Action is heating up quickly in the NHL this week. Trade and free agent rumors are aplenty, all fueled by the tantalizingly close Seattle Expansion Draft on July 21st. But while fans’ adrenaline is running high after today’s Ryan Graves trade earlier, there’s a variety of other news and notes from around the Eastern Conference to look at today.
- While most of the hype surrounding the Detroit Red Wings lately has been the trade potential of Tyler Bertuzzi, there’s still decisions that the team needs to make elsewhere on the roster. A Detroit offseason piece from The Athletic’s Max Bultman reports that Detroit is interesting in bringing back a pair of pending UFAs in Jonathan Bernier and Luke Glendening. Bernier’s been a very solid netminder for Detroit since arriving in 2018-19. His best season was undoubtedly this last one, posting a 9-11-1 record and .914 save percentage, both his best numbers since signing with the Wings. He forms a decent pairing with Thomas Greiss, who’s still under contract, and would help the Wings stay afloat. There’s also Glendening, who’s passable defensively and gained positive notoriety for his faceoff prowess. Both extensions, hypothetically, would be affordable and decent moves for the rebuilding Wings.
- The Athletic’s Arpon Basu reports that the Montreal Canadiens are likely to let center Phillip Danault test the market. While this may be a shock to some, there’s a sort of backstory to this. It was widely reported last summer that general manager Marc Bergevin had offered Danault a six-year deal with a $5MM cap hit. That’s still Montreal’s offer, according to Basu and others. Montreal and Danault are both keeping the door open in case he can’t receive better offers on the open market, leading one to believe that the relationship is still amicable between the two. However, it’s reasonable to think that Danault would receive a better offer from a variety of teams desperate to improve their center depth, making a return to Montreal anything but certain.
- In a piece by The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark examining how recent moves have affected the Seattle Expansion Draft landscape, he notes that the Pittsburgh Penguins will likely be exposing one of either Jeff Carter or Kasperi Kapanen. It comes on the heels of center Teddy Blueger signing a two-year extension, signaling that Pittsburgh plans to protect him. If it’s Carter exposed, that could have ramifications for Pittsburgh’s center depth early on in the season, as Evgeni Malkin won’t be ready to start the season. If it’s Kapanen, that’s an extremely dangerous proposition. They gave up significant assets last year to acquire him from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’d be inarguably poor asset management to let him walk for nothing.