An interesting story circulated today with a new team being added to the watch-list for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury: the Minnesota Wild. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned earlier that the Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks have had conversations about the veteran goaltender and that it was something to keep an eye on. Even if the two sides could agree on a deal, Fleury has a modified no-trade clause and the Blackhawks do not plan to trade him to a team without his approval, and thus, Fleury would have to want to be traded to the Wild.
Fleury has expressed his desire to try to help a team win a Stanley Cup, which the Wild appear poised to try to do. In last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, the Wild could find a pronounced upgrade over the struggling Cam Talbot. An All Star this season, Talbot has struggled greatly since his All Star appearance, posting an .886 save percentage over 10 games. Another factor in the Fleury talks worth considering is that Minnesota’s GM, Bill Guerin, won a Stanley Cup with Fleury and the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 2009, so there is an element of familiarity for Fleury in Minnesota.
- On the 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night in Canada this evening, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek discussed trade talk heating up around Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Max Domi. Marek mentions the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, and Colorado Avalanche as potential suitors for the forward. However, for Washington, in order to facilitate this trade, they would likely need a third team to participate, as the Capitals only have $155K in deadline day cap space. A deal of this nature could prove more expensive for Washington, however they will have to face that reality in almost any scenario. This season, Domi has nine goals and 23 assists in 52 games for Columbus.
- Also on Hockey Night in Canada, Friedman noted that talks around Winnipeg Jets’ forward Andrew Copp were intensifying, with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and New York Rangers most in the mix. Many have speculated that whoever was most interested in Claude Giroux, that did not acquire him, would likely turn to the Jets to try to bring in Copp. Both the Avalanche and the Rangers had made a push for Giroux, but Giroux appeared to only be willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Florida Panthers. In Copp, teams can expect a strong, gritty 200 foot player with a scoring touch. The forward currently holds a $3.64MM cap hit and is set to become a UFA this summer. Also of note out of Winnipeg, if a team is unable to acquire Copp, the Jets could also look to move veteran Paul Stastny, who has 31 points in 51 games this season to go with a $3.75MM cap hit that expires this summer.
- Friedman also discussed the Toronto Maple Leafs’ trade deadline plans at length on Hockey Night in Canada. He reiterated Toronto’s strong desire not to move a first-round pick or any top prospects for strictly a rental player. While Mark Giordano has been linked to Toronto and prefers to be traded there, Seattle’s price on Giordano may make him too expensive for the Maple Leafs to bite. Marek suggests, in the alternative, GM Kyle Dubas could look to Justin Braun of the Philadelphia Flyers. Braun certainly isn’t the player Giordano is, however he fills a need for Toronto, that of a veteran shut-down defenseman, and comes at a much more reasonable $1.8MM cap hit that expires this summer, and could presumably be acquired without the Maple Leafs having to part with a top prospect or any of their future first-round picks. Despite Toronto’s search for defensemen, Friedman does still believe that the Maple Leafs will move defenseman Travis Dermott by Monday’s trade deadline. Dermott carries just a $1.5MM cap hit, is signed through next season, and will be a RFA thereafter.