With the NHL Scouting Combine taking place Saturday and the draft only weeks away, trade rumours are starting to heat up again in the NHL.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday that there are a couple of teams looking to boost their blue line.
One such team is the Colorado Avalanche.
“Tyson Barrie‘s future there is not that certain but I don’t think [the Avalanche] want to trade him until they can add some help,” said Friedman. “I believe one of the targets is Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba. I’m not saying Winnipeg’s going to do it, but I think that’s a player Colorado would like to get its hands on.”
The other team Friedman mentioned was the Arizona Coyotes. They have just two defencemen signed for next season: Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek.
“They have some room to do things,” said Friedman.
Coyotes centre Martin Hanzal is signed for one more season, and Arizona may trade him if a new contract cannot be agreed to.
“Some teams have asked about [Hanzal],” said Friedman. “They’re going to talk about a contract extension but they’ve also asked to find out his list of teams he would be willing to go to.”
A couple of coaching positions are still vacant around the NHL, and the Anaheim Ducks are thinking outside of the box, showing interest in London Knights head coach Dale Hunter.
“The Anaheim Ducks were interested in talking to him after he won the Memorial Cup with [the Knights],” said Friedman. “The word is this week that he’s not interested in leaving the OHL and going back to the NHL. No confirmation yet.”
Hunter coached the Washington Capitals for 60 regular season games in 2011-12, losing in the second round of the playoffs. He returned to the Knights the following season. He’s coached there since 2001-02.
Lastly, Friedman also indicated that the salary cap could be going down next season.
“The players were told this week when they met with the NHLPA that if they don’t vote to increase the salary cap by five per cent, there’s a chance it could go down below $70 million next year,” he said. “Not yet decided, but that’s potentially what they’ve been told.”