season.
The Ducks, who defeated the San Jose Sharks in overtime on Sunday, sit three points back of the Nashville Predators for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with three more games played.
Including Lindholm, Anaheim has seven players currently slated to hit unrestricted free agency in July. That list of players also includes captain Ryan Getzlaf, forward Rickard Rakell and currently injured defenceman Josh Manson.
Rakell is currently ranked highest among the group on the TSN Trade Bait board, checking in at No. 10. Lindholm is listed at No. 14, one spot ahead of Manson, while winger Nicolas Deslauriers just cracked the list at No. 46.
Moving Up and Away?
Michael Del Zotto's time with the Ottawa Senators hasn't exactly gone to plan, but it appears the veteran defenceman could be moved to a contender after spending the past three months in the AHL.
Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has been receiving calls on Del Zotto, who has 10 goals and 26 points in 22 games with the Belleville Senators since being sent down in December.
Garrioch notes that the Senators may have to retain salary to complete a deal as Del Zotto carries a $2 million cap hit through next season, but believes the 31-year-old could provide depth for a playoff team.
Del Zotto posted two goals and six points in 10 games with the NHL Senators this season. He had four goals and 13 points in 53 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A first-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2008, Del Zotto has only played in the postseason twice during his 13-year career, last reaching the playoffs with the Rangers in 2013.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said Friday he remains confident in goaltenders Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek, and added he intends to improve the team's defence at the deadline.
TSN Hockey Analyst Dave Poulin joined SC with Jay on Sunday night to give his take on the team's struggles in keeping goals out of their net and where he believes Dubas should add at the deadline.
Watch Poulin's breakdown here: