One team to watch for in advance of today’s roster freeze is Minnesota who have more quality blueliners than protection slots available. Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune reports that several teams, including Dallas, Montreal, Tampa Bay, and Toronto have all shown interest in blueliner Jonas Brodin.
The 23 year old has four years left at a cap hit of $4.17MM, a solid rate for a player who has averaged more than 22 minutes of playing time per game in his career. He’s also coming off a career year offensively with 25 points in 68 games.
Brodin isn’t the only blueliner that the Canadiens have shown interest in as Russo notes that Marco Scandella’s name has come up in trade discussion as well as part of talks regarding forward Alex Galchenyuk. However, given their situation when it comes to protecting forwards in expansion, making a deal work where the Wild take a forward back that requires protection may be a bit too challenging in these final hours before the freeze.
Other trade rumblings from the West:
- The Coyotes are showing “serious interest” in Rangers center Derek Stepan, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports (Twitter link). The deadline to watch for here is more July 1st than today as the turn of the calendar marks the beginning of Stepan’s no-trade clause. The soon-to-be 27 year old had 55 points (17-38-55) in 81 games this past season and has four years left on his contract with a $6.5MM cap hit.
- The Kings held discussions with the Golden Knights about potentially taking on winger Marian Gaborik’s contract, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes (Twitter links). However, talks didn’t progress as the asking price to do so was too high for their liking. The 35 year old Gaborik has four years left on his deal with a $4.875MM cap charge but has seen a significant drop in his production in recent years. In 2016-17, he had just 10 goals and 11 assists for a career low 21 points in 56 games while also spending time as a healthy scratch.
- Nashville is continuing to try to reach a side agreement with Vegas on a deal for them to avoid a prominent unprotected player but talks are not progressing, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports via Twitter. It’s expected that the Predators will utilize the 8/1 strategy in order to protect their top four defensemen. However, that means that one of wingers Calle Jarnkrok or James Neal would be exposed and would certainly interest the Golden Knights.
Rosters frozen and nothing major. A lot of side deals I guess.