Rumors and notes roundup from Friedman’s 31-Thoughts …
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet: There had been some talk that back in November that Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz could have been one loss away from being fired. The Caps won that game and 11 of their next 14.
The Vegas Golden Knights have a lot of salary cap space and players are asking their agents about Vegas. If the Golden Knights are to re-sign pending UFAs James Neal and David Perron, would have to think they’d like to do around $5 million per. They may like Perron on a short-term deal.
The Golden Knights were close to trading for Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson at the trade deadline but they didn’t want to include 2017 first-round pick Cody Glass. The Knights only have a second-round pick in the first three rounds, so it could be hard to do a Karlsson deal now. They’ve been linked to John Carlson now.
Pending RFA Mark Stone may be the prime target for an offer sheet, but the Senators have a lot of salary cap space to match.
Some teams think the Senators are interested in the defenseman at the start of the first-round despite rumors circulating that they are interested in center Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
Friedman wonders if the Senators would ask the Avalanche about moving down and asking about removing the stipulation about the first round pick they own them.
Doubtful the Red Wings want to trade their first-round pick. The Canucks at No. 7, Oilers at No. 10 and the Islanders at No. 11 and 12 could be interested in moving their pick.
The Canadiens could be a stealth team on pending UFA defenseman Jack Johnson.
Speculation that the Canadiens and Max Pacioretty preliminary contract talks were prompted by teams asking the Canadiens about what he might be looking for on his next deal. A sign-and-trade would make sense for the Canadiens as his trade value would rise.
The LA Kings could be one of the teams interested in Pacioretty. They’ve also been linked to Hurricanes Jeff Skinner. The Panthers could also have interest in Skinner.
The league isn’t happy with the idea that the Blackhawks could use Marian Hossa as a trade chip, but they need salary cap space. If the Hurricanes retained salary, a Scott Darling for Hossa trade makes sense to Friedman.
Defenseman Toby Enstrom has already said he won’t be back in Winnipeg next season. It doesn’t sound like talks between the Jets and Paul Stastny were that deep. The Jets may not be able to afford to keep Mathieu Perreault around.
The Senators asking price for Mike Hoffman is high, and they could be looking for draft picks.
Could be hard for the Oilers to move Milan Lucic without retaining salary.
The Penguins are interested in Coyotes Max Domi.
The Maple Leafs are interested in adding a third-line center.
The Lightning are interested in adding a right-handed defenseman.
The Hurricanes and Islanders could be the first two teams interested in Capitals backup Philipp Grubauer.
Wild forward Tyler Ennis could be available.