With the NHL expansion draft now history, the focus shifts toward this weekend's NHL draft in Chicago. As usual for this time of year, there's considerable trade chatter suggesting several veterans could be on the move by the end of the draft weekend. Here's a look at the notable candidates.
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers. Considered among the most likely to be dealt by this weekend. The Edmonton Journal's David Staples cites Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer noting the New York Islanders have interest in the 27-year-old right winger. Eberle was linked last season to Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic in the rumor mill. Perhaps the two clubs will revisit that discussion. UPDATE: Eberle was dealt to the New York Islanders in exchange for Ryan Strome. Story here.
Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche. Leading up to this season's trade deadline, there were reports claiming the Avs were shopping Duchene. TSN's Darren Dreger still firmly believes the 26-year-old center could be dealt this summer. Like Eberle, Duchene's also been a focus of the Islanders. The Montreal Canadiens also need offensive depth at center and could make him a trade target.
Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens. After acquiring left winger Jonathan Drouin last week from the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Canadiens are reportedly peddling Galchenyuk for a top-four defenseman. There's also talk proposing the 23-year-old could be shipped to Colorado for Duchene or Edmonton for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Like Eberle and Duchene, he's also on the Isles' radar.
Travis Hamonic, New York Islanders. Hamonic was pursued by several clubs last season after requesting a trade close to a Western Canadian team for personal reasons. He rescinded the request last summer, but his name resurfaced this month amid speculation the Isles could make a major move or two. Newsday's Arthur Staple reports the Avalanche, Oilers and Canadiens could be among the suitors.
Derek Stepan, New York Rangers. TSN's Bob McKenzie last week reported Stepan was on the trade market, adding the Arizona Coyotes are among several clubs with interest. But according to the New York Post's Larry Brooks, unless the Rangers can move the 27-year-old center for a top-two right-side defenseman, they're better off retaining him.
Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. The Vegas Golden Knight selected Clayton Stoner as part of their deal with the Ducks to bypass unprotected defensemen such as Vatanen and Josh Manson. Prior to the expansion draft freeze, the Ducks were getting calls from several clubs regarding the 26-year-old blueliner. With a number of teams - Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs - in the market for a right-handed D-man, Vatanen could remain a trade target heading into the draft weekend.
Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Barrie was the subject of trade conjecture last season before re-signing a four-year, $22-million contract. But with the Avs hitting rock bottom in 2016-17, the 25-year-old rearguard has resurfaced in the rumor mill. The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson recently noted the Avalanche were sniffing around Jordan Eberle. He suggested Barrie would be the obvious return the Oilers would want to quarterback their power play.
Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres. Earlier this month, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the Los Angeles Kings were interested in the 25-year-old left winger. On Tuesday, however, Friedman said discussions between the two clubs had cooled. Perhaps new Sabres GM Jason Botterill wants to assess Kane's performance as he heads into his contract year.
Marco Scandella, Minnesota Wild. While the Wild didn't lose Scandella in the expansion draft, the 27-year-old rearguard could be moved via trade in the coming days. Startribune.com's Michael Russo reports Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said he could “absolutely” move a defenseman soon. The Montreal Gazette's Pat Hickey observes the Canadiens unsuccessfully attempted to acquire Scandella prior to the recent expansion draft roster freeze.
Chris Tanev, Vancouver Canucks. The Province's Ed Willes reports Tanev, a 27-year-old defenseman with a right-handed shot, remains the subject of trade speculation. One rumor has the Canucks, who hold the fifth-overall selection in the 2017 draft, flipping that pick and Tanev to the Dallas Stars for the third-overall pick and another asset. Willes notes Canucks GM Jim Benning didn't think much of that hypothetical deal.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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