In today’s rumor rundown the Anaheim Ducks and Brandon Montour have come to the consensus a long-term deal is out. As a result, the two sides are working on a bridge deal. There is some speculation an Eastern Conference team may have interest in Artemi Panarin and Chicago learns a little more about the status of their No. 1 goaltender. Finally, how will the Devils improve their roster without big trades or signing on the horizon?
Montour and Anaheim Working on Bridge Deal
Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported early Sunday morning that the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Brandon Montour have exchanged arbitration briefs. The Ducks have filed at $1.5MM per year for two years while Montour has filed at $4.75MM for one season. Friedman points out that the team is the side who submits the length of the term in arbitration but Montour is hoping for the shorter of the two.
Eric Stephens reports Ducks GM Bob Murray said he’s working on a two-year bridge contract ahead of Tuesday’s salary arbitration hearing in Toronto and that any talks the two sides had about a longer term were unsuccessful. Both sides want to avoid arbitration but for Montour, it would financially beneficial to get a deal done prior to Tuesday’s hearing. An offensive defenseman, Montour went 50 games without a goal last season and that’s sure to come up in the hearings.
Not that an arbitration award would come in at the salary either side suggested but it will be hard arguing Montour is worth the full $4.75 given his limited games played in the league.
Bruins Interested in Panarin?
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe is wondering if the Boston Bruins would be a good fit for Artemi Panarin. He suggests the Blue Jackets have to realize by now a trade is inevitable and that a larger market is probably where he wants to go. Boston isn’t the biggest market in the NHL but it does fit better than Columbus in that regard.
If Panarin is looking for something in the range of $9.5 million, the Bruins have the room to fit him in at that price and could put him beside David Krejci.
Dupont suggests it’s all about when Panarin is moved that will determine the assets required to acquire him. If at the trade deadline, it would likely be a player, pick, and prospect. If now, and with the ability of the Bruins to negotiate an extension, the return would have to be greater and could cost the team something like Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo.
At best, this is a suggestion or attempt to throw things at the wall to see if they stick. There has been no actual talk from either party nor NHL insiders that the Bruins and Blue Jackets are actually talking about a deal.
Status of Corey Crawford
Mark Lazerus of The Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Chicago Blackhawks have spoken to Corey Crawford about the status of his health. Crawford missed a big chunk of last season due to a hear injury and the Blackhawks signed Cam Ward to be a first-string netminder if Crawford’s return is delayed. The club should know more in a few weeks.
“I ran into him [Monday] and talked to him for a while,” general manager Stan Bowman said earlier this week. Bowman added things are looking good but Crawford hadn’t done much on-ice training. It appears there isn’t really much to suggest Crawford will be back right away but that his off-ice training hasn’t seen any snags and the player and the club will take things slowly.
Shero to Offer a Few Tryouts?
Chris Ryan of NJ.com believes Devils GM Ray Shero will still find a way to improve his roster before the start of this coming season. But, since he struck out on some of his free agent pursuits, he may need to get creative. Ryan suggested Shero could get involved as a third-party in a possible Erik Karlsson trade or pursue a trade with the Minnesota Wild if the team is looking to move either Jason Zucker or Nino Niederreiter. He even threw the idea of trading for Montreal’s Max Pacioretty or Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel.
The Athletic’s Corey Masisak recently suggested something that makes a bit more sense. That is, offering professional tryout offers to free agent forwards such as Lee Stempniak, Drew Stafford, Jason Chimera, Jannik Hansen or Joel Ward, or defenseman like Paul Martin, Dan Hamhuis or Brooks Orpik. When asked about the optics of tryouts, Masiask noted Shero’s response:
“I think we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve talked to a few players, but I don’t think we’re there yet. There’s got to be an opportunity there for the player. I think we have six exhibition games, so we’ve got to make sure there’s an opportunity to get them some games. That’s not a way to treat people to [sign them to a PTO and] only play them in one game and there’s not a spot. We’ll have to evaluate that and so will the players.”
“Targeting a list of potential PTO contract options if the Devils choose to go that route” – Corey Masisak – The Athletic – 07/17/2018