Insider Trading: When will Patrick Kane decide on his future for the rest of the season?
When will Patrick Kane decide on his future for the rest of the season? What are the Senators looking for ahead of the NHL trade deadline? Could Sean Monahan's health determine if he is moved out of Montreal? TSN Hockey Insiders Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger discuss this and more.
When the Hawks asked Patrick Kane if he would be willing to waive his no-move clause so they could trade him, he said he’d let them know this week. Any word on that Chris?
Chris Johnston: Well there is word, but not the word everyone is looking for because it remains a mystery as to what Patrick Kane is going to do. This is essentially headed to overtime because at this stage we did expect there would be some clarity on Patrick Kane’s future, but on this day he is still mulling over his future. The Chicago Blackhawks are in San Jose this weekend where it is expected that Patrick Kane will have some face-to-face time with his California-based agent Pat Brisson and any day now we expect some clarity. In the meantime everyone is waiting, that includes Chicago, that includes perhaps the New York Rangers, the Edmonton Oilers, who are keeping tabs just in case, maybe the Dallas Stars. Everyone is waiting to find out what one of the hottest scorers in hockey wants to do.
Speaking of the Blackhawks Darren, there is news about their former head coach and general manager.
Darren Dreger: Let’s start with Joel Quenneville. We know that Joel has been working with Kim Davis, the executive vice president of the National Hockey League for quite some time, most of this season in fact and he’s scheduled to do a call with American Hockey League coaches next month to share some of the lessons that he has learned. Meanwhile, Stan Bowman, former general manager of the Blackhawks, has also been working with Kim Davis, but he also continues to work alongside Sheldon Kennedy and the Respect Group. Both of these guys, Bowman and Quenneville, are hopeful they will get back in the National Hockey League, but for the moment they are happy to be involved with the process that they are.
Pierre, on Wednesday the Sens cleared some cap space shipping Nikita Zaitsev to Chicago. Now we’ve got some ideas on how they might want to spend that money.
Pierre LeBrun: Well, it created this sense in the aftermath that something was obviously in the hopper and it was going to happen right away, that’s not really the case. I mean, this was a move from Ottawa’s perspective that was just as much about setting up the cap for this summer as it is for the next week here before the trade deadline, but I will say that Pierre Dorion’s phone has absolutely lit up since the Zaitsev deal because his counterparts know that he’s more open for business than ever. Yes, he’s looking for defence, but he’s also looking for help at centre if he can pull that off before the deadline. The one player I’ll tell you that Ottawa does not appear to be in on right now is Jakob Chychrun. I know a lot of people have linked Ottawa to Chychrun, the price has just been too high for Ottawa’s liking at this point. It can change with one phone call, but right now the Senators are not in on Chychrun.
Speaking of high price, a number of teams very interested in Timo Meier, but in the end he can only go to one club. So, where can the GM’s be looking for Plan B, Chris?
Johnston: There certainly seems to be some crossover with James van Riemsdyk, the veteran Philadelphia Flyers winger, from some of the teams that are in on Meier. Obviously these teams are lining up some, perhaps, secondary type options should the domino fall not in a direction they would like. I’m looking at Winnipeg, Vegas, Carolina, you know some teams that are not in on Meier, like Minnesota and Colorado I believe are keeping tabs on JVR. Look there was some question at some point, with a $7 million cap hit whether James van Riemsdyk would be moved at this deadline. I think with the level of interest and the fact that the Flyers are willing to retain some salary, it is an inevitability that he will be traded in the next week or so.
Speaking of timelines, general managers are desperately trying to get a handle on the health of some of their talent currently on the IR to find out if they can move them, right Dregs?
Dreger: Yeah and let’s look at Sean Monahan of the Montreal Canadiens, his injury assessment is ongoing and continues in earnest this week. The Montreal Canadiens and teams around the National Hockey League are expecting that Monahan’s status will be updated early next week. What does that prognosis look like? If it’s positive and there is a good chance that he’s able to come back either just before the deadline or shortly thereafter, then it makes sense, it’s possible that an NHL team looking for a veteran, depth centre would step up and at least inquire about Sean Monahan. Based on his play when healthy this season in Montreal, he could turn out to be a steal, but he has to be healthy.
Another issue with injuries is trying to determine the cap space. The Avs are anxiously waiting to hear about their captain, right Pierre?
LeBrun: Gabriel Landeskog, who finally did skate over the past week, but isn’t near a return. We talked about this earlier in the season, that the Avs actually thought at the time that he would play before the end of the regular season. Now, there is no firm timeline for Gabriel Landeskog, it’s not clear whether he will play before the end of the regular season and they have to get a pretty good read on that by the deadline next week, because suddenly that could be $7 million that they can use at the deadline. Same for Erik Johnson, who’s out long term, can they use his $6 million? I’ll tell you this, I think they will absolutely be able to use either Johnson’s or Landeskog’s salary at the deadline, one or the other. Which means more flexibility for the Stanley Cup champions as they try to add before the deadline. Listen, Ryan O'Reilly would’ve been of interest, Jonathan Toews, who is no longer on the market because of health reasons. Those guys aren’t available, so I think for Colorado they are still looking at a top-nine forward, but they’re also looking at defensive depth because they’ve had a lot of injuries.