As many rumors often are, the NHL's latest buzz is all intertwined and connected. Like a stack of dominoes, one move could send all of the other dominoes scattering.
So who will be the first domino to tilt?
That's hard to say, but the team that could instigate several moves seems to be the Ottawa Senators. With a surplus at one position and a need at another, the Senators have all the makings of potential wheelers and dealers, as Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun writes:
That means with eight defencemen on one-way contracts, don't be surprised if the Senators try to move one of their blueliners (possibly little-used Patrick Wiercioch)...
...the Senators are trying to find help up front after freeing up approximately $3 million in cash by moving [Jason] Spezza to the [Dallas] Stars. More than one team noted Ottawa is working the phones...
They've reportedly held talks with Detroit UFA David Legwand (along with several other teams) and checked on Vinny Lecavalier.
Ah, there's a familiar name in the trade rumor circles: Mr. Lecavalier. The Philadelphia Flyers are playing the role of the pushy used-car salesman as they try to unload the veteran forward, but the rest of the NHL is wisely trying to drive the price down.
Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly has more:
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall continues to chat with clubs, and has revisited Nashville in recent days, but he's getting the same answer there he got before: No deal unless the Flyers pick up far more money from Lecavalier's contract than they are willing.
...the Flyers are willing to take on only $1 million per year, a source said. That may be why Hextall has now turned his attention to Ottawa.
Sens GM Bryan Murray may be willing to take Lecavalier, but league sources say he wants the Flyers to pick up a hefty portion of the contract and he also wants something in return...
'Philly won’t pick up a good portion of the contract with many teams,' a source said, which is why the Flyers are struggling to move Lecavalier.
And Garrioch adds a few more details:
Lecavalier has four years left at $4.5 million. #Sens don't want that whole contract and the Flyers don't want to eat $2 million.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) July 3, 2014
The Lecavalier deal feels like something that both teams would be very willing to do if the price was right. And given how high Lecavalier's contract is, well, getting that price tag to a place both teams are comfortable with could be difficult.
Lecavalier isn't the player he once was, but he still managed 20 goals and 17 assists in 69 games last year. In 15 professional seasons, he's failed to score 20 goals just twice. For a team looking to upgrade at forward with a wily veteran who can still score goals, you could do worse than Lecavalier.
The Senators could certainly use that, but will the price ever be right? Stay tuned.
While the Senators are the source of many rumors, one buzzworthy name who probably isn't going anywhere is Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, according to Aaron Ward of TSN:
Amid the speculation, indications are the Washington Capitals are not looking to move Mike Green at this time. #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) July 3, 2014
It isn't hard to see why teams would take a long, hard look at the offensive-minded defender. While Green hasn't come anywhere near his amazing production from the 2008-09 season (31 goals, 42 assists) since, he still put up a solid 38 points for the Capitals this season.
And it isn't hard to see why the Caps might be interested in moving him given his large contract. But that talk looks to have been mooted and muted, and folks in Washington are currently singing his praises.
“He’s a good player,” general manager Brian MacLellan told Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post. “He had a little bit of struggles with injuries last year. He had an okay year. But we’re hoping to get him back on track, yes.”
Added assistant coach Todd Reirden:
I think Mike, his resume speaks for itself in terms of what he can do. Offensively I’ve seen it first-hand on the opposite bench, his ability on the power play and at even-strength to be able to add offensively, he’s an extremely talented player.
That could be the talk of men trying to drive up Green's trade value. More likely, however, that is the talk of two men eager to keep Green in Washington.