In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news about Mikhail Sergachev and a lack of discussions with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Vancouver Canucks are looking at ways to improve their blue line and the Los Angeles Kings are targeting the same thing. Finally, it appears the Edmonton Oilers are going to lose depth forward Markus Granlund.
Sergachev and Lightning Not Yet Talking
It’s not terribly surprising the Lightning and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev haven’t started talking a new deal yet since there is so much uncertainty surrounding next year’s NHL salary cap, but the situation between the Lightning and the d-man is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Sergachev is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason and set a new career-high in goals with 10 just before the suspension of the season. He’ll be due a sizable raise on his next deal and he told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, there have been no discussions at all. It is expected the Lightning will have to move some players out before next season to keep him in the fold.
Related: Lightning’s All-Decade Team: Defense
Kings Set To Improve Blue Line
Earlier this week, Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake held a conference call with reporters, including Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, and hinted the team will be targeting some help for the left side of their defense corps. Blakes said:
I think that would be one area of need that we would look at, whether it’s the free-agent market or the acquisition market, and most likely on the left side.
The Kings are weak on the left side of their defense with only Michael Anderson under contract and Kurtis MacDermid, Ben Hutton, and Joakim Ryan slated to become unrestricted free agents.
Canucks Trade Targets on Defense
Harman Dayal of The Athletic recently looked at several trade targets to rebuild the Vancouver Canuck’s defense corps. Chris Tanev is likely to leave and Troy Stecher is a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights.
Dayal mentions options such as Florida’s MacKenzie Weegar, Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak, Washington’s Nick Jensen, and Buffalo’s Henri Jokiharju, plus Edmonton’s Caleb Jones, or St. Louis’ Vince Dunn if suitable right-side blueliners can’t be found.
How the Canucks will acquire one of these players may come from their right-wing depth. Dayal writes:
You’re going to have to give to get when it comes to defencemen. Regardless of a team’s situation, it’s never going to be cheap to acquire one with top-four upside. The Canucks don’t have a lot of tradeable assets, but one area that could emerge as a strength is their pool of right-wingers. If the club can extend Tyler Toffoli, for example, Vancouver would have Toffoli, Brock Boeser and Jake Virtanen in their top-nine. They’d also have top prospects, Vasili Podkolzin and Kole Lind.source – ‘Rebuilding the Canucks’ defence: Young blueliners to target in a trade’ – Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 05/08/2020
Related: Top 10 Undersized NHL Players
Oilers Losing Markus Grandlund to KHL
Russian hockey website Al.hockey.run, is reporting that Edmonton Oilers forward Markus Granlund will sign with Ufa Salavat Yuleaev in the KHL next year: “Salavat Yulaev will sign a contract with the Finnish striker Markus Granlund, in the season 2019-2020 playing for Edmonton. The parties have already agreed on the terms of the transaction.”
While the Oilers have not confirmed the news, it wasn’t likely the team would re-sign Granlund. He was a one-year experiment that didn’t quite pan out for either side as he spent more time in the AHL than he did the NHL.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”