When looking across the spectrum at different sports, there are often situations that have similarities, which is what happened last week with the San Antonio Spurs when they were forced to trade their superstar basketball player Kawhi Leonard away, eventually trading him to the Toronto Raptors. While a very different sport, The Athletic’s Arpon Basu (subscription required) writes that the Spurs handled everything with class, even if they didn’t come out with the best return, and there are other general managers in the NHL, such as Montreal’s Marc Bergevin and Ottawa’s Pierre Dorion who should be paying attention.
The most comparable situation comes to Dorion who is tasked to move superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson as soon as possible. Just like in San Antonio, everyone knows Dorion has to trade him, making it more challenging to get a quality return. The Montreal’s situation with Max Pacioretty isn’t the same, but is similar to DeMar DeRozan, who the Spurs received from Toronto in the Leonard trade, who the team wants to move in fear of him leaving eventually. Regardless, Basu writes that both teams need to move on from their respective situations and the longer they wait the more desperate they are going to get. Neither team is going to want Karlsson or Pacioretty to show up at training camp in a few months. Both teams need to do the best they can and move on as quickly as possible.
- In an interview with Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, the Detroit Free-Press’ Helene St. James asks the coach about the importance of integrating youth onto their roster next season. The head coach says that there will have to be more advantages given to younger players this coming year. “I think one of the big keys is that when you are a playoff team on an annual basis, the right move is that when a young player and a veteran player are tied, the tie goes to the veteran,” Blashill said. “When you are a team that hasn’t made the playoffs for two years and a young player and a veteran player are tied, I think now the tie should go to the young player.” That could be a big advantage to some of the team’s top talents from Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski who will all be fighting for roster spots in training camp.
- Sean Farrell of NHL.com writes that the Montreal Canadiens’ 2018 first-round pick, center Jesperi Kotkaniemi could make the team out of training camp. Bergevin said Kotkaniemi will be at training camp and didn’t rule out the third-overall pick from making the team. “He got better every day, so we’re going in with an open mind,” Bergevin said. “I don’t know, but just the fact that he’s signed and he’s coming to camp and he’s closer to the NHL. Where he’s going to be Oct. 1, I can’t tell you, but we see a lot of potential and growth in this young man.”