During a recent appearance on Edmonton's 630 CHED radio, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman created some buzz by suggesting Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie could be in play this summer.
Barrie, 24, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Coming off two seasons with 53 and 49 points respectively, he'll want a substantial raise over his current annual average salary of $2.6 million. He could fetch a deal comparable to that of teammate Erik Johnson (seven-years, $42 million), which might not fly with Avs management.
If Barrie is available, the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard suggests he could help the Rangers get younger while improving their puck-moving skills on the blueline. Leonard speculates the Avs asking price could be a forward such as Rick Nash or Chris Kreider.
Barrie would be a good replacement for Keith Yandle, who's expected to depart the Rangers this summer via unrestricted free agency. The Avs, however, would likely prefer the younger, more affordable Kreider in return over the 31-year-old Nash and his $7.8-million cap hit.
BRUINS COULD TARGET SHATTENKIRK
Speculation out of Boston claims the Bruins could target St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk via trade this summer.
Jimmy Murphy of Dirty Water Media reports sources say the Bruins and Blues worked on a deal near the trade deadline that would've shipped Shattenkirk, another Blues roster player and a conditional second- or third-round pick for right winger Loui Eriksson and the San Jose Sharks first-round pick in 2016. Though that deal apparently fell through, Murphy wonders if the Bruins might revisit their interest in the 25-year-old defenseman later in the off-season.
CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty also believes the Bruins could pursue Shattenkirk to upgrade their aging D-corps. Given the blueliner's solid post-season performance, he fears the Blues asking price could be going up.
Landing Shattenkirk is only part of the problem for the Bruins. He's a year away from unrestricted free agency and will seek a significant raise over his current $4.25-million cap hit. They'll have to pony up big bucks to prevent him from walking via free agency next July.
Perhaps a better option is Rangers defenseman (and Boston native) Keith Yandle. He could cost around $6.5-million per season to sign this summer via free agency, but the Bruins won't have to give up roster assets to get him.
WIERCIOCH ON HIS WAY OUT OF OTTAWA
The Ottawa Senators could part ways with defenseman Patrick Wiercioch this summer. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports there's a belief in some NHL circles the 25-year-old restricted free agent won't receive a qualifying offer.
Wiercioch spent much of this season in the doghouse of now-former Senators coach Dave Cameron and was also frequently mentioned as a trade candidate. Garrioch claims the Sens could still try to deal him away. If they don't find any takers, they could let him depart as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
It's doubtful the Senators will find any takers for Wiercioch via the trade market. Whoever dealt for him would have to send him a $2.7-million qualifying offer to retain his rights. Interested clubs are better off waiting for him to become a UFA, when they can likely sign him for less.
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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