On the Detroit Red Wings …
They may be hesitant to trade Andreas Athanasiou unless it brings back a good, young defenseman.
Don’t think the Winnipeg Jets want to trade Jacob Trouba, nor be interested in Athanasiou.
wouldn’t be surprised if the Wings looked to move Anthanasiou this offseason or next year. Athanasiou is an RFA with arbitration rights.
Gustav Nyquist will be a UFA after next season, so the Wings must decide if he’s part of their long-term plans. If he isn’t they could move him at the deadline.
Defenseman Xavier Ouellet could be traded if they find a willing partner.
On the New York Rangers …
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Bob McKenzie was on TSN 690 and was asked about Igor Eronko’s report that the Rangers were going to be signing pending free agent Ilya Kovalchuk to a contract. The Rangers had started their rebuild while remaining competitive before the 2017 draft. They have three first-round picks this year to go along with two second-round picks and three third-round picks. The could look to move up in the first-round.
McKenzie adds that they will also be looking to fill some holes with veterans on short- or long-term deals.
“Now, on the Kovalchuk thing we need to explain a few things. I don’t doubt for a moment that Kovalchuk is going to end up with the Rangers. And I could probably guess that there’s probably been some conversations, but just for the matter of technicality – he’s not technically a free agent in the NHL until his 35th birthday, which is April 15th. At that point he’s free to negotiate a contract with any team that he wants, and we assume it’ll be the Rangers. But we don’t know that 100 percent. And he can’t technically sign it until July 1, which is neither here nor there. He could obviously agree to it on April 15.
“I don’t believe for a moment the Rangers will sign him to a three-year deal. I think they’d like to sign him to a one-year deal. I think Kovalchuk probably wants a three-year deal. My guess is it ends up being a two-year deal.”
McKenzie adds that they will get back in Erik Karlsson at the draft if he’s available – at least to check in on it.
If John Tavares hits the open market, the Rangers will also be looking at that.
“Because at the end of the day, New York is New York and the Rangers and the Rangers. And there’s a lot of teams – the Philadelphia Flyers have been doing it, the Vancouver Canucks are trying to do it, the Detroit Red Wings are trying to do it – we talk about it a lot. The old ‘one foot in, one foot out.’ So you’re rebuilding on one side, and you’ve got another fork in the road where you’re trying to bring in veteran talent to stem the tide and keep the team relatively competitive to sell tickets and create a buzz in your market.”