The Carolina Hurricanes could be in a position to make some noise in the trade market.
Young and skilled defensemen are often key pieces in making trades, and the Hurricanes have stocked their system with them over the past few drafts. The club’s last three first round picks have been highly-ranked defenders: Haydn Fleury, Noah Hanifin, and Jake Bean. They have also selected Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce, and Jaccob Slavin in lower rounds.
Because of this depth of solid defensemen, GM Ron Francis told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun that he’s willing to deal from a position of strength to build up other parts of his roster. That could place the Hurricanes as a possible destination for either Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog, seeing as the Avalanche desperately need to improve their defensive core. LeBrun also speculated that Francis could try pry William Nylander out of Toronto, but doubted that the Maple Leafs would have any interest in moving Nylander to improve their blue line.
In addition to the Avalanche and Maple Leafs, LeBrun suggests the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Winnipeg Jets could all have interest in the Hurricanes’ young blue-liners.
Regardless of whether or not the Hurricanes can land a stud offensive player at the deadline, they’re well-placed to make moves over the summer as other teams look to improve their defense.
- Despite rumors to the contrary, Curtis Lazar has not asked for a trade from the Ottawa Senators. Lazar’s agent met with GM Pierre Dorion last weekend, after which the player re-iterated that he wants to stay in Ottawa. After Dorion suggested that Lazar needs to “sink a few ’four foot putts’,” Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen quoted Lazar as saying even those “almost feel like a home run right now.” The struggling young forward feels that he needs to get back in the lineup and start “feeling good about [him]self.” Lazar has just one assist in 29 NHL games this season, and four points in 13 AHL games.
- Speaking of Ottawa, the Senators will be spending some time outdoors next season, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon. Pending NHL and PA approval, the Senators will face off against Colorado in Stockholm twice this coming November. It’s been widely speculated that those could be outdoors. Even if those end up being indoors, Shannon reports that the Senators owner has confirmed that the club has an agreement to host an outdoor game in December 2017. It remains to be seen if that will played at Parliament Hill as part of the celebration for Canada’s 150th anniversary.