Sports

SNAPSHOTS: Pre-draft trade talk includes names like Alex DeBrincat, Seth Jones and Matt Murray

Looking to deal? Call Kyle Davidson of the Chicago Blackhawks because he’s willing to discuss every name on his roster.

Content item

MONTREAL — Will the talk turn to action?

Advertisement 2

Content item

That’s the biggest question surrounding Round 1 of the NHL draft with the trade talk swirling before Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes steps to the microphone Thursday night at the Bell Center to make the No. 1 overall selection.

While Hughes is listening to offers on his top pick, it’s doubtful he’ll make a move when push comes to shove. The GMs who have been the most vocal about moving their top picks are New Jersey’s Tom Fitzgerald at No. 2 and Ottawa’s Pierre Dorion at No. 7.

Content item

The Canadians want a second top 10 selection and the ideal spot would be No. 2 from New Jersey. The Devils want an impact player in return, just like the Senators, if they’re going to make a deal.

Both have been listening intently to offers in the last month, but it’s anybody’s guess as to whether the draft order will change when commissioner Gary Bettman calls the group to order with an in-person get-together for the first time since 2019.

Advertisement 3

Content item

“Lots of teams are kicking tires, but that’s about it,” a league executive told this newspaper late Tuesday afternoon.

Here’s the latest from the lobbies:

TRADE WINDS BLOWING

Looking to deal? Call Kyle Davidson of the Chicago Blackhawks because he’s willing to discuss every name on his roster.

The Hawks have decided they’d like to tear it all down and start over again, which means the newly hired GM is ready to make as many deals as he can.

That may not happen in the next three days, but you can bet if it doesn’t then Davidson will try to lay the groundwork for deals after the draft. The Hawks are open for business and the biggest name they’ve placed on the market is winger Alex DeBrincat.

He scored 41 goals and finished with 78 points in 78 games last season.

Advertisement 4

Content item

Scheduled to make $6.4 million in 2022-23, DeBrincat, 24, is only two years away from unrestricted free agency. You’d think any team interested would want to do a sign and trade if they’re going to give up a lot of assets, but nobody is certain if that will happen.

He’s an attractive option for any team looking for scoring, including the Senators, but the asking price isn’t cheap. The Hawks want at least three pieces in return and one league executive told this newspaper “DeBrincat is the last guy they should trade.”

Another name to keep an eye on his defenseman Seth Jones.

His eight-year, $76 million contract extension kicks in at the start of the 2022-23 campaign and he’ll carry a cap hit of $9.5 million. The Hawks simply want to get the money off the books because the direction the organization is taking has completely changed.

Advertisement 5

Content item

The only way this happens is if the Hawks eat some money, and given the term left on the deal that will be difficult for them to do.

Chicago is also trying to move forward Dylan Strome but there’s talk he won’t even receive a qualifying offer.

MURRAY AN OPTION

Though the Senators have held talks about moving their top selection, there’s also been plenty of buzz surrounding the future of goaltender Matt Murray with the club.

Several teams are looking for help in the net and Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, may be an option. The Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Devils are among those teams that are looking for a change.

The 28-year-old Murray has two years left with a cap hit of $6.25 million left on his contract and we all know he hasn’t performed up to expectations in Ottawa. If he’s dealt, he will be with the expectation that he can go somewhere and have success.

Advertisement 6

Content item

Injuries and inconsistency have plagued Murray’s stay with the Senators, but that doesn’t mean he can’t go elsewhere to have success. It will be interesting to see if Dorion gets any bites.

THIS ‘N’ THAT

Another goaltender to keep an eye on is John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks. He has five years left with a cap hit of $6.5 million and the belief is the club would like to get his deal off the books. That’s a lot of term and with a no-move clause that would be tough for anyone to swallow … You should ignore the noise surrounding Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller. Just don’t see it happening because the Coyotes see him as one of the building blocks for the organization. He’s one of coach André Tourigny’s favorite players and you can’t trade everybody if you’re going to do a rebuild the right way. Would think GM Bill Armstrong has the same mindset … Newly appointed San Jose GM Mike Grier indicated he’ll begin his search for a head coach immediately. Train New York Rangers coach david quinn will be on his list, but a call to Boston Bruins assistant Joe Sacco may also be in order. He interviewed for the job in Beantown before the club decided to go with former Dallas coach Jim Montgomery. Sacco had success with the Colorado Avalanche and does have ties to Boston University.

THE LAST WORDS

The Vancouver Canucks want to move forward JT Miller.

He has one year left at $6.4 million and there will be no shortage of interest, but he’ll want a long-term deal starting at $7.5 million per season.

Have a nice Wednesday. Stay tuned for our draft coverage.

[email protected]

Twitter: @sungarrioch

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button