Bucket your seat belts because it’s going to be a long and exciting summer.
Now that the 2013 NHL draft is in the books, a flurry of trades and free-agent signings are about to follow. There have already been several deals that have gone down before, during and after the draft, including a few with some notable names.
Cory Schneider now has a new team. Jonathan Bernier has a fresh start in a new organization. Michael Frolik, Dave Bolland, Tyler Kennedy and Cal Clutterbuck have all found new homes as well, among other players. Trades are going to dominate this offseason, as the free-agent class isn’t very exciting at all.
The Rangers don’t have a lot of money right now, Colorado has too many centers and the Blue Jackets need to add a goal scorer. So, how are those three teams going to go about their business this summer in an attempt to solve those problems?
Well, here are the latest news, notes and rumors regarding what those three franchises might do in the coming weeks in terms of trading away and for talent, including analysis on each of the situations.
Rangers Want To Deal Clowe
The future of Brad Richards has large implications on the future of Ryane Clowe. Richards had a down year for the Rangers in 2012-13, scoring a career-low 11 goals—albeit there was a lockout—but New York will not be buying out the rest of the center’s contract, according to Rick Carpiniello of USA Today.
That being said, the Rangers won’t have the money to retain Clowe for next year and will attempt to trade the unrestricted free agent, according to Pierre LeBrun on ESPN. As LeBrun notes, the forward will hit market on July 5, meaning the Rangers have little time to make a move before he’s gone.
The Rangers, with no cap room, have told teams they're willing to trade Ryane Clowe's rights. Hes UFA July 5— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2013
The Rangers acquired Clowe from the Sharks in the middle of the season last year. In 12 games in New York, he scored three times and racked up five assists. On the entire year, he had 19 points in 40 games. In previous full seasons, Clowe has scored as many as 62 points, but usually finishes in the 40-55 range.
It's still unclear as to which organizations may be interested in him, but he could be a good addition to a contending team in of need a second-line center. This is pure speculation, but maybe a team like Nashville would want him. The Predators had the second-worst offense last season and used their top pick in the draft on Seth Jones, a defenseman.
Colorado Keeping Stastny
Colorado made a questionable decision selecting Nathan MacKinnon with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft. That’s because the Avalanche already have several top centers on the roster, including Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny and Ryan O’Reilly. Colorado has John Mitchell as well, but he’s more of a fourth-liner.
With an abundance of centers, one would presume that someone would get dealt before the season gets underway in order to open up a prime spot for the top pick. That’s probably not going to happen. Or, it at least isn’t going to be Stastny who gets moved, according to Adrian Dater of The Denver Post:
Paul Stastny will not be traded— adater (@adater) June 30, 2013
Dater recently spoke with new Colorado head coach Patrick Roy, who revealed what the top three lines for the beginning of next season will look like:
- Ryan O’Reilly—Matt Duchene—P.A. Parenteau
- Gabe Landeskog—Paul Stastny—Alex Tanguay
- Jamie McGinn—Nathan MacKinnon—Steve Downie
Notice the big difference? It seems that instead of moving one of the forwards to another franchise, Colorado will be moving one to a new position. The lucky winner is O’Reilly, who will be playing on the top line as a left wing instead of at center on the second or third line. That’s one way to make the most of what you have.
Perron Leaving Blues?
David Perron has spent his entire professional career with the St. Louis Blues, but there’s a chance he’s with another franchise for the 2013-14 season. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Blue Jackets have interest in acquiring the forward, but Columbus’ general manager is mum on the rumor:
The 25-year-old has been a valuable asset for the Blues in recent years. This past season, he scored 10 goals and totaled 15 assists in 48 games. The year prior, he finished the season with 42 points in 57 games. He’s very good at finding the net and is your prototypical second-line left wing.
Columbus desperately needs to add some goal-scoring talent this summer, as it finished last season with the 25th-worst goals-per-game average, according to ESPN. By adding Perron to the payroll, the Blue Jackets could slot him in on the first line alongside Marion Gaborik and Artem Anisimov due to the lack of left-wing talent. That could be a lethal trio.