Quick hits on the Olympics, trade talk, Wild, Sabres and Kane
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet: There is growing concern about the NHL’s Olympic participation.
Trade talk should pick up in the next week or so but making deals is going to be tricky with many teams needing money-in and money-out.
Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin isn’t going to trade Kevin Fiala just because he’s in a slump. The Wild are leading their division and wouldn’t make a move to make them worse.
The Buffalo Sabres are looking for a goaltender.
Evander Kane has apparently been skating for weeks. His suspension is up soon. Think that he’ll gove to the AHL on a conditioning stint. Believe the Sharks have told teams they would retain salary.
Which direction will the Blackhawks go?
Mark Lazerus of The Athletic: Which direction do the Chicago Blackhawks go in? They have three players that will make over $9.5 million next year. Unless they draft either first or second, they won’t have a first-round pick.
Next year will be the final season of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane eight-year contracts. They are eligible to sign extensions on July 13th. Will they finish their careers in Chicago? Their last two contracts have been matching but they are not playing on the same levels anymore.
Alex DeBrincat is eligible for an extension this summer as well and he could be looking for deal in the $8 to $10 million range. He’s currently at $6.4 million through next season.
There may not be a rush to extend Toews and Kane. If next year goes sideways too, the trade offers at next year’s trade deadline for them could be nice.
Extending Kane and not Toews could be an option, albeit an awkward one.
If they are looking to rebuild and acquire high draft picks, the Blackhawks may need to move one or both of Kane and Toews.
The Blackhawks haven’t been able to get a mid-round pick for Strome according to sources. Kubalik needs a new contract and if they looked at moving him, he likely won’t land them a first-round pick. Goaltenders, like Fleury, usually don’t net first-round picks at the deadline.