Would Chicago Deal Sharpie?
It wasn’t too long ago that the front office of Chicago explored the idea of trading leading scorer Patrick Sharp. They did keep him and he had one of his best seasons. But there is still the possibility that Chicago would want to trade him.
The New York Post‘s Larry Brooks writes, “If Chicago is looking to regenerate the organization through and infusion of youth, there could be a match here.” He is suggesting that the Hawks deal Sharp to the New York Rangers. The one problem with any deal is that, as of right now, Sharp has one year left on his contract. And the Rangers would probably only be interested if in him if they lose out on top free agent Brad Richards.
Dubinsky’s Contract Demands
Restricted Free Agent Brandon Dubinsky seems set to be getting a raise, but the Rangers might be a little disheartened to hear the extravagance the player’s demands. A multi-year deal at $4.5 million per, according to The New York Post‘s Larry Brooks. Dubinsky’s 54-point season will earn him more than his $1.85 million that he made this season, but there is absolutely no way that Rangers are looking to pay Dubinsky anything near $4.5 million a season.
Brooks writes, “His case became much, much weaker when Buffalo winger Drew Stafford-whose numbers for a direct comparable-re-upped a couple of days ago for four years at $4 million per”
If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, another possibility could be trading Dubinsky. Otherwise, this could be a drawn out negotiation that goes on through training camp-and the last time that happened, two years ago, he was called out publicly by head coach John Tortorella.
Red Wings Targeting Richards?
The New York Rangers might be the very early front-runners to land Brad Richards, the Detroit Red Wings could swoop in and make an intriguing offer for the star center. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun writes, “The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, are an intriguing team that has some interest in Richards, but only for a short-term, cap-friendly deal. The pitch from Detroit would be to come an win a cup.”
The other suitors: the Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and others, would likely have long-term deals of upwards of $7 to $8 million per. So if he does choose the Wings, he could lose out on some BIG bank.
Another Offseason of Spezza Trade Buzz
The last few offseasons, the last few trade deadlines, Jason Spezza trade rumblings have come out, but each and every time it has ended with Spezza staying with the Ottawa Senators keeping their star forwards. Starting this offseason’s rumblings is The New York Post‘s Larry Brooks.
Brooks writes that the Senators could look to the Big Apple, if they miss out on Richards. He does think it is unlikely, however: “Even if Spezza would agree to waive [his no-trade clause] to come to New York, even if the Senators would move him, chances are GM Bryan Murray would far too much in return.”
The difference this season is that there is mounting pressure for the Senators to rebuild. After a miserable season, the Sens could deal Spezza for picks and youth talent. Also, it would clear much needed cap-room.
Blue Jackets May Trade Pick for Player
The Columbus Blue Jackets may be looking to trade their No. 8 pick in the NHL Entry Draft, GM Scott Howson tells NHL.com: “Possibly we’d look to move the pick-even for a player, if we could … I don’t think it’s likely we’d move up, more likely we’d either make the pick or move back or perhaps trade it for a player.”
The GM says that they would go for the “Best Available Player”, which seems to be the standard answer when asked about drafting, the Jackets have not had great luck in the draft the past few seasons. Last year’s pick, however, Ryan Johansen could be in the NHL next season and make an impact on the club. So the thinking is that they might want to get immediate help for their team, which looks unlikely at the No. 8 spot.
A team that is looking to trade up is the Toronto Maple Leafs, although it seems they would want to trade their two late-first round picks to do it. The Phoenix Coyotes also want to move up from their No. 20 position.
Swedish Center’s Soaring Draft Stock
One of the hottest names at the NHL Combine might have been Swedish center Mike Zibanejad, as 29 of the 30 NHL teams interviewed the center, as the 30th club-Detroit-talked to him in Sweeden. In fact, there are rumblings of the center going as high as No.4 to the New Jersey Devils, although many experts think that is a reach. But several GMs like the center, including Toronto GM Brian Burke.
Burke told the Bergeron County Record, “This kid is a hard-nosed kid. You don’t see that with a lot of Europeans.” Burke said last week he’s interested in moving up in the draft from the No. 25 spot (He will also have Boston’s pick which will be either 29 or 30.) And if the Leafs can move their way into the top 10 by packaging picks, they would have a decent chance of landing the 191-pound Zibanejad.