NHL Rumours: Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators

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Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours. Today, we explore the Carolina Hurricanes wanting to re-sign Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas and the St. Louis Blues wishing to bring back David Perron. We also explore Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion saying he’s open to moving the seventh overall pick for immediate help. Let’s dive in!

NHL Rumours

Carolina Hurricanes

Rumour: On the 32 Thoughts The Podcast Episode titled, Good Call, Right? Elliotte Friedman reports that the Carolina Hurricanes made contract extension offers to Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas during the season but couldn’t get a deal. 

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Analysis: Now it’s crunch time for these negotiations. Trocheck can be an unrestricted free agent this summer, while Necas will be a restricted free agent without arbitration rights. Freidman said that Carolina offers what they think is fair and usually doesn’t move far from that, so it will be interesting to see what happens there. I think they will get a deal done with Necas. He doesn’t have a lot of leverage. Necas scored one less point than he did last year with 25 more games. He was also quiet in the playoffs, with five points in 14 games. I think it makes sense for him to sign a one or two-year contract, prove himself as a legitament top-six forward, and try to get his big payday later.

Trocheck is trickier because he can walk. He’s been Carolina’s second-line centre for the past two seasons and been one of their top scorers. Carolina has to be careful because they have $19.375 million in cap space but have 10 expiring contracts. Evolving Hockey projects Trocheck’s next contract as a four-year deal with a $5.91 million cap hit. That leaves $13.4 million to sign the other nine players, which isn’t a lot of space. The Hurricanes can also move Necas or Jesperi Kotkaniemi to the second-line centre spot, so signing Trocheck isn’t absolutely needed. I don’t think it’s a guarantee that he will come back.

St. Louis Blues

Rumour: Also in the Good Call, Right? podcast, Freidman says the St. Louis Blues want to bring back winger David Perron.

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Analysis: Perron had a strong season with the Blues. In 67 games, he scored 27 goals and 30 assists for 57 points, which amazingly had him as far down as eighth on the team in scoring. He provides a bit of everything for the Blues, goal scoring, playmaking, responsibility, snarl and veteran leadership. Perron has been a Blue for most of his career and immediately went back to St. Louis after being claimed in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights and playing one season there. Evidently, he loves it in St. Louis, and the Blues want to keep him. A contract should be worked out.

The Blues have many contracts expiring in the next two seasons in Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan O’Reilly, Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas and Ivan Barbashev. I wouldn’t be surprised if Perron helped the Blues and took a hometown discount. Evolving Hockey has his projected next contract as a three-year deal with a cap hit of $6.138 million. However, considering Perron’s age (34) and some younger players will pass him in the next few seasons, I think he will get a cap hit in the $4 million range.

Ottawa Senators

Rumour: Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said that he would be willing to trade the seventh overall pick for immediate help. 

Analysis: Pierre Dorion was interviewing with Ottawa sports radio channel TSN 1200, and he said, “So maybe this is the year we move pick No. 7 to get an impact player to help us right away.” This would be a smart move by the Senators, they’re entering the stage where they need to start winning soon. The prospect they draft with the seventh overall pick will likely be in the league by 2025 if he works out. By then, Thomas Chabot will be 27 or 28, Drake Batherson is a year younger, and Joshua Norris and Brady Tkachuk will be either 24 or 25. That’s their prime, and they have to start winning by then. A player on an entry-level deal will be ideal at that time, but the Senators have holes at defence and forward that need to be addressed to take the next step.

The biggest problem is Ottawa doesn’t have a right shot partner for both Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson. Artem Zub can play in one of those holes, but they need another. Another area of need is getting a top-six winger who can support Tim Stützle growing into a star centre. This need isn’t as desperate because Connor Brown and Alex Formenton can score, but they’re not upper-echelon top-six players. Dorion said whoever they acquire, they want them to have some term and not be a pending unrestricted free agent a year later. That player will be hard to find, not impossible, but hard.

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