It's silly season in the NHL, folks, with rumors floating left and right about which free agent will end up where and potential trades that could be in the offing.
While free agency's juiciest targets have been signed (and often for absurd prices), there are still a few intriguing players available. And the trade talk never really dies, does it?
Below, we'll take a look at a few of the rumors making the NHL rounds of late.
Michael Del Zotto
While the free-agent market has generally been picked clean, there are still a few interesting options out there for teams still bargain hunting.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period identifies one of them, a player who has interest from several teams:
Michael Del Zotto was never a great fit in Nashville, but for a team needing some help on the blue line, he's an interesting addition. He scored three goals and added 13 assists in 67 games last season, and he has plenty of NHL experience despite being only 24 years old.
Don't be surprised if he's scooped up in the next few days.
For much of the offseason, it has seemed as though the Philadelphia Flyers have been trying to move Vinny Lecavalier. Any potential deals were bucked at the draft, and once free agency got buzzing, it seemed Lecavalier might be staying put.
Not so fast—an old suitor has apparently re-entered the fray, according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News:
Turns out, the possibility of Lecavalier to Nashville is not dead.
According to a source, Hextall and Predators GM David Poile revisited the idea of swapping Lecavalier yesterday afternoon. No deal appeared imminent, according to talks, but the Predators remain interested - especially after watching other division opponents bulk up on Tuesday.
'I have talked to a lot of teams,' Poile told the Nashville Tennessean yesterday. 'I have talked to Philadelphia specifically, but we'll leave it right there.'
The Predators aren't the only team potentially interested in Lecavalier, according to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly:
Lecavalier, 34, was a pricey, moderately productive addition for the Flyers this season, notching 20 goals and adding 17 assists. But the Flyers need cap space, and moving Lecavalier would help them get a decent chunk back, depending on how much of the veteran's contract they would have to absorb.
Don't be surprised if the team continues to shop him around and eventually move him.
Odds and Ends
Keep an eye on a deal between the Boston Bruins and any teams that may need a defenseman, per Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com:
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli indicated he has a couple of open trade conversations still ongoing with fellow NHL teams, and it’s a safe bet it involves at least one of their defensemen.
If you count David Warsofsky after an impressive season split between the AHL and NHL, the Bruins have nine NHL-caliber defensemen on their roster. That’s an embarrassment of riches for a position that’s at a premium based on the wheel barrels of free agent cash thrown at Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Anton Stralman on July 1.
One potential trade partner could be the Detroit Red Wings, who are in the market for a blueliner, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com:
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he has had many trade conversations over the past month but has been reluctant to deal any of the organization's best young forwards (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco) or top prospect (Anthony Mantha).
Defensemen potentially available through a trade include Mike Green of Washington, Tyler Myers of Buffalo, Cody Franson of Toronto, Dustin Byfuglien of Winnipeg and Jeff Petry of Edmonton—all of whom shoot right—and left-hander Keith Yandle of Arizona.
The Bruins are in a strong position after the free-agency flurry in what appears to be a seller's market, at least when it comes to defensemen. If the Red Wings come calling, you can bet the Bruins would be interested in one of the team's top young forwards.
Of course, the Bruins will likely have a variety of suitors to choose from if they're willing to make a deal. Last year's best regular-season team can't afford to sit on its assets, either—winning the Stanley Cup next year has to be prioritized above all else, and flipping a blueliner for another forward would make sense.
Stay tuned on that front.