For all the anticipation that the NHL Entry Draft creates, fans were left somewhat disappointed last night when not a single player was traded. All the viewers got from the floor in Vancouver was the Arizona Coyotes moving up three spots and the Philadelphia Flyers adding a second-round pick. The kind of movement that had been hinted at all day never materialized, perhaps thanks to the still-not-finalized cap ceiling. The league is expected to release the final number today, hopefully kicking the market into gear.
Nevertheless, here are some notes from last night’s show:
- The player most rumored to be on the move yesterday may have been Tyson Barrie, who was linked several times to the Vancouver Canucks. The offensive defenseman’s name came up even more when the Colorado Avalanche selected Bowen Byram fourth overall, but GM Joe Sakic wants everyone to calm down. Sakic told A.J. Haefele of BSN Denver that there is no truth to the idea that Barrie is already traded, and Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now that the rumors are “news to him.” Even with the apparent denials, Barrie’s name will continue to float around in trade speculation until he has a new deal with the Avalanche or is moved. The 27-year old is entering the final year of his current contract and carries a $5.5MM cap hit.
- Another defenseman drawing plenty of speculation is Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban who is apparently on the market as the team tries to clear cap space. Subban has three years remaining at a huge $9MM cap hit, but Darren Dreger of TSN suggested that the Predators may be willing to retain up to $3MM of that. If that’s true, there will likely be teams lined up to take on the Norris-winning defenseman.
- After a disappointing season from the Pittsburgh Penguins and some frustrated comments from GM Jim Rutherford, some expected the team to make a huge move and send one of their superstar talents packing this summer. While the team did try to move Phil Kessel to the Minnesota Wild, they won’t be dangling Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang. Rutherford spoke to Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and told him it’s “highly unlikely” that either one is moved and that there was never an intention to have a ton of roster turnover in Pittsburgh.