St. Louis Blues beat writer Norm Sanders analyzed the situation the Blues find themselves in as the draft and free agency approaches. After signing both Scottie Upshall and Dmitrij Jaskin, the Blues still have a number of decisions facing them. Sanders writes that Jaden Schwartz will be signed first as he’s been dubbed a “priority signing” by general manager Doug Armstrong. He also names defensive Kevin Shattenkirk as a candidate to be traded since he’s approaching the final year of his contract. Sanders also makes note that his name has constantly been floated as being moved to another team. As for captain David Backes, Sanders writes that unless an agreement is had, Backes would be a much sought after free agent.
- Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury must feel like he’s either back in high school or in a hockey soap opera. Fleury has been the subject of trade rumors ever since the emergence of Matt Murray during the 2016 Stanley Cup playoff run. Interesting then that his name only comes up as #14 on Frank Seravalli’s TSN Top Trade Bait mentions. Fleury’s name was all over the hockey world as being moved to Calgary until Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford announced that he wasn’t aggresively shopping the former #1 overall pick. Seravalli put the aforementioned Shattenkirk as his #1 target to be dealt while Pavel Datsyuk’s contract sits at #2. The Edmonton Oilers stand as having the most targets likely to be moved with Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle, and their 4th overall pick in this year’s draft being tagged.
- NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk’s Ryan Dadoun scouted free agent Alexander Radulov and what it would take to land him. Dadoun writes that Radulov is purportedly looking for a 2-year/$15MM deal but that might not happen for a player who left the NHL for the KHL and was reported to be a locker room liability. Most teams are comfortable with a 1-year deal to see if Radulov’s KHL successes transfer across the ocean. PHR ranked Radulov as the 11th best free agent on the market and predicted that he would land with Capitals for just over $5MM.