San Jose Sharks

Report: San Jose interested in acquiring Bieksa

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On Thursday afternoon TSN reported that the Vancouver Canucks have approached Kevin Bieksa about the possibility of moving on.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that one of the teams interested in acquiring Bieksa’s services is the San Jose Sharks.

Bieksa, who has one-year remaining on his five-year deal with a cap hit of $4.6 million, has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause as of yet.

The 34-year-old appeared in 60 games for the Canucks during the 2014-15 season scoring four goals and 14 points while averaging nearly 21 minutes a night in ice time.

San Jose currently has four defensemen under contract for the 2015-16 season per Generalfanager.com.

Pending restricted free agent blue liner Brenden Dillon is expected to be inked to a long-term deal shortly leaving the Sharks with one vacancy on the back end.

San Jose currently has nearly $17.7 million in cap space for next season.

Report: Rangers have given five teams permission to speak with Cam Talbot

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The New York Rangers have taken the next step in an attempt to trade goaltender Cam Talbot.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have given the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Buffalo Sabres permission to speak with Talbot.

Friedman reports that teams are allowed to talk to the 27-year-old about how he would fit with the club and answer questions Talbot may have about the city, but are not permitted to discuss salary.

Talbot finished the 2014-15 season with a 21-9-4 record to go along with a 2.21 G.A.A. and a .926 save percentage in 36 appearances.

He is owed $1.45 million for next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Related: Chiarelli thinks Oilers will probably add a goalie before draft

Oilers fill out coaching staff, hire Woodcroft and Johnson

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The Edmonton Oilers have filled out Todd McLellan’s coaching staff. The club announced the hiring of Jay Woodcroft and Jim Johnson on Thursday.

Both Woodcroft and Johnston were assistants with McLellan in San Jose.

Prior to his stint with the Sharks, Woodcroft was an assistant in Detroit for three seasons and was a part of the Red Wings’ coaching staff for the club’s Stanley Cup win in 2008.

In addition to his time in San Jose, Johnson also spent time as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. The 52-year-old served as the interim head coach of the Arizona Coyotes during the 1999-00 season.

Related: Oil change continued: Edmonton fires top scouts

Get to know a draft pick — Dylan Strome

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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from former Minnesota Wild scout Mark Seidel, who currently serves as the president of North American Central Scouting.

Dylan Strome (C)

Height: 6’3 Weight: 185 Shoots: Left

Team: Erie Otters (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 4 among North American Skaters

What kind of player is he?

The younger brother of Islanders’ forward — and No. 5 overall pick — Ryan Strome, Dylan had a tremendous campaign as Connor McDavid’s running mate in Erie this year, capturing the OHL scoring title with 129 points in 68 games.

As those numbers suggest, Strome is one of the elite offensive talents available at the draft. It’s worth noting that much of his production came solo; while he and McDavid spent time on the Otters’ power play together, Strome centered his own line this year and carried the load when McDavid was sidelined for 20 games with a broken hand (Strome racked up 29 points over that stretch).

“He was ready to rise to the occasion,” Erie head coach Kris Knoblauch said, per NHL.com. “He knew it would be more difficult. I didn’t want him to get too discouraged because there was the possibility of him drawing more attention, the top defensemen, the shutdown line, and his scoring going down.

“But his 5-on-5 play, his scoring went up. His power-play production went down a little bit because without Connor being there that affected him a little bit. For his overall game we saw him step up.”

Seidel says:

“Strome’s a big, smart center that possesses tremendous offensive instincts and a very high hockey IQ. His skating will need to improve upon entering the NHL, though, as he currently lacks the extra gear that will allow him to separate from defenders. He will use his offensive mind to be particularly effective on the PP, because he usually makes the right offensive decisions that lead to scoring chances.”

NHL comparable: Joe Thornton

For more 2015 NHL Draft profiles, click here.

UFA of the Day: Antti Niemi

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Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Antti Niemi

He won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, and he was a Vezina finalist with the Sharks. So his agent does have a good story to sell.

“I have to think he’s going to be one of the most sought-after goalies on the market,” Markus Lehto told ESPN.com.

But Niemi, 31, is also coming off a couple of so-so seasons in San Jose. His save percentage was .913 in 2013-14 and .914 in 2014-15, when the league average was .915.

While the Sharks have not ruled out bringing Niemi back, and Niemi has not “closed the door” on the Sharks, most expect him to move on.

Niemi’s future is likely to be determined in part by the trade market. Younger goalies like Cam Talbot, Robin Lehner, and Eddie Lack could all be dealt by July 1. Once the dust clears there, it’ll be easier to nail down his options.

Other UFA goalies include Devan Dubnyk, Karri Ramo, Michal Neuvirth, and Jhonas Enroth.

If Dubnyk somehow fails to reach a deal with the Wild, the market will become further convoluted.

Click here for more UFAs.