- Frank Seravalli of TSN reports that the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins have emerged as front-runners for Chris Kreider, who is still a member of the New York Rangers at the moment. The speedy winger is arguably the top rental available, and after the Rangers acquired another big scoring winger in prospect Julien Gauthier perhaps they are more inclined to move him out than re-sign him. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet also writes that he believes Boston and Colorado are interested, though also listed the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues as potential suitors.
2:46pm: Ten minutes later, Dillon has been traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2021 third-round pick. San Jose has retained 50% of Dillon’s cap hit. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that in the event the Capitals win the Stanley Cup, the 2021 third-round pick will become Arizona’s 2020 third, which the Capitals previously acquired.
2:36pm: Another defenseman on an expiring contract was dealt today in Dylan DeMelo, and his former partner may be next. Brenden Dillon is on the trade market in San Jose, and according to Frank Seravalli of TSN the Vegas Golden Knights, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues have shown interest.
David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review Journal tweets that the Sharks are looking for a second-round pick and a prospect for Dillon, though it’s unclear how the return of DeMelo may affect that ask. The Ottawa Senators received just a third-round selection for their own rental, while the New Jersey Devils received a second for Andy Greene.
Dillon, 29, became emotional when he was recently asked about the possibility of a trade and is almost undoubtedly moved by the deadline. He is a physical defenseman that can move the puck well enough to be a contributor on any contender, and has 60 games of playoff experience with the Sharks over the last four seasons. All four of those teams referenced have their eyes not only on the playoffs but a long run once they get there, something that always requires more defensemen than you expect.
Unlike DeMelo however, Dillon comes with a cap hit of $3.27MM which makes him a more complicated move. For many of the contenders pushed right up against the cap they’ll need San Jose to retain some of the salary, only increasing the return.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
As has been the tradition in recent years, the Bruins are on the lookout for an impact winger. They’ve added Charlie Coyle, Marcus Johansson, and Rick Nash over the last two seasons and are known to have interest in Rangers winger Chris Kreider. If nothing materializes there, their focus could turn to Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson as Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston reports that they are very interested in the 25-year-old.
Anderson is having a particularly rough 2019-20 season as he has just a goal and four assists in 26 games this season and is currently dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him out for the last two months. He is nearing a return and Haggerty notes that Boston would like to see him back in action before potentially pulling the trigger on any deal.
The appeal with Anderson isn’t hard to see though. Just last season, he put up 27 goals with the Blue Jackets along with 214 hits. Young power forwards with offensive upside are hard to come by and there will undoubtedly be other suitors for his services as well.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen faces an interesting decision when it comes to Anderson. The price that Tampa Bay paid to land Blake Coleman on Sunday suggests that teams will pay up to land a player that’s not a rental and can contribute at five-on-five; 22 of his tallies last season came in that situation. In Anderson’s case, he’s a restricted free agent this summer so while his price tag will go up from his current $1.85MM AAV next year, he’ll be around for at least one more season. Landing a possible package like that – Haggerty suggests Boston’s first-round pick and defense prospect Urho Vaakanainen as an offer structured similar to the Coleman trade – has to be appealing, even if the Blue Jackets are in the thick of the playoff picture.
On the other hand, Coleman is in the midst of his second straight 20-goal campaign while Anderson is nowhere near that. Will his reputation be enough to overcome that or will Boston and others offer up less? If that’s the case, Kekalainen would be wise to hold onto Anderson and hope that a strong stretch run could help up his value over the summer if they’re open to moving him.
Between Kreider, Anderson, and even Tyler Toffoli who was linked to Boston at times as well before his trade to Vancouver, Bruins GM Don Sweeney has cast a wide net to try to bring in some help on the wing. At this point, it seems like a matter of when, not if, he’s able to bring one in.
A pair of big trades by the New Jersey Devils were not the only surprises on Sunday. Five of yesterday’s nine games could be labeled as upsets, including the Devils own win after dealing captain Andy Greene and fan-favorite Blake Coleman earlier in the day. New Jersey went on to beat Columbus in a shootout nonetheless. Additionally, the Senators squeaked by the Stars in overtime, the Predators narrowly edged out the slumping Blues, and the Ducks and Sabres won handily over the Canucks and Maple Leafs respectively. Anaheim will look to play spoiler again today as they visit Calgary as one five games on the docket today. With one week to go until the NHL Trade Deadline, these games will be an important piece in determining buyers and sellers, as could the roster tweaks they make ahead of these key contests. Keep up with all of those minors moves right here:
- Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton is nearing a return to the lineup, as the team announced last night that they had assigned Clifton to AHL Providence on a conditioning loan. Clifton has played in 30 games so far this season, but has been out since before the calendar flipped to the new year with an upper-body injury that landed him on long-term injured reserve. Clifton’s eventual return will cause some complications for the Bruins as his roster spot has been occupied by Jeremy Lauzon, who has moved into a starting role in Boston and even earned a new two-year extension. If the Bruins opt to carry eight defensemen upon Clifton’s activation, the most likely candidate to go down (following waivers) would be young grinder Anton Blidh.
- St. Louis Blues beat writer Lou Korac reports that veteran Troy Brouwer has been reassigned to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. While there has been no official announcement by the team, this should not come as much of a surprise, as Brouwer has previously been sent to the AHL this year. The 34-year-old signed with St. Louis in late November for what will likely be his final NHL campaign, but has only been used sparingly and has struggled to produce in what time he has been given.
- After recalling defenseman Andreas Englund from AHL Belleville before last night’s game, the Ottawa Senators were quick to send him right back once the game was over. The up-and-down has been a common theme of Englund’s season, as the big Swedish blue liner has played a dozen games with Ottawa and 22 with Belleville. He has just two points combined this season, both in the NHL.
Just a few hours after reports emerged that the New Jersey Devils had traded forward Blake Coleman to the Colorado Avalanche, after which he was scratched from tonight’s game, the forward has officially been dealt. However, not to Denver. TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report that Coleman has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He adds that the return for New Jersey is a 2020 first-round pick and forward prospect Nolan Foote. The first-rounder will be the Vancouver Canucks’ pick acquired in the J.T. Miller trade, rather than the Bolts’ own selection. Both teams have confirmed the deal.
At first glance, it is clear that the Lightning paid a hefty price in this exchange. Not only did Tampa give up a first-round pick, and the likely higher pick of the two they owned, but Foote was also their first-round selection just last year and the top forward in the pipeline. The big winger, who is the son of former NHLer Adam Foote and brother of Bolts prospect Cal Foote, already has pro size and is continually developing a next-level skill set and hockey IQ. Foote, the captain of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, has scored at more than a point-per-game pace this season and also added five points in seven games at the World Junior Championship. Foote looks ready to help an NHL team sooner rather than later and the Devils will now be the club to reap that reward.
However, the metrics of production versus pay may help to explain why Coleman commanded such a sizeable cost and why he may be a crucial addition for the cap-strapped Lightning. Coleman is in the second year of a three-year, $5.4MM deal signed with the Devils. That means he is making just $1.8MM against the cap this year and next. At that value, the 28-year-old has recorded 21 goals and 31 points through 57 games this season, his second 20-goal season in a row. Not only that, but Coleman is also an intelligent two-way player who brings physicality and poise with his defensive game. Coleman has been one of New Jersey’s best players this season and his addition to a deep Lightning lineup makes for an embarrassment of riches in Tampa. After a shocking first-round sweep last season, the 2019 President’s Trophy winners are loading up in hopes of ensuring that such a collapse does not occur again.
TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, who had reported earlier today that a Coleman deal to Colorado was done, maintains that the Avalanche as well as the Boston Bruins were in the running for the versatile forward until the end. It’s fair to assume that the cost of beating the Bolts’ offer likely proved to be too much for either squad. It will be interesting to see if either team circles back to New Jersey to discuss another term forward in Kyle Palmieri, or if that asking price – probably even higher – will be too much as well. The Bruins especially are feeling the pressure of this addition by Tampa Bay, the biggest threat to unseat them at the top of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division as well as a very likely playoff opponent.
While Foote sticks out as the most impressive piece heading to the Devils, it is worth noting that the team now has three first-round picks in June: their own, the Arizona Coyotes’ pick from the Taylor Hall trade, and now Vancouver’s pick via Tampa. They also added a second-round pick earlier in the day from the New York Islanders in exchange for veteran defenseman Andy Greene. With Palmieri possibly on the move and a Sami Vatanen even more likely to be dealt (Travis Zajac and Wayne Simmonds are also names on the rumor mill), the Devils are not done making moves and could at least one more first-round pick before the trade deadline passes next week.
One small consolation is that by placing Karlsson on long-term injured reserve, it will free up $11.5MM in salary, which could give the team some more flexibility in taking on salary at the trade deadline, according to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz (subscription required). The team currently has just $5.7MM of cap space it could use at the trade deadline, meaning it would be unable to take back any team’s salary which could increase their return in trades. Now with that $11.5MM available to use, San Jose may be able to benefit even more at the trade deadline.
Another concern initially came when Karlsson fell awkwardly over Joe Thornton as many believed he had re-injured his surgically repaired groin injury, which he dealt with for much of last season. The 29-year-old hasn’t been the same since undergoing offseason surgery and hasn’t been nearly as mobile this year. Kurz added in a separate tweet that Karlsson will have his thumb surgery Monday in Los Angeles, by Dr. Steven Shin, who operated on NBA’s Stephen Curry and the NFL’s Drew Brees.
- With the “For Sale” sign up and visible, there are many teams who have inquired about Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow, who is having a career season with eight goals, 24 points and 80 penalty minutes. The 26-year-old is very attractive to capped-out teams as he carries just a $925K salary and has one more year on his current contract before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2021. However, the Mercury News’ Curtis Pashelka writes that there has been no indication from the Sharks that they would be willing to move Goodrow, who has become a very versatile piece on the team, who can play any position, play on the penalty kill, and has received a signficant upgrade in minutes since Tomas Hertl went down with a season-ending injury. The team fully expects him to be a part of their future.
- Longtime Shark Thornton has also been in trade rumors recently, but has a no-movement clause, which means that if Thornton is traded, it will be at his request. However, rumors still suggest that he might be a good fit with the Boston Bruins, for a reunion with the team that originally drafted him and which he played for eight seasons before being traded to the Sharks. Another recent team to come up in rumors is the Colorado Avalanche, where he might be a perfect addition, according to ColoradoHockeyNow’s Adrian Dater. Thornton would serve as a good short-term replacement for Nazem Kadri, who is out weeks with a lower-body injury. He also might be a better candidate to play in a bottom-six role over Tyson Jost, who has struggled mightily recently, going 30 straight games without a goal.
- Kurz also notes that the Sharks could be interested in forward Jayce Hawryluk, who was put on waivers today. Hawryluk is well known by head coach Bob Boughner, who coached him in Florida last season. With the team looking for depth on their bottom-six, Hawryluk would make sense.
Fresh off of serving his two-game suspension, Jeremy Lauzon is getting a nice new contract. The Boston Bruins have signed Lauzon to a two-year extension that carries an average annual value of $850K. The young defenseman was scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year, but will now be under contract through 2021-22.
Lauzon, 22, was originally selected 52nd overall in 2015 and is now on the precipice of becoming a full-time NHL player. Though he has only spent 23 games at that level so far in his short career the future, both in terms of performance and situation, look bright. The Bruins have three significant defenders—Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller—all scheduled for unrestricted free agency, and with it opportunity for some of the younger options.
The fact that Lauzon is now under contract for so little will only help his chances of staying in Boston. An $850K cap hit is just a little more than the league minimum, meaning they can fit him in even if they were to spend big to keep Krug around. There are plenty of options for the Bruins, but they obviously believe that Lauzon can contribute down the road.
The young defenseman could potentially be eligible for Group VI unrestricted free agency at the end of the deal, should he fail to play in another 57 games at the NHL level. That likely won’t be an issue, but is at least something to remember over the next two years.
The entire hockey world watched two icons have their numbers raised to the rafters together in Vancouver last night, as Daniel and Henrik Sedin were honored by the Canucks. Twin brothers who were miraculously drafted second and third overall by the same franchise (after some wheeling and dealing by then-GM Brian Burke) spent 17 seasons connecting with a city and fanbase. The Sedins each scored over 1,000 points in a Canucks sweater and no one else will ever wear #22 or #33 in Vancouver. As the Canucks and other teams prepare to go back to work this evening, we’ll keep track of all the minor moves.
- As the Dallas Stars get set to face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, they’ve placed Alexander Radulov on injured reserve. Taking his place is top prospect Jason Robertson, who could make his NHL debut. Selected 39th overall in 2017, Robertson has taken quite well to professional hockey, recording 20 goals and 35 points as a rookie with the Texas Stars.
- The Boston Bruins have returned Jeremy Lauzon to the minor leagues, after he served the final game of his suspension by sitting out last night. Lauzon could be an option for the Bruins down the stretch, but has spent most of the season in the AHL.
- Yakov Trenin has been sent to the AHL by the Nashville Predators, as the team readies for their matchup against the New York Islanders tonight. Trenin has played 17 games for the Predators this season and must be getting used to the trip between leagues.
- Once again the Winnipeg Jets have recalled Andrei Chibisov, and perhaps this is the time he will make his NHL debut. The 26-year old forward has 24 points in 47 games for the Manitoba Moose in his first season in North America.
- The Buffalo Sabres have sent Scott Wilson back to the minor leagues, as Victor Olofsson and Kyle Okposo return to the lineup tonight. Olofsson will try to resume his excellent rookie campaign and provide some more scoring punch for the Sabres.
- Mark Barberio has been recalled by the Colorado Avalanche, after playing in 14 games with the team earlier this season. The 29-year old defenseman has two points on the season.
- The San Jose Sharks have recalled both Antti Suomela and Noah Gregor from the minor leagues, though the latter seems to be dealing with a minor injury. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic tweets that Suomela will be the extra forward for tomorrow’s Sharks’ game against the Winnipeg Jets.
- The Arizona Coyotes have recalled Barrett Hayton from the minor leagues, sending Aaron Ness down to make room. Hayton had to come up now that his conditioning loan has expired, and will need to either stay with Arizona or go back to the CHL for the rest of the year.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild decided to shake up the hockey world last night, completing the first major trade of deadline season by finally agreeing to a Jason Zucker deal. The former Wild forward is expected to debut on Sidney Crosby’s line tonight, not a bad place to try and make an impact on your new team. As the rest of the league responds and prepares, we’ll keep track of all the minor moves.
- After their game last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced two transactions to fix their roster. The first was to send Liam Foudy back to the OHL after making his NHL debut as an emergency call-up, with the second being Gabriel Carlsson’s return to the AHL.
- Karson Kuhlman is back with the Boston Bruins, recalled today and put onto the second line at practice beside Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. Kuhlman has five points in 17 NHL games this season, and has bounced back and forth regularly.
- After getting into some action to test his mettle, Martin Fehervary has been returned to the AHL. Though the 20-year old defenseman has shown glimpses of what he can become, there is still development to be done.
- The Detroit Red Wings have returned Taro Hirose and Givani Smith to the minor leagues, while activating Anthony Mantha and Frans Nieslen from injured reserve. Those moves come in addition to waiving Jonathan Ericsson.
- Taylor Fedun will be making his AHL debut this season, as the Texas Stars announced that Dallas has assigned the veteran defenseman to a conditioning loan. Formerly an AHL regular, Fedun has only skated in three games in the minors since he was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres early last season. At the price of only a seventh-round pick, Fedun has been a valuable asset for Dallas, recording 11 points in 54 games last year and nine points in 27 games so far this year.
- The AHL’s Laval Rocket have re-signed forward Yannick Veilleux to a one-year extension, the team announced. In his second go-round with Laval, the Quebec native has nine points in 14 games since being recalled from the ECHL. Veilleux spent all of last season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans but was in Laval the season prior.
The Department of Player Safety announced that Boston Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended two games for his illegal check to the head of Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan on Saturday.
The hit came at the end of the first period of the Bruins’ 4-2 win when Lauzon drove Stepan into the boards with a high hit that got some of Stepan’s head (video here). Stepan was shaken up and left for the final few seconds of the period, but was well enough to return to the game at the start of the second period. Lauzon received a five-minute major and a match penalty for the hit, but the league felt it deserved some supplementary discipline.
Lauzon, a rookie, has appeared in 23 total games over the past year, but has played in just seven for the Bruins this season. He has a goal, nine hits and five blocks in those seven games. The suspension further tasks a team that has several injured defenseman, including Connor Clifton and Kevan Miller. The team had already recalled defenseman Urho Vaakanainen from Providence in an emergency recall to fill Lauzon’s place for the next couple of games.