Insider Trading: Canucks have to remain patient on Pettersson talks
TSN’s Hockey Insiders discuss the Canucks and Elias Pettersson, how a ‘wide-open’ Cup race affects the trade deadline, Kyle Dubas taking more time to determine the Penguins’ course, Philip Broberg and Arthur Kaliyev, Viktor Arvidsson’s return soon to the Kings’ lineup and cut-resistant equipment mandates on the horizon for the NHL.
What’s the hold up on Pettersson’s next deal?
Gino Reda: Canucks ownership and management have been pretty vocal about wanting to get Elias Pettersson signed to an extension. So, what’s holding things up?
Darren Dreger: Elias Pettersson. He just doesn’t want the distraction right now. He wants to continue to play well and help the Vancouver Canucks win. We know that the Canucks’ ownership and management is eager. We know that CAA Hockey – who represent Elias Pettersson – are happy to engage whenever the time is right. But the time isn’t quite right for Pettersson. Perhaps that changes, but it’s important to note that he is a restricted free agent at the end of the year. So there’s time. There’s no elevated sense of urgency here. There is no question that he will meet with the CAA reps during the All-Star festivities in Toronto. Maybe that bumps it a little bit, but it’s in the hands of Elias Pettersson.
Trade deadline buyers, sellers still emerging
Reda: Just over six weeks to the trade deadline and it’s still hard to pick the buyers from the sellers. Are the tight wild-card races muddying the waters?
Pierre LeBrun: Well, I’d say the wide open field itself. I’ve never heard as many front office people in the last couple weeks talk about as wide open a race for the Stanley Cup as I have this year. And, talking to Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff today, he agrees that the parity is real. He points to the fact that that’s why the first round is so intriguing, because a lot of good teams do go out. And I wonder if it impacts some of the teams at the top of the standings not wanting to pay certain prices because they don’t feel they’re actually one player away because the field is so close. On the flip side, if you’re a bubble team, do you sell that pending unrestricted free agent? Or do you hold onto him as your own rental because the field is that tight. Thinking back to eighth-seeded Florida a year ago.
As for Cheveldayoff, he said the Jets have some deadline needs. But Cheveldayoff talked about his team having great chemistry. There’s a delicate balance there, the fit has to be right for Winnipeg.
Chris Johnston: And arguably the most interesting of those bubble teams is the Pittsburgh Penguins, notably having Jake Guentzel as a UFA on their roster. And some might remember that Kyle Dubas earlier this season said that he was going to wait until the All-Star Break to evaluate what direction he would go with the team. In reaching out to him on this day it sounds as though that wasn’t a hard deadline. It wasn’t as though on Jan. 27 he would know that direction. And so Dubas, even after the two games to end the first half of the season for the Penguins this week, he’s going to keep watching beyond that points. He insists that his team will make decisions for him in terms of their performance and so with six week still to that trade deadline, I don’t think in Pittsburgh they’re going to have clarity on the direction in the next week or two here.
Pair of players looking for a change?
Reda: While teams try to make decisions on what they want to do, a number of players are anxious for a change of scenery?
Dreger: Well, or just change with the team that they’re with, right? And I’m looking at Arthur Kaliyev of the Los Angeles Kings and Philip Broberg, who is in the Edmonton Oilers organization. Now, Broberg continues to play well in the American Hockey League and I’m told that teams also continue to call Ken Holland of the Edmonton Oilers to talk about the potential movement there. Kaliyev is different. He’s been a healthy scratch multiple times in L.A. which also has clubs around the National Hockey League paying attention. Could there be a fit? Could there be an opportunity to move? The Kings have stated that they’re not quite interested yet in moving Arthur Kaliyev, but something has to change. This young guy needs to play.
Kings await return of Arvidsson
LeBrun: Speaking of the Kings, it’s been a tough month for that team. They haven’t scored, and it’s really led to their struggles. But the message from management in Los Angeles is that the answer has to come from within. There’s not going to be some blockbuster trade that’s going to help save the Kings. They’re going to have to find their way on the ice. But, they do have a roster addition coming next month in Viktor Arvidsson, who hasn’t played all year while he recovers from back surgery. The Kings view him as really their trade deadline-like addition and they can’t wait to get him back.
The latest on cut-resistant equipment in the NHL
Reda: We’re just about a week out from the NHL All-Star Break. There’s a lot of festivities going on the ice at that point and there’s also going to be some interesting meetings planned for when they come together off the ice.
Johnston: Yes. Specifically when it comes to the cut-resistant equipment. The protective equipment subcommittee will meet next Friday in Toronto. And there’s a thought that this is going to be the next step towards mandating this type of equipment in the NHL. We’ve seen those mandates in international hockey and the American Hockey League and in the ECHL. And the NHL I do believe will get there. We’ll see what comes out of that meeting but certainly the league has been monitoring what’s happening elsewhere and I think there is a move towards bringing this to the NHL.