Things aren’t going so rosy in Arizona right now. Not only do they find themselves miles out of a playoff spot, the frustration is spreading to within the dressing room as well, reports Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun in his latest Insider Trading column. The decision to go to a more analytics-based decision making process hasn’t worked (so far, at least) and Garrioch adds that it’s not yet known what the fate of head coach Dave Tippett will be when the season comes to an end.
In the meantime, the focus will shift to who they can move prior to the trade deadline, particularly where it comes to the rental players. We took a closer look at their situation earlier today. The recent mention that Shane Doan could be willing to consider a trade in the right situation is drawing some attention; Garrioch notes that San Jose is a team that has shown some interest in the 40 year old over the last couple of years but obviously nothing came to fruition.
Garrioch also tackles several other topics from around the league. Here are some of the highlights, though the full column is worth a read:
- With the New York Islanders scuffling through the first half, he suggests that GM Garth Snow’s job may be in jeopardy. His decision to allow right winger Kyle Okposo and center Frans Nielsen to depart in free agency hasn’t exactly panned out with both players being named All-Stars earlier this week. Left winger Andrew Ladd (signed to replace Okposo) hasn’t panned out and with six more years left on his contract with a cap hit of $5.5MM, that’s a near-impossible contract to move right now while John Tavares heading into his walk year is something that will need to be addressed sooner than later as well. Accordingly, the team will have to make a decision as to whether he’s the right manager to try to fix things up and get Tavares locked up.
- The Devils haven’t thrown in the towel on trying to make the playoffs yet but if they do, they could be a team to watch for. Only two teams have more cap space than New Jersey does which sets up the possibility of them becoming a clearinghouse for contending teams to free up some cap space. GM Ray Shero could be open to doing so, provided he picks up some quality draft picks and/or prospects for doing so.
- Dallas has inquired about the availability of pending UFA goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop, who ranked fifth in our UFA Power Rankings this week, isn’t expected to return to Tampa Bay next season with Andrei Vasilevskiy expected to take over as the starter. The Stars already have the highest goalie cap hit in the league but have not received much bang for their buck so far. However, GM Steve Yzerman’s asking price is quite high as it’s certainly quite possible that the Lightning will want to keep him around for their postseason push as well.
- Toronto’s recent success may make their decision regarding left winger James van Riemsdyk that much more difficult. Garrioch reports that the team is fielding inquiries on him but he is a key piece in the Leafs’ lineup and if they plan to make a run at a playoff spot, they’ll likely want to keep him in their lineup. The 27 year old has one year left after this season at a manageable cap hit of $4.25MM so it’s not a typical rental player situation while it’s also worth noting that van Riemsdyk has a modified no-trade clause.