During the off-season, there was speculation linking Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane to the Vancouver Canucks. While that ultimately came to nothing, another Western Conference club could be pursuing him.
In a mailbag segment, Michael Russo of startribune.com reports he was told “by multiple sources multiple times” there were trade talks between Sabres general manager Tim Murray and Wild GM Chuck Fletcher regarding the 25-year-old Kane. Noting the winger's $5.25 million annual cap hit, Russo speculates it would have to take a “hockey trade” to get a deal done.
In other words, acquiring Kane means the Wild must move salary in the deal. They have only $900K in cap room.
If the Sabres aren't willing to retain part of Kane's cap hit, they'll have to ship a $5-million salary the other way. Winger Jason Pominville ($5.6 million) is one option, but it's unlikely Murray wants to bring the former Sabre back to Buffalo. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon ($5.1 million) could tempt the Buffalo GM, but Fletcher could be unwilling to move the puck-moving blueliner.
Kane is currently sidelined by cracked ribs until late-November. If Fletcher remains interested, he'll likely want to see how well Kane performs upon his return.
SHARKS LOOKING FOR HELP IN GOAL
The San Jose Sharks entered this season with Aaron Dell backing up starting goalie Martin Jones. Considering Dell's lack of NHL experience, there were questions over his effectiveness in spelling off Jones.
After 12 games, those questions linger. Jones started all but one of the Sharks games thus far. That suggests Sharks coach Peter DeBoer lacks confidence in Dell.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports Sharks GM Doug Wilson is in the market for a backup goalie. Because of the Sharks' limited cap space, Garrioch speculates Wilson could listen to offers for winger Tommy Wingels or Matt Nieto.
With only $10K in cap space, that explains why Wilson didn't pursue Mike Condon, who carries a $575,000 cap hit, prior to the Pittsburgh Penguins shipping him to the Ottawa Senators last week. Wingels, 28, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and carries a $2.475-million cap hit this season. Nieto, 24, is more affordable at $735,000.
BURMISTROV DONE IN WINNIPEG?
Prior to the Winnipeg Jets re-signing defenseman Jacob Trouba, the 22-year-old trade status dominated the rumor mill. With Trouba now under contract, there's another player the Jets appear more willing to part with.
Burmistrov carries an affordable $1.55-million cap hit this season and is a restricted free agent in July. It appears there's no specific asking price from the Jets, as they're simply seeing what they might get in return. A club seeking depth on the wing might pursue him, perhaps by offering up a third- or fourth-round pick.
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