NHL Rumors Roundup: Sharks tried to trade Evander Kane; latest on Phil Kessel, Reilly Smith, and Vladimir Tarasenko
We have officially hit the NHL offseason and believe it or not, NHL rumors start to slow down. While it is absolutely silent on the Jack Eichel trade front, there’s still plenty of buzz out there.
Let’s check in on the latest.
NHL Rumors: Sharks want to trade Evander Kane
Evander Kane’s troubles appear to be only mounting. On the heels of accusations levied by his soon to be ex-wife that he bet on his own games, it seems the San Jose Sharks are looking to trade him.
According to a report in The Athletic, Evander Kane is not wanted back. Kevin Kurz states that sources have told him the team was trying to trade the 29 year-old forward this offseason.
The team was trying to trade Kane earlier this summer, a source says, confirming a report from the Daily Faceoff. A big part of the reason for the team to pursue a deal was Kane’s strained relationship with many of his teammates, according to several sources.The Athletic
Kane is entering the fourth season of a seven-year, $49 million deal.
Phil Kessel on the trade block
The 33 year-old winger can still produce and would give any offensively challenged team a boost. Last season, he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 56 games for the Yotes.
Arizona paid out his $5M bonus on July 1st. That means he’s only owed $1 million in actual salary which could be perfect for some teams with cap space, but are also looking to be fiscally sound. His cap hit without any cap retention would be $6.8M of his total $8M thanks to the Leafs. They kept some of his cap hit when they traded him.
So where could Kessel land?
Per Craig Morgan via Spector’s Hockey, Kessel’s agents asked the Coyotes to trade him before the season starts. It’s also being reported that he would like to play in Vegas but as of right now the Golden Knights are not interested. Most likely due to their limited cap space.
Some other teams that might look to deal for Kessel are the Seattle Kraken, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Minnesota Wild.
Reilly Smith drawing some interest
In his latest podcast, Elliotte Friedman sounded like he was spitballing connecting Reilly Smith to the Rangers, but if you ask me, I would qualify it as calculated speculation.
“One of the reasons Reilly Smith’s name is all over the rumor mill is because Gerard Gallant loves him too,” Friedman noted.
The 30 year-old with an affordable cap hit of $5M notched 14 goals and 25 points in 53 games last season. While his regular season numbers won’t WOW you, his playoff stats shows he can score when it counts. He has 65 points in 84 post season games. In Vegas’ Stanley Cup run in 2018 he notched 22 points in 20 games. He will be a UFA next summer so the price shouldn’t be too high if Vegas moves him.
The Blueshirts are likely not the only team that would be interested if he’s made available. If Vegas trades for Eichel they may try and include him in the package back to the Sabres. The Devils and Hurricanes were in on Brandon Saad and lost out to the Blues. They could be viable options.
Latest on Vladimir Tarasenko
Vladimir Tarasenko’s 10 team trade list includes the Lightning, Capitals, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Golden Knights, Panthers, and Bruins. At this time, the tenth team is unknown.
New reports indicate that prior to Brandon Saad signing with the Blues, both the Devils and Hurricanes were interested in his services. Now that they missed out, they could be teams in for Vladimir Tarasenko.
New Jersey and Carolina are two of the teams The Athletic reported Wednesday as having interest in Vladimir Tarasenko, perhaps this will spur trade talks between general manager Doug Armstrong and those clubs. There were signs Thursday that the New York Islanders could be back in the mix again, as well.The Athletic
Of the teams mentioned, I believe the NJ Devils would absolutely love to add Tarasenko to play with Jack Hughes. To date, the Devils are not on his 10 team trade list. The question is, would Tarasenko waive his no-move clause to play in Jersey? After acquiring Dougie Hamilton in free-agency he may change his mind.