Just as in the NBA, it’s time for free agency and the trade mill to be churning in the National Hockey League. Here are the latest NHL betting news bits flying out of the league as teams are trying to fit under a salary cap that is barely ticking upward from 2014-2015.
After some controversy, the St. Louis Blues will have head coach Ken Hitchcock behind the bench again. However, some trades are coming down that will make the team look much different in the coming season. T.J. Oshie, the team’s marquee winger, has been shipped to Washington for Troy Brouwer, a pick in the 2016 draft and minor league goaltender Phoenix Copley. Blues defensman Kevin Shattenkirk is also drawing trade interest from other teams, primarily Philadelphia, Columbus and Edmonton. However, no subtantive rumors of real activity have entered the market. In 2014-2015, Shattenkirk tallied 8 goals and 44 points, garnering a +19 rating. Given that he only appeared in 56 games as a result of an abdominal injury, those are even more attractive numbers. However, Shattenkirk may be on the trading block because the Blues already have long-term deals with blueliners Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo, and Shattenkirk has two years left on his contract, which would make him attractive to other teams. St. Louis may also be looking to ship David Backes and Patrik Berglund.
These guys. What a season. pic.twitter.com/pJQPkOlUGb
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 16, 2015
The Chicago Blackhawks are also going to look somewhat different after winning the Stanley Cup last month. They shipped Brandon Saad to Columbus this past week, but they’re not done, as they have to dump salary to get below the $71.4 million salary cap by the opening of the season. Right now, aptrick Sharp could be headed out of town. The Boston Bruins were seen as a potential destination, but when the B’s signed free agent Matt Beleskey from the Anaheim Ducks, Sharp became less of a need for them. The Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers may also be interested. Sharp did miss 14 games due to injury last season and only scored 16 goals. In the three prior seasons, he had scored at least 33 goals in each of the three non-lockout seasons before that. Why are the Blackhawks so far over the cap, though? Those long-term extensions to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (eight years, $84 million each) are eating up a lot of the cap space.
The New York Islanders have a player of their own that they may want to shop. The Toronto Maple Leafs may want to grab Michael Grabner from the Isles. In 2010-11, he scored 34 goals, but his totals have dropped a lot since then. He still has explosive speed, which appears to have attracted the interst of new Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
Here are some other tidbits from around the NHL.
The Anaheim Ducks signed forward Shawn Horcoff to a one-year, $1.75 million deal. The Washington Capitalshave signed Justin Williams, the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, to a two-year, $6.5 million deal. The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed Daniel Winnik to a two-year, $4.5 million contract. The Columbus Blue Jackets have added forward Gregory Campbell to a two-year contract. The Florida Panthers sent Jimmy Hayes to the Boston Bruins in return for Reilly Smith. As part of the deal, Florida is taking on the last two years of Marc Savard’s contract, but he is not going to play anymore. The Detroit Red Wings have signed Brad Richards for one year and $3 million. The Buffalo Sabres are pursuing a number of defensemen but have not reached agreement with any yet.