Insider Trading: Jets, Blues among a number of teams who have inquired about Meier
TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun, Darren Dreger and Chris Johnston joined host James Duthie to discuss the latest on Timo Meier ahead of the March 3 trade deadline, plans for teams like the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators as well as an update on the sale of the Ottawa Senators.
Blues in on Meier?
Most teams seem to be in on Timo Meier and for good reason. But are the St. Louis Blues, who have been in sell mode lately, a legitimate threat for Meier?
LeBrun: Yeah, maybe they’re doing a bit of everything. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told reporters over the weekend that he wants this to be a pretty quick re-tool He’s looking for players who are 25, 26 years old as he reloads over the next year. Well, guess what? Timo Meier is 26 years old. And yes, we’re told the Blues have inquired with San Jose on Meier. Remember, the Blues now have three first-round picks, and my understanding is the Blues would be ready to part with two first-round picks in a package for Meier. But again, they’re not alone in this, there’s lots of interest. The Winnipeg Jets are also among the teams that have inquired. The Vegas Golden Knights too, and of course, the two teams that we’ve pointed out for a while now – New Jersey and Carolina. I still think they’re the frontrunners.
The latest on Orlov
The Washington Capitals are two points out of a wild-card spot entering play Tuesday. What might they do with defenceman Dmitry Orlov?
Johnston: Well, this is a potentially significant development because Orlov’s name has started to emerge in trade chatter. And I think there’s a couple reasons for this. The one that you key on there, the fact they’re sputtering a bit in Washington. Teams are calling general manager Brian MacLellan to see what he’s going to do with his unrestricted free agents. There’s also the fact that the Capitals have been negotiating with Orlov. And I was told by a well-placed source on Tuesday that those talks are nowhere right now, there’s no progress towards a deal. And so I don’t think the Capitals have given up on signing Orlov, I don’t think they’ve committed to being full on sellers, but if they get either a strong offer right now, or he’s unsigned at the end of next week, I think they have a very interesting decision on Orlov.
Red Wings buyers or sellers?
Another one of those teams that are right on the bubble is the Detroit Red Wings. What are their plans going into the deadline and how might that affect pending UFA forward Tyler Bertuzzi?
Dreger: Yeah, Tuesday is a huge game and a huge week for both the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings. Soon, we’re going to pull names off the Trade Bait List including Tyler Bertuzzi of the Red Wings. Now, the decision has been made, unless something goes horribly wrong this week and leading up to the March 3 trade deadline, that they want to give this group in Detroit the opportunity to really push hard for a playoff spot. They’re willing to take their chances on a contract extension with Bertuzzi on July 1. Again, a lot can change between now and March 3. But the Red Wings are trying to lock down a playoff spot.
Predators set to wheel and deal?
The Nashville Predators are seven points out of a playoff spot heading into play Tuesday. What might they end up doing leading up to March 3?
LeBrun: The Predators haven’t given up on the season, they’ve got some winnable games later this week with Arizona as well as San Jose. But, in the meantime, I think David Poile feels he has no choice but to explore the market to protect himself and over the past several days he has talked to teams on a number of his guys. Notably, the player of interest for a lot of teams is Mattias Ekholm. He is a top four veteran defenceman and, at 32 years old, still has a couple more years left on his contract at $6.25 million and that might scare off some teams, but he is of interest. So again, the Preds aren’t full on sellers, but they’ve begun to investigate the market. Keep an eye on them.
Senators sale process moving along?
Last time we checked in it felt everyone was putting in a bid on the Ottawa Senators. Are they narrowing down the list of bids at all and might there soon be a day we see actual dollar signs next to an offer?
Johnston: Well, that starts basically right now. The bid solicitation process is actually open now for the Ottawa Senators in the sale process. And this is the most important stage because you had those 15 interested groups and that group has been vetted and pared down. Now you get to see what the actual offers are. And as we’ve reported previously here on Insider Trading, we do expect the ultimate price to go north of $800 million. But you don’t know that for sure until the offers are on the table. And so, at this point in time, that process has started, it should take a couple weeks, and we’ll get a sense where it goes from here.
Australian exhibition series update
Are there a few small delays until the NHL confirms going Down Under next fall?
Dreger: Correct. The National Hockey League was hoping to announce as early as this week a scheduled trip to Australia where the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings will play that two-game set in Australia in September. The NHL Players’ Association still has some logistical travel concerns. So they essentially pulled the pin at the last second. It doesn’t mean those games won’t be played in September, they will, it’s just a delay to the formal announcement.