The rumors are fast and furious. As such, we’ll be coming hot and heavy for the remaining days leading up to July 1. Teams are talking to pending unrestricted free agents and trades are being considered in order for clubs to make room when the market opens.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Tampa Bay?
This would not be the first time that the Tampa Bay Lightning had an interest in Kevin Shattenkirk. Before the offensive-defenseman was traded to the Washington Capitals, the Lightning looked at trading for him but were told he’d have no interest in remaining in Tampa long term. General manager Steve Yzerman is hoping Shattenkirk’s position has changed in that regard.
The Lightning will not be the only team interested in Shattenkirk. The New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs have all inquired and Shattenkirk is going to get paid handsomely to quarterback someone’s power play.
If the Lighting strikes out or finds the deals too rich, they may look at a different free agent. Karl Alzner, Marco Scandella and Cody Franson have also been connected to the Lightning in rumors.
Dion Phaneuf Actively Being Shopped
Phaneuf is actively being shopped out of Ottawa but the issue is, there are few takers based on his salary. Many of the teams that have expressed interest are not on his limited list of teams he’d be willing to accept a trade to. If the Senators really want to move him, they may need to eat near half of his salary.
There is trade interest in Phaneuf from outside his list, so Sens are in discussion with Newport to see if Dion is willing to be flexible.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 24, 2017
In an interesting twist, there was speculation that the Senators might have been speaking to Vegas about reacquiring Marc Methot and trading Phaneuf. Methot went to Dallas, but many checked into the rules regarding trading for picks taken in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
Rangers Looking at Goaltender
With the New York Rangers moving Anti Raanta, they are actively looking to secure a backup goaltender come July 1. Names like Anders Nilsson, Antti Niemi, Keith Kinkaid, Ondrej Pavelec and Mike Condon have been on the Ranges radar.
Henrik Lundqvist is still the man in New York, but this past season had moments of inconsistency. The Rangers will, of course, be in on some of the bigger fish in free agency (Shattenkirk), having cleared cap space, but expect a backup netminder to be a priority.
Oilers to Re-Sign Eric Gryba
With the Oilers still down a defenseman (Andrej Sekera is hurt) and the team not wanting to take on big salaries come July 1, Eric Gryba seems a natural fit for the team. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports that Gryba and the Oilers may be close to an extension.
My understanding is Oil would like to bring Gryba back, have had some early discussions. His size/grit will draw some interest from others.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 26, 2017
Jim Matheson also believes there is a deal close and it could be a two-year extension.
Justin Williams Most Popular UFA?
“Mr. Game Seven”, Justin Williams knew he was going to garner interest from teams come July 1. But, his willingness to accept less term and money to play for a contender makes him perhaps the hottest commodity on the market.
He brings a wealth of experience, playoff performance and a veteran presence to any team. He’d fit nicely in a depth or top-six role on most teams. He could stay in Washington, but there are very good odds that he’ll be on a cup contender in another city if the Capitals lose a number of their better current roster players to free agency.
Justin Williams camp in the process of narrowing a long list of callers into a smaller group. All about the fit and chance to win.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 27, 2017
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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