It’s Friday and we’ve got another dose of NHL rumours. We’re close to the March 21 trade deadline and things are coming to a head. General managers are facing some tough choices on either loading up or planning for the future. Today’s NHL rumours feature the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres.
Rumour: Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff went over the latest negotiations involving Kris Letang.
Ice Breakers 🧊🏒 Checked in on #pens and their UFAs ahead of the trade deadline. It doesn't impact their trade deadline plans, but PIT and Kris Letang appear to be far apart on term in talks.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 10, 2022
Analysis: Letang becomes an unrestricted free agent and he’s playing like he deserves another large payday. The Montreal native has six goals and 43 assists in this contract year. Letang’s representatives are reported to asking for a five-year deal of around $7 million per season.
Pittsburgh may try to counter with a higher cap hit, but give Letang a shorter term. There’s also the matter of signing unrestricted free agent players like Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust, Zach Aston-Reese, Evan Rodrigues and Casey DeSmith. However, Malkin will likely give some type of hometown discount to make it easier on General Manager Ron Hextall.
Letang is 34 and makes $7.25 million per season, so it makes sense to squeeze out one more big contract before retires. The veteran is certainly proving that he might be worth that one big deal before it’s all over. He’s hoping to squeeze at least more run at a Stanley Cup before calling it a career.
Analysis: Sanford isn’t the only name that has come up in trade discussions for the Senators. Teams have their eyes on Anton Forsberg and Nick Paul, but General Manager Pierre Dorion is hoping to re-sign one or both players before they hit the open market. Forsberg seems like a good long-term option behind Matt Murray or to eventually take the starting job.
Sanford vaults to the top of the list of likely players to be traded due to the possible re-signings. It seems that Sanford never really found his spot while in Ottawa. The 27-year-old doesn’t look like he’ll have a place in the lineup if we project into the future.
The Salem, Mass. native was a contributor to the 2019 Stanley Cup title won by the St. Louis Blues. A team that needs some forward depth and playoff experience if they go for Sanford. He could be a sneaky good acquisition for a team that’s looking to add another post-season piece.
Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger said the Sabres are looking for a defence partner and mentor for top-pick Owen Power on the latest edition of Insider Trading.
INSIDER TRADING; #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
– Leafs’ due diligence on goalies
– #Yotes decision on Vejmelka
– Sabres seek partner for Power
– Could Flyers use 3rd team for Giroux deal?
– Interest in Andreas Johnsson
– Draft confirmed for MTL
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) March 10, 2022
Analysis: Dreger stressed that it’s not imperative to add a high-end blue-liner at the deadline. Buffalo General Manager Kevyn Adams can wait until the off-season to make that addition. Dreger added that Adams has let other teams know he’s in the market for a top-pair defenceman. The Sabres can then decide to make an addition via free agency instead of dipping into the trade market and having to give up an asset.
Power is having a great season with Michigan and he’d be more likely to go pro if the Wolverines win the NCAA Division I title. The young blueliner didn’t look out of place against the pros at least year’s IIHF World Championships.
Dreger said the move would also be a good character person and someone that could show Power the ropes. It could be a good idea to have someone mentor Power. Buffalo does have some decent young players on the team and coming through the system in AHL Rochester. The former top-pick could be that spark to help the long-suffering franchise.