Insider Trading: Decision pending on possible Perry termination grievance
TSN’s Hockey Insiders have the latest on Corey Perry’s status, the reason behind this week’s lengthy offside review, who’s tabbed for the new All-Stars skills competition, the Canucks possibly seeking a top six forward, Sean Monahan a good ‘Plan B’ for teams seeking a centre, and pending UFA Sam Reinhart.
Duthie: Corey Perry cleared to return to the NHL by the commissioner but, CJ, still one important piece is missing.
Johnston: Absolutely and that pertains to the end of his time in Chicago with the Blackhawks having terminated his $4 million contract in November. Now, the CBA allows a player 60 days to file a grievance in that kind of matter which means a decision has to come before the end of this month and while the player might be inclined to move forward and not do that, it's an important issue for the NHL Players’ Association. NHL contracts are supposed to be fully guaranteed, it's traditionally been a very high standard to terminate them or walk away from them, and usually it's something involving criminal charges. Because of the nature of the way things ended in Chicago for Corey, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a grievance filed there. So that decision is coming to a head in the very near future and I would expect that all signs point to a grievance.
Duthie: Connor McDavid was justifiably upset about that long review on Tuesday. Dregs, is there an explanation for it?
Dreger: Yeah there is, in fact hockey operations wanted to see every available angle, the problem was the angle that ultimately determined the overturning of the goal took much longer to gather than they were hoping. The television broadcast didn't submit the replay until much longer than hockey operations had expected. It comes down to 'get it right' – if this happened in the playoffs and they got it wrong there would be a huge controversy. If they had handled the replay or dealt with it much sooner, and that replay surfaces in the medium that they didn't use to overturn then the NHL would've looked silly.
Duthie: Let's get into trade season, the Vancouver Canucks continue to be an amazing story, what exactly should they be looking for here?
LeBrun: I had a chance to catch up with Jim Rutherford, president of hockey operations, and one of the things we touched on was the trade deadline,and one of the things he said was currently what the Canucks are looking at is the idea of potentially adding a top-six forward. It's worth pointing out that there's seven-and-a-half weeks before March 8 and that might change, but that was his answer when I asked about an area potentially of need. And I should also point out that the Canucks have been pretty busy since mid-September – GM Patrik Allvin has added goaltender Casey DeSmith, he's added Sam Lafferty and, of course, Nikita Zadorov. But they are not done – they've got a special year going as you said and they'd like to add again.
Dreger: No different from any other year there are teams looking for centremen and depth at that position or a top-two or top-three centreman. We're looking at Colorado, we're looking at Boston, the Edmonton Oilers, maybe even the Washington Capitals if they stay in the mix leading up to the trade deadline. Twenty-nine-year-old Sean Monahan of the Montreal Canadiens is healthy, and he is having a decent year. You gotta go back to the off-season and when the Canadiens signed the veteran forward, they had an agreement that said 'we will trade you when the time is right to a contending team' or a team of your choice. Nothing has changed there, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Monahan was among the first forwards to get dealt before the deadline.
Duthie: William Nylander gets the big extension with Toronto – Pierre, who could be the next pending UFA who gets extended?
LeBrun: The big name right now is Sam Reinhart, he has a shot at a 60-goal season, he's having a career year at the right time. There's also a bit of a reality check here in the sense that he plays for the Florida Panthers, a team that's trying to build something with sustainability, they want to take a run at being a Cup contender, they're also in a state with no income tax. What does that mean - you look at Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, Vegas, not a single player on any of those teams makes more than $10 million because of that. So Reinhart, on July 1, with another team, could be worth $10-11 million but I think it will end up being a deal under Matthew Tkachuk ($9.5 million AAV) and we should mention that they haven't really gotten into the meat of negotiations yet – general discussions but nothing too serious yet.
Duthie: Some extra cash available for some of the All-Stars, CJ?
Johnston: Yes, the skills competition specifically, an extra $1 million on the line and only 12 individuals participating in that game and the league right now is in the stages of finalizing the roster of players that will go in there working with agents, and obviously the players themselves and GMs – three big names to keep an eye on that I believe will be in that competition: McDavid of the Oilers, Nathan MacKinnon of the Avalanche and Auston Matthews from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Three of the most dangerous offensive players in the game. Keep an eye out, too, on Nylander, he's expected to get in the Skills Competition with the All-Star Weeekend being in Toronto. The names will be unveiled on Saturday – the fans, by the way, will get to vote on the final two names after the first 10 are unveiled on Saturday night.