Easy to figure out what names are available in Edmonton, most of them are pending unrestricted free agents, led by winger Ales Hemsky, who I hear is getting decent traction on the market.
It’s a guarantee he gets dealt before Wednesday. He’s a nice Plan B for those teams that strike out on Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson. Hemsky can still play, I actually thought he looked good in Sochi for the Czech Republic.
Veteran winger Ryan Smyth is also a pending unrestricted free agent and could move. I think he’d be a terrific addition for one of the top contenders. He’d accept a fourth-line role on a Cup contender and his character goes without saying.
Nick Schultz is also an unrestricted free agent and will likely be moved as a depth defenseman addition to a contender.
The Kings and Oilers were in heavy talks on center Sam Gagner before the Olympic break, as we reported, but that deal fell apart because Edmonton balked at eating so much of the money on that contract, which still has two more seasons.
Hemsky's value may be a 3rd according to guys like MacKenzie, but it's important to keep in mind that was before talks really got going. A bidding war from the Vanek/Moulson losers could drive that up significantly.
A bit of an aside, but is it just me or does it seem like most GM's sat by the pool with a drink during the Olympic break? I definitely thought we would have seen more action.
Brian Lawton says that market for Hemsky is set at a1st, but it's high and he will fetch a 2nd.
"The asking price for Hemsky has always been just more than what the market is willing to bear. This year, that price has been set at a first-round pick, but the most likely scenario will be a club giving up a second rounder at best for him."
Ducks' goalie chatterAnaheim GM Bob Murray came out strongly earlier this season in this very space and said he was not going to trade Jonas Hiller despite the fact heís an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Ducks may lose him for nothing.
You donít deal your No. 1 goalie when youíre a Cup contender.
But a couple of sources around the league on Friday suggested Murray might be willing to move another goalie not named Hiller.
Now, I canít see prized youngsters John Gibson or Frederik Andersen going anywhere. So by process of elimination, Iím guessing Viktor Fasth might be had for the right price. Heís signed for another season at $2.9 million, which is quite affordable for a guy whose shown capable of No. 1 duties and at the very least gives a team tremendous insurance in goal behind an established starter.