If the Vancouver Canucks don’t get Jordan Subban signed by June 1, the 20-year-old defenseman (and brother to P.K. and Malcolm) will re-enter the draft.
That obviously wouldn’t be ideal for the Canucks, especially considering the lack of dynamic defensemen in the organization, not to mention their aging core of blue-liners.
And besides, a team never wants to waste a draft pick.
Subban, a fourth-round pick of the Canucks in 2013, finished his fourth season with OHL Belleville with 25 goals and 27 assists. While his size, or lack thereof, makes him anything but a sure thing to play regularly in the NHL one day, Vancouver GM Jim Benning will still have some questions to answer if a deal doesn’t get done.
PHT reached out to Subban’s agent, Mark Guy, for an update on the negotiations.
“All I can tell you at this stage is that we are continuing talks with the Canucks,” wrote Guy in an email.
Late last month, Benning said that he was “confident at the end of the day we’re going to get a deal done.”
But the question has to be asked — what’s the holdup?
Related: P.K. Subban thinks brother Jordan will be ‘the best of all of us’
From Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune:
This, of course, is related to Ryan Callahan’s emergency appendectomy that’s expected to keep the veteran winger out of the lineup tonight in Montreal.
While Lightning coach Jon Cooper wasn’t ruling anything out, including Callahan playing, it sounds like Jonathan Marchessault, an undrafted 24-year-old who’s played just two games for the Lightning, will get the call over Jonathan Drouin, the third overall pick in 2013 who appeared in 70 games for the Lightning this season, plus three more in the playoffs.
Drouin last played in Game 4, a 6-2 Tampa Bay defeat.
Marchessault had a team-high 67 points in 68 games for AHL Syracuse during the regular season. He had one goal and one assist and was named the game’s first star in his last NHL appearance, on Apr. 11 versus Boston.
Related: Cooper says Drouin will play at some point in second round
The hiring of Ray Shero as general manager of the New Jersey Devils most likely means Martin Brodeur will not be returning to the organization where he spent most of his playing career.
“Especially with the change (the Devils) made, I think it’s a great opportunity for me to take a step back and go somewhere – or stay somewhere – that I’ll be able to learn and do things I want to do and try to learn as much as possible and who knows what the future,” Brodeur told northjersey.com. “But, it’s less and less likely it’s going to happen in New Jersey for a few years, that’s for sure.”
Brodeur, of course, does not have the same relationship with Shero as he does with former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello. Though Lamoriello remains with the club as its president of hockey ops, the situation there has changed.
It’s expected Brodeur will remain with the St. Louis Blues in some sort of managerial capacity.
Related: Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’
If the Ottawa Senators re-sign goalie Andrew Hammond — and it sounds like they intend to try — they’ll need to trade one of Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner.
If they decide to trade Anderson, should the Oilers be interested?
There’s no easy answer to that question, because there’s no certainty, not ever, when it comes to a goaltender. But at the very least, the veteran Anderson possesses a body of work that suggests a modicum of reliability.
In 406 NHL games for the Blackhawks, Panthers, Avalanche and Senators, Anderson has a .915 career save percentage. That’s in line with Jonathan Quick (.915 in 407 games) and Ryan Miller (.915 in 604 games). Anderson’s numbers this season, albeit in just 35 regular-season appearances, were among the best in the league. He was even better in the playoffs.
If there’s a concern about Anderson, it’s his age — he’ll be 34 next week. He’s had his share of injuries as well. But his contract is reasonable, with three years left at a cap hit of $4.2 million. Edmonton would pay that in a heartbeat to stabilize a position that badly needs to be stabilized.
Now, it’s possible the Senators try first to deal Lehner. So, might the Oilers be interested in him? Possibly. But Lehner is only 23, and he’s never started more than 30 games in the NHL. For all his upside — and he has quite a bit — his inexperience may not be a great fit in Edmonton. The same goes for a guy like Cam Talbot. Great NHL numbers, but a limited body of work. Plus, Talbot’s numbers (.931 save percentage in 57 games) were compiled with the help of some pretty good defensemen. (Remember that Ben Scrivens had good numbers with the Kings before the Oilers got him.)
Another experienced goalie the Oilers could pursue this offseason is unrestricted free agent Antti Niemi. We’re just not sure that would happen if Todd McLellan ends up becoming their coach.
Related: Why sign Miller? Benning wanted ‘a goalie with experience’
Barry Trotz knows the Washinton Capitals’ history. He knows they’ve never won a Stanley Cup. He knows they’ve had some good teams that have come up short in big games. He knows they’ve had their shares of 3-1 series leads, only to lose in seven.
And he’s fine with that.
“We can change that history,” Trotz said today, per the Washington Post. “I do believe the Boston Red Sox won a World Series, right? They went a long stretch there, right? But they did win, right? The odds were in their favor at some point. That’s what I’m saying. The odds are in our favor. This group can do something and you want to change history, you want to change perception. You just go out and do it. I think that should motivate you. Not bring you down. That to me should be very motivating.”
It’s the Capitals’ painful playoff history — from getting swept the first time they made it to the conference finals in 1990, to getting swept the first time they made it to the finals in 1998, to winning the Presidents’ Trophy in 2010, only to blow a 3-1 series lead in the first round — that, combined with the tremendous opportunity they’ll receive should they beat the Rangers, makes Wednesday’s game in New York arguably the biggest in franchise history.
Said Trotz: “I know a lot of people are going to write about hey, we haven’t done this, and when we’ve been leading two, I was reading some stuff, our record’s not very good as an organization. True. Absolutely true. But we can change that.”
A history of blowing 3-1 series leads
1987: Led the Islanders 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
1992: Led the Penguins 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
1995: Led the Penguins 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
2010: Led the Canadiens 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
Related: Messier moment? Ovechkin: ‘We’re going to come back and win the series’