The New York Rangers are working on two fronts with Chris Kreider as the trade deadline nears on Monday. The Rangers are negotiating with Kreider and his agent on a potential contract extension, but at the same time, are preparing for the possibility they will have to trade him if a deal can’t be worked out.
Now TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that hopes for a contract extension between the two sides are fading. That could make the trade deadline on Monday even more interesting as it is quite clear that the Rangers will trade him if the two sides cannot get negotiations to shift. The likely sticking point is term as New York doesn’t want to find itself stuck with a major contract headache in a few years and if Kreider, who is likely heading for his last big contract, is looking for a seven or eight-year deal, that could be the sticking point. New York may have some cap room to work with now, but with a number of young players likely needing big raises in the next few years, the team must be careful with asset management.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs got a scare Saturday when Tyson Barrie went down with an apparent shoulder injury in the first period against Carolina. Many thought that might be the end of rumors that the Maple Leafs were planning to trade the gifted offensive defenseman for a more defensive-minded blueliner. However, Barrie returned and finished the game. Now, The Province’s Patrick Johnston reports that the Vancouver Canucks are very much in the mix for Barrie, which would likely be a package built on defenseman Troy Stecher. TSN’s Rick Dhaliwal confirms that the two teams are deep in talks. Barrie would provide the Canucks an offensive playmaker, but Johnston adds that isn’t what the team truly needs on their defense, making the trade a confusing one.
- Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal writes that the Edmonton Oilers are a likely destination for Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green. The scribe writes that Green’s no-movement clause turned into a 10-team modified no-trade clause on Feb. 1 and he believes that Edmonton is not on that 10-team list. Considering the familiarity between general manager Ken Holland and Green, the two teams might be a perfect match and Detroit is likely very willing to retain half of Green’s $5.375MM AAV.
- The Athletic’s Ken Wiebe wonders whether whether the Buffalo Sabres might be willing to move forward Michael Frolik. The 32-year-old has six goals and 13 points in 54 games, but more importantly, is a efficient penalty killer, something that playoff teams are often interested in. Throw in the fact that Frolik will be an unrestricted free agent, meaning he won’t count against any team’s cap long-term. Frolik does have a $4.3MM AAV, but Buffalo could consider retaining some of that to add to make a deal work.
- The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta writes that the Arizona Coyotes are likely entering the trade deadline with a need for a defenseman after Jakob Chychrun went down with a lower-body injury, who currently has no timetable for a return. However, with little cap room to work with, if the team attempts to acquire a player with a significant salary, Arizona may be forced to trade off a current roster player to make that work.