We’re again once more with one other version of Display Pictures, THN.com’s ongoing function through which your humble correspondent takes a take a look at just a few hockey matters and breaks them down in some quick paragraphs. Let’s transfer on to it:
Some of the intriguing information gadgets was Tampa Bay Lightning star ahead Steven Stamkos expressing his disappointment along with his contractual scenario past this season. Stamkos will likely be a UFA subsequent summer time, and the longer he goes with out a contract extension, the extra possible he’s to testing the open market.
Bolts GM Julien BriseBois adopted up on Stamkos’ new feedback by stating he needed to maintain Stamkos in a Lightning uniform however acknowledged he must see how “the season performs out.”
We mentioned this 9 years in the past, but it surely bears repeating: it might not be possible that Stamkos will go away the Lightning, however there’s a chance he’ll just do that and, maybe, take his abilities to his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.
Stamkos’ camp did entertain Toronto’s proposal to Stamkos earlier than he determined to stay a Bolt and took the supply very severely, and as we’ve seen in quite a few cases, the lure of taking part in in Leafs-crazed Toronto has attracted loads of stars – John Tavares, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza and Joe Nieuwendyk, amongst others – even when it was solely close to the conclusion of their stellar NHL profession.
The identical might show to be true for Stamkos, who doesn’t have to hit a house run along with his subsequent contract, as he’s earned near $100 million to date. It must be about the best match and the prospect to win a Stanley Cup. Even when the Leafs let star winger William Nylander stroll away as a UFA subsequent summer time, they may select to make use of most, if not all, of Nylander’s cap area to offer to Stamkos. Once more, not a possible scenario, however actually a doable scenario.
BriseBois’ determination to undergo the season with out extending Stamkos’ deal is a major gamble. If the Lightning take a aggressive step again, or if Stamkos has lingering animosity over not being made a precedence for the Bolts, he wouldn’t be the primary famous person to go away the one staff he’s identified in his NHL days. He additionally might select any variety of different groups to be his subsequent employer, however no matter you do, don’t low cost the chance he stays in Blue and White, solely within the largest pressure-packed hockey market of all of them.
One thing that was rather more anticipated than Stamkos’ revelations was the commerce involving veteran goalie Casey DeSmith, who was dealt Tuesday from the Montreal Canadiens to the Vancouver Canucks.
DeSmith had been in a holding sample of kinds since he was traded from Pittsburgh to the Habs as a part of the three-way Erik Karlsson commerce, and few hockey folks believed DeSmith would ever play a sport in Montreal, which already had veterans Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault in internet earlier than the Karlsson commerce.
The 32-year-old DeSmith is now the Canucks’ No. 2 netminder behind starter Thatcher Demko, and DeSmith is on a one-year, $1.8-million contract that may make him a UFA in 2024. He made a career-high 38 appearances for the Penguins final season, and his 3.17 goals-against common and .905 save proportion weren’t wherever near spectacular.
Certainly, DeSmith will likely be taking part in behind a Vancouver protection corps that, no less than on paper, isn’t nearly as good because the Pens’ ‘D’ corps final season. Whereas Demko will most likely do a lot of the heavy lifting between the pipes for the Canucks, DeSmith isn’t precisely a top-level insurance coverage coverage.
That is why we’re of the assumption Vancouver could half methods with DeSmith at or earlier than the commerce deadline subsequent spring. They do have 28-year-old Spencer Martin in its place choice to again up Demko, however additionally they might exit and purchase an skilled hand and ship DeSmith packing as soon as once more. Goaltending is a zero-sum line of labor, and on condition that Vancouver administration clearly desires to make the post-season this 12 months, any struggles DeSmith could have will push him out the door in B.C.
Lastly, as coaching camp begins to unfold, there are three notable RFAs – and two of them are property of the Anaheim Geese.
Star ahead Trevor Zegras and defenseman Jamie Drysdale are core elements of Anaheim’s future, whereas Ottawa Senators heart Shane Pinto, like Drysdale and Zegras, would appeal to critical curiosity throughout the league if the Geese and Sens ever made them accessible on the commerce entrance. However we are able to’t see that taking place, even when Ottawa has to maneuver some property round to stay wage cap-compliant whereas retaining Pinto.
It’s vital to notice that Zegras and Pinto are simply 22 years previous, whereas Drysdale is 21. Groups normally don’t quit on gamers that removed from their peak years, and the one actual query is whether or not any or all the three select short-term bridge contracts quite than take a seven- or eight-year deal that trades time period in alternate for greater cash.
Anaheim, specifically, is weighing the professionals and cons of locking up Drysdale and Zegras to prolonged extensions, but it surely’s solely doable Geese GM Pat Verbeek will go for a long-term pact with one or each of his RFAs. Each market is totally different, however in all three of those instances, the choice – buying and selling them – just isn’t actually an possibility in any respect.
- Display Pictures: Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks and Prime Remaining RFAs
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