Lucic to Vancouver rumors won’t die; Bruins also fielding calls on Hamilton; several teams still hot on the Talbot trail; Okposo could be on his way out of Brooklyn before he even gets there; and more.
Considering the increased trade speculation entering the 2015 draft, it’s only fitting Boston Bruins left winger Milan Lucic and defenseman Dougie Hamilton should resurface in the rumor mill. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claims the Bruins are listening to offers for Lucic. The asking price is apparently “big,” though Garrioch didn’t mention specifics.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty notes there was talk of the Bruins shipping the 27-year-old Lucic to the New York Rangers for defenseman (and Boston native) Keith Yandle. Another rumor linked the power forward to the Vancouver Canucks for a defenseman. Haggerty claims Canucks blueliner Alex Edler was mentioned in previous Bruins trade rumors. He also wonders if the Bruins could target Kevin Bieksa or Dan Hamhuis.
Haggerty points out the Rangers gave up a lot (first-round pick, second-round pick, top prospect Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore) to acquire Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes, so he doubts the Blueshirts are keen to part with him. The Vancouver Sun’s Iain MacIntyre reports the Canucks inquired about Lucic but the discussions didn’t go far. NBC Sports’ Dhiren Mahiban reports Lucic recently submitted an updated list to Bruins management of 15 teams he’d accept being dealt. However, they have yet to approach him about a possible trade.
Hamilton is a restricted free agent who could become targeted for an expensive offer sheet from a rival club hoping to pry him away from the cap-strapped Bruins. TSN’s Darren Dreger claims teams have already contacted the Bruins about a trade for the 22-year-old rearguard.
It’s possible Hamilton could receive a lucrative offer sheet. There’s been talk Edmonton Oilers GM (and former Bruins GM) Peter Chiarelli could go that route if unable to convince the Bruins to make a trade. However, Bruins GM Don Sweeney told the Boston Herald his club will do all it can to protect Hamilton. Team president Cam Neely was blunt. “We will match,” he said.
Cam’s the man in demand
New York Rangers backup goalie Cam Talbot remains the hot topic in pre-draft trade conjecture. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports the Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks have apparently submitted offers for Talbot. He claims the Rangers aren’t expecting to get a roster player for the 27-year-old goalie, nor are they planning on packaging him with another player in a larger deal. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports several teams were given permission by the Rangers to speak with Talbot, though not about salary.
Talbot isn’t the only backup available in the pre-draft trade market. Even though Robin Lehner is off the list – as the Ottawa Senators have recently dealt Lehner (along with David Legwand) to the Sabres in exchange for their 21st overall selection in this year’s draft – Vancouver Canucks goalies Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom are available. And there’s interest in Los Angeles Kings netminder Martin Jones, though it’s believed the Kings are merely listening to offers rather than actively shopping him.
Most of the clubs interested in those goalies are also looking at Talbot. According to Brooks, the Rangers have so far rejected offers of multiple second-round picks, as well as one of a high second-rounder plus a prospect.
Brooks believes the Rangers, who lack a first-round pick in the 2015 draft, are trying to acquire one using Talbot as bait.
Okposo on the block?
New York Islanders right winger Kyle Okposo continues to pop up in this week’s pre-draft trade chatter. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Isles GM Garth Snow won’t comment on the rumors, but sources tell LeBrun it’s unclear if the 27-year-old right winger is on the trading block.
Brooks subsequently reported the Isles are accepting offers for Okposo, as they’re not keen on re-signing him to a long-term contract. The winger becomes eligible next summer for UFA status. While the Islanders lack a first-round pick in this year’s draft, Brooks claims Snow is believed to be seeking a roster player.
Dreger reports Snow told him he has no plans to trade Okposo. That’s no guarantee he won’t consider it if the right offer was made. It will have to be a second-line right winger, as Okposo’s offense won’t be easy to replace.
The O’Reilly saga continues
The Colorado Avalanche’s acquisition of pending UFA center Carl Soderberg from the Boston Bruins is being seen as the possible prelude to trading away Ryan O’Reilly. The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers speculates the 24-year-old center, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency, could be shopped during the draft weekend.
Adding Soderberg now gives the Avalanche five NHL-worthy centers. For a club in need of blueline depth, it’s an unusual move, unless the plan is to move one of those centers for a defenseman.
The Avalanche want to re-sign O’Reilly, but he’s currently carrying a $6-million annual cap hit and could get much more via free agency next summer. Rather than risk losing him for nothing as they did last year with Paul Stastny, the Avs could shop O’Reilly in hopes of landing a quality blueliner.
Pens still pursuing Kessel
No pre-draft trade rumors would be complete without some mention of Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel. Sportnet’s Damien Cox tweets Kessel is among four or five scoring forwards that interest the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins’ need for scoring wingers is well known, but GM Jim Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari he won’t be pressured into swing a deal for one. Rutherford claims he’ll make a move when the right deal comes along, but doesn’t feel any urgency to do so now.
Kessel isn’t the only winger Rutherford could have his eye on. Molinari claims they’ve been linked to Chicago’s Patrick Sharp and St. Louis’ T.J. Oshie. Of those, Oshie carries the most affordable deal, plus he lacks a no-trade clause. He also has only two seasons left on his contract, which is considerably shorter than the seven years left on Kessel’s deal.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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