The NHL's off-season is upon us and teams are already looking to re-shape their rosters for a more successful 2015-16 season. Keep up to date on the latest trade/free agent speculation and rumours from around the league.
Make an Offer?
The Edmonton Oilers have a lot of business to tend to before the puck drops on the 2015-16 season including a pair of first-round draft picks to utilize as well as exploring potential trade opportunities.
However, one avenue the team could explore once the free agency period opens is the pursuit of restricted free agents via offer sheets.
Both the Oilers and new general manager Peter Chiarelli both have a history with the sometimes-contentious practice.
The Oilers famously issued a pair in 2007, eventually landing winger Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks. Chiarelli, meanwhile, referred to his own experience when asked about the potential of utilizing an offer sheet this summer.
“It’s a tool in our toolbox. I was faced with it in Boston on a couple of occasions – one very public, one not public – and it’s something you accept as a manager if you’re on the other end,” Chiarelli told the Edmonton media on Monday. “Now I may be on the other side of that and it’s something that you can use and certainly I wouldn’t rule out using it.”
Several players are slated to hit the restricted free agent market on July 1, including Chicago’s Brandon Saad, Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and Bruins’ defenceman Dougie Hamilton.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp may not know where he’ll be playing next season as trade rumours continue to swirl. However, he may not have to wait long to find out.
“[Sharp] would be a guy that I would bank on getting traded, because I think that the Hwks want to try to get a pick in this draft for him,” TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto’s The Drive on Monday.
The Hawks are expected to be right up against the salary cap next season with extensions for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews kicking in and despite being a core player that has won three Stanley Cups and an Olympic Gold, Sharp’s contract is one the Hawks will need to jettison to stay within CBA regulations.
Sens of Size?
The Ottawa Senators’ willingness to trade a netminder has been well publicized in the run-up to the NHL’s off-season shopping period, but could the team be looking at a bigger deal?
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported Monday that the Sens could look to expand a potential deal for either goaltender Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson to one that includes both players and picks.
Garrioch cites David Legwand and Colin Greening as possible inclusions in a goaltender deal with the Sens keen on adding a first-round pick and potentially an additional forward.
The Minnesota Wild and Vezina Trophy finalist Devan Dubnyk appear to be on the same page, but remain without an agreement on a new contract.
However, according to ESPN's Craig Custance, that divide is not a by-product of a difference of opinion on the netminder's worth.
Dubnk added that his agent, Mike Liut, has a meeting planned with Wild GM Chuck Fletcher at the NHL Draft.
The 29-year-old Dubnyk enjoyed a breakout season with the Wild, who acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes in January. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1 and is coming off a one-year, $800,000 he signed with the Coyotes.