Here’s the July 6 edition of the mailbag, where we answer your questions posed on Twitter using #OvertheBoards. Tweet your questions to @drosennhl.
Rangers have been looking for a second line center for a long time assuming Ryan Strome/Andrew Copp doesn’t return. Who do you think is the most likely candidate they acquire? — @KREIDERMAN20
I wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Rangers try to acquire a new second-line center in a trade before July 13, when Strome and Copp can each become an unrestricted free agent. If the Rangers haven’t reached an agreement with them by the time the 32 teams meet at the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal, I expect GM Chris Drury to act quickly so that New York isn’t left dry when the market opens. .
Are the Winnipeg Jets ready to trade forward Pierre-Luc Dubois or center Marc Scheifele? Dubois is a pending restricted free agent who was a teammate of the Rangers forward Artemi Panarin with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dubois, who turned 24 on June 24, will likely want a long-term contract after playing on a two-year, $10 million contract (average annual value of $5 million). He will likely command more than $7 million a year on a new long-term contract. Scheifele has two years left on his contract with an NHL salary cap charge of $6.125 million. He will be a cheaper option, but only for two seasons, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent. New York could try to get Dubois, sign him long-term and hope the contract looks like a bargain by 2024-25, when the salary cap could rise significantly. But at what cost ? Would have Philippe Chytil go to the Jets back? Chytil has grown in leaps and bounds with his playoff game and could be the answer at No. 2 center if Rangers wanted to go that route. Could Kaapo Kakko go to Winnipeg in a potential trade? I think Rangers would be okay with that if it means getting a second line center to play with Panarin for the next few seasons.
It’s the same with the center of the Vancouver Canucks JT Miller, which is one year away from unrestricted free will. He has a $5.25 million cap charge next season, but are the Rangers ready to part ways with Miller’s one-year assets? Can they afford to sign him for an extension when they will also have to re-sign Chytil (if he is not traded), ahead Alexis Lafreniere and defender K’Andre Miller after next season? We will find out soon enough, probably sooner rather than later.
Video: [email protected], Gm4: Copp sets up Strome setup for home
Can you explain why the Chicago Blackhawks would trade Alex De Brincat? He looks like a player you build around? — @punmasterrifkin
If DeBrincat was a 24-year-old center, I’d be right there with you. But he is not. DeBrincat is a left winger. The Blackhawks need to rebuild at center, defense and in front of goal. It’s the bread and butter of a competing team. You gotta love DeBrincat because he scores goals, 41 this season, but he’s entering the final season of a three-year, $19.2 million ($6.4 million AAV) contract and could become an agent. restricted free after next season. His annual salary could reach $9 million or more with another good season. Chicago can’t afford to pay that much money to a winger when they may not have a center to play with, especially if the Blackhawks aren’t sold to a 21-year-old. Kirby Dash, the third pick of the 2019 NHL Draft. We will see that, but DeBrincat’s situation is different because of the money he will get in his next contract. Trading DeBrincat will also surely put the Blackhawks in the first round of this draft; they have no first-round picks but have two in the second round and three in the third round. They have two first-round picks in each of the first and second rounds next year and two first-round picks in 2024. If they can trade in the first round this year, they’ll have 10 picks in the first two rounds of the three upcoming drafts, which could be a big part of their rebuild. DeBrincat may well become the cost of this kind of business. In my opinion, he wouldn’t do it if he was a center.
Video: [email protected]: DeBrincat wins the match in OT
Would have Yevgeny Malkin in Detroit make sense because of the ceilings room? — @hockeybrod30
Makes sense for the Detroit Red Wings; maybe not so much for Evgeni Malkin.
The Red Wings would do well to have a player like three-time Stanley Cup winner Malkin. For starters, they have a hole in the center that he would fill. They could definitely make more use of a proven presence of veterans in their attacking squad. He doesn’t have the same brilliance, although a full offseason of practice might bring some of that back, but Malkin, who turns 36 on July 31, can still score. He was a point-per-game player this season, despite only playing half the season (42 points in 41 games). I don’t see Detroit going long-term, but they have the cap space to offer Malkin a significant amount on a short-term contract, probably more than the Pittsburgh Penguins could or would offer him. Malkin would make the Red Wings better, but I don’t think he will make them good enough to make the Stanley Cup playoffs next year. And that’s why Detroit might not make sense to Malkin. If he leaves Pittsburgh, he’ll want to go somewhere he can win or at least a team closer to becoming a playoff contender than Detroit. The Florida Panthers could be the sweet spot for Malkin if they can make it work cap-wise. That’s a big if. I think the New Jersey Devils make sense, but they need to find a goaltender. How about Malkin at Rangers? Unlikely, but it would be intriguing.
I think one Jesse Puljujarvi for Martin Necas trade makes a lot of sense. Did you hear that was becoming a possibility? — @GLaSnoST9
I haven’t heard that specific scenario, although some concepts with player movement will become clearer this week as we get to the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at the Bell Center in Montreal on Thursday and Friday. However, the trade you propose has a lot of merit when broken down for each player and the teams involved, but with one caveat, which I will get to shortly.
I heard rumors about how the Carolina Hurricanes might look to trade Necas, a forward, when I was covering their Eastern Conference second-round series against the Rangers. The 23-year-old has the physical tools (6-foot-2, 189 pounds) to become an NHL top-six regular, but he’s regressed this season, his third full NHL season, and he was too quiet during the playoffs. Necas has 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 78 games this season (0.51 points per game); he had 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) in 53 games last season (0.77 points per game). In the playoffs this season, he had five assists in 14 playoff games; he had five points (two goals, three assists) in 11 playoff games last season. I don’t know if he fits the Hurricanes style of play as an aggressive forechecking and possession team. He needs to play more inside with his body and he hasn’t. He is a restricted free agent on hold at the end of his entry-level contract. You never want to give up young talent too soon, but a change of scenery swap is certainly reasonable unless Carolina is willing to continue with Necas and keep him on a two-year deal worth around $6. millions of dollars. They have invested heavily in his development since he was selected with the 12th pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Puljujarvi in many ways looks like a 24-year-old waiting RFA forward who failed to live up to the potential with which he entered the NHL as the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, based only on offensive numbers. He had 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 65 games this season after having 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in 55 games last season. Puljujarvi played in Finland in 2019-20. He might suit Carolina better with his style of play than Necas; he’s more of a possession driver and a two-way forward who can play a third line role. If the Hurricanes don’t sign Nino Niederreiteran unrestricted pending free agent, is it crazy to think that Puljujarvi could fulfill his role on a line with Jordan Staal and quick jesper? He could help drive that line offensively and be constantly relied upon to defend against the top lines as well. At the same time, Necas’ skillset could allow him to fit in well at the Oilers, playing with Connor McDavid and or Leon Draisaitllike Puljujarvi did.
But here’s the caveat: if Edmonton decides to trade Puljujarvi, will they be looking for a goaltender instead of another top-six/nine forward? In which case, he could look directly at Rangers to see if there is any commercial interest in them. Alexander Georgiev, also a pending RFA that is unlikely to return to New York. Puljujarvi could be the right winger on the front row with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.