How are the Philadelphia Flyers handling their current struggles as the trade deadline approaches?
Pierre LeBrun: Yeah, it’s been a real struggle Carter Hart. I understand that the Flyers front office is having this discussion internally. Do they go out and get help from goalies before the April 12 trade deadline and allow Carter Hart have a little reset and work on his game?
Brian Elliottwas a pro, but he might need some help. On the other hand, what does it do for Carter Hart if you do that? So there are pros and cons to this and this is what I think they are discussing.
The other thing is the Flyers have to stay in the game. The next seven games before the deadline will be really important for the Flyers who want to add, no matter where they are, if they don’t play better.
A name to keep if they decide to add a goalie: Jonathan bernier, I believe, [is] on the Flyers radar. He is an unrestricted free agent waiting for Detroit.
Has there been any talk of the Sabers dealing with bigger names?
Darren Dreger: Specifically, we examine Taylor Hall. I can tell you this. The agent for Taylor Hall, Darren Ferris, spoke with Kevyn Adams, general manager of the Buffalo Sabers, Monday. Obviously, they talked about a variety of business scenarios that could Taylor Hall. There are those who are interested in a business and a sign.
Kevyn Adams is struggling with what the comeback should look like and as you get closer to the April 12 trade deadline it becomes less and less of a cap, so maybe there is an advantage to that. Maybe the price stays where demand could be at this point.
As for the captain, Jack Eichel, he continues to undergo treatment and sees a specialist. He is expected to be able to have his injury imagery as early as next week, then the Sabers and Eichel will have a better understanding of his progress at this point.
How the Florida Panthers are filling the gap left by Aaron Ekbladthe injury?
Frank Seravalli: As you can imagine, Bill Zito, their managing director, was ringing 30 other GMs this week, offering a liferaft that may or may not be disguised as an anchor.
Bill Zito is turning every stone at this point. He is looking at all of his options that are on the table. Some suspects who are on the Tradebait board. Some guys who can be more hockey deals. Maybe even a waiver request in the form of Shayne Gostisbehere. He considers all that is out there knowing that: 1) He cannot replace Aaron Ekblad and 2) that he has limited currency to do so.
He is not interested in business choices and / or prospects, so he will have to do some research in order to try to fill the void for Aaron Ekblad.
How is the Seattle Kraken factored into this year’s trade deadline?
LeBrun: Ron Francis, for a guy who has no players to place himself, is getting more and more calls, I’m told, from teams in the league trying to feel it and to say, “Look, if I’m doing this business, what would it take for me to not lose that fourth defender, for example.” And these are the types of conversations teams have with Ron Francis. And what I’m told is that the price is quite high. In some cases, it’s a first and a prospect, that’s what Ron Francis says. It scares the teams to negotiate for another player.
Remember that at the trade deadline in 2017, there was an “agreement” between Pittsburgh and Vegas on Marc-André Fleury. It didn’t come out that day, it came out in June. But that day, and Jim Rutherford complies with this, it was understood that Fleury was going to be taken in with the expansion plan. Pittsburgh would also send a second-round pick.
George McPhee and Jim Rutherford had a verbal agreement. Nothing official. Seattle is allowed to do this before the deadline if it wishes. But of course, that doesn’t have to either, so it adds a bit of intrigue.
How will the Vancouver Canucks handle their upcoming calls for applications?
Seravalli: Yeah, and they worked on their six day break, starting with Thatcher Demko, engaging in what I would call “substantive” discussions about what an extension might look like. I don’t think they’re close, but the timing of how Jim Benning puts the pieces together in this puzzle with the two Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, also as RFA on hold, will be interesting to see.
It might help get Demko to finish first, knowing what you have left to spend on these two guys.
Dreger: Speaking of free agents, it looks like progress is being made on unrestricted free agent Tanner Pearson. I know the Canucks spoke with Pearson’s agent Joe Resnick. It is not yet done, but it is believed that they are making progress. Lots of work to be done but both sides are optimistic.