The search for a right-handed defenseman could lead the Coyotes to Jets’ RFA Jacob Trouba or Blues UFA-to-be Kevin Shattenkirk, and the Los Angeles Kings could be looking for someone to step in if Jonathan Quick’s injury keeps him out long-term.
The Arizona Coyotes bolstered their blueline in the off-season with free-agent acquisitions Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn. They might not be done adding defensemen this season.
Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports reports the Coyotes remain in the market for a top-four blueliner with a right-handed shot. He said discussions continue with the Winnipeg Jets over Jacob Trouba and the St. Louis Blues regarding Kevin Shattenkirk.
A restricted free agent, the 22-year-old Trouba recently requested a trade from the Jets. Shattenkirk, 27, is an unrestricted free agent next summer and could prove difficult for the Blues to re-sign.
The Jets apparently seek a left-handed defenseman of comparable age, skill and experience as Trouba. Oliver Ekman-Larsson would fit the bill, but the Coyotes aren’t parting with their top blueliner.
Earlier this summer, the Blues fielded offers for Shattenkirk but their asking price was considered too high. Given his UFA status, the Coyotes could be leery of parting with assets for a potential rental player.
At this stage in the season, the Coyotes are unlikely to find many suitable options. They could end up having to wait, perhaps until the March 1 trade deadline, to find what they need.
QUICK’S REHAB COULD MAKE KINGS SEARCH FOR GOALIE
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick left the Kings’ season-opener against the San Jose Sharks in the first period with a groin injury. He could be sidelined for a significant period. While rumors claim he could be out three-four months, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports Quick is undecided over his rehab procedure.
If Quick is out of the lineup for weeks or months, the Kings will have to rely on backup Jeff Zatkoff and call-up Peter Budaj. Without a proven starter to carry the burden, their playoff hopes could be in jeopardy.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post suggests Quick’s injury could provide a solution to the New York Islanders logjam in goal. The Isles currently carry Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss and J-F Berube.
Brooks wonders if Kings GM Dean Lombardi will attempt to reacquire the 25-year-old Berube, who was plucked off waivers last year by the Islanders. Berube, however, lacks NHL starter experience.
Another option could be former Winnipeg Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec, who was sent to the minor last week. Pavelec, 29, carries a $3.9-million cap hit. With only $1.5 million in cap space, the Kings can’t afford to take on his salary, but could make room by placing Quick ($5.8 million) on long-term injured reserve.
OLEKSIAK’S TIME UP IN DALLAS?
The Dallas Stars could be moving one of their young defensemen. The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reports they’re quietly shopping Jamie Oleksiak.
Despite his 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame and shutdown abilities, the 23-year-old Oleksiak is struggling to earn a regular roster spot with the Stars. Over the last four seasons, he’s appeared in only 78 NHL games.
Oleksiak is on a one-year, $918K contract. He could attract interest from clubs in need of affordable blueline depth.
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