Insider Trading: Rangers trade removes key suitor for Kane
Gino Reda is joined by TSN Hockey insiders Darren Dreger, Chris Johnston and Pierre LeBrun to discuss the trickle-down effect the Vladimir Tarasenko trade could have on the market, why a Timo Meier trade could happen early, the roster crunch the Oilers are faced with, and more in this edition of Insider Trading.
[St. Louis Blues forward] Vladimir Tarasenko off the board. When the supply goes down, the demand goes up. So what's the trickle-down effect, Chris?
Chris Johnston: I'm looking first and foremost at Patrick Kane because this move now gives him one less thing to think about. And it's a significant thing. There are those close to Kane that believed that if he got to a point where he was ready to waive his no-movement clause from the Chicago Blackhawks, that New York would be the prime destination in Patrick Kane's mind. And that's no longer in play. The Rangers, ultimately, decided that the acquisition cost plus the cap implications had Tarasenko making more sense for them. And so while Kane continues to mull his options, the odds of him leaving Chicago get just a little bit slimmer. Because I believe there's only a small handful of teams he'd even consider waiving that no-movement clause for.
Darren Dreger: There is also some uncertainty around Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, right? There's lots to pay attention to in Chicago. As for the St. Louis Blues, more due diligence. We know that there's an excellent market for Ivan Barbashev and that market is heating up. There's a number of teams that have expressed interest in Barbashev, so we'll keep an eye on that. Ryan O'Reilly is getting closer to returning to the Blues lineup. So his good health is going to, perhaps warm things up. But we also can't overlook the possibility that the St. Louis Blues are going to continue to have discussions with the agent [O'Reilly's agent] to see if there could be a fit via an extension. So a lot of activity around [Blues general manager] Doug Armstrong's office and the St. Louis Blues.
[San Jose Sharks forward] Timo Meier (is) No. 1 on our Trade Bait list. What are the chances he's moved now sooner rather than later, Pierre?
Pierre LeBrun: Yeah, decent chance of that. Listen, the amount of interest in Timo Meier continues to escalate. And that's just going to continue now with Tarasenko off the board. And the sense from talking to people around the league today was that the Sharks don't necessarily have to wait to March 3 to get this done here and there's a couple reasons for that. One is that if an extension has to be part of this, and (Meier's) agent Claude Lemieux has to be part of this, you want to do this a few days before March 3. But the other reason is there is so much interest in Timo Meier that the Sharks have a pretty good gauge of the market. Among the teams that were reported before: New Jersey [Devils] and Carolina [Hurricanes], they remain very interested. But there are several teams that have shown interest. Bottom line here with Timo Meier is that I don't think this is a March 3 trade. I think this is going to happen before then.
So many teams are right up against the [salary] cap at this point. So they're in a dollars-in, dollars-out situation. Is that where the [Edmonton] Oilers are right now, Chris?
C.J.: Very much so. Especially with Kailer Yamamoto pretty ready pretty soon here to come up LTIR [long-term injured reserve] and what that means for the Oilers is there's going to have to be a corresponding move. And one thing I like to keep an eye on is what happens here with Jesse Puljujarvi. He was scratched coming out of the All-Star break. Of course, there has been sort of on-again-off-again trade discussions around this player going back a couple of years now. And despite some of the struggles he's had this year, I still think there is some interest in Puljujarvi. It's even possible maybe we see him put through waivers. Because if that happens, I think he's a more tradable chip. Because you'll be able to go up and down between the AHL in the NHL so whether it's Puljujarvi or someone else the Oilers have to make some moves.
As the house cleaning continues in Vancouver, we've heard there's interest in Luke Schenn. But have the Canucks even decided what to do with their veteran right-handed D-man yet, Pierre?
P.L.: No, they haven't. And I think that decision is going to go right to the wire in this case. And I think it's going to come down to the quality of the offer on the table versus the fact that Luke Schenn is a popular guy with that team. He's a leader and in the wake of Bo Horvat being traded, that's certainly important. New coach Rick Tocchet values the presence of Luke Schenn and Luke Schenn himself has indicated to management that he is fine with staying put and even signing an extension. So to me, this is going to come down to what's on the table. Is it worth moving the pending UFA [unrestricted free agent], or do we keep him around? I think we wait till March 2 or March 3 for that.
Speaking of that category or player, what's the latest on pending UFA Tyler Bertuzzi and the [Detroit] Red Wings, Darren?
D.D.: The Red Wings are taking calls on Tyler Bertuzzi and we shouldn't be surprised by that based on his contract status. He's 27 years of age. He's having a tough year with [the] Red Wings. Now that's coming off scoring 30 (goals) last year. So the interest is there, but it's no different than any of the other pending unrestricted free agents. I mean, you've got [Red Wings general manager] Steve Yzerman also trying to weigh his options and make educated comparisons. So he's also having conversations with Todd Reynolds, the agent for Tyler Bertuzzi, just to see which is better moving forward here for the Red Wings: the return that you might get on an intriguing forward in Tyler Bertuzzi versus signing him to an extension. To be determined with Bertuzzi.