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Vancouver and Minnesota are ready to deal, should Yzerman call?

September 16, 2020, 1:41 PM ET [76 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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We did a quick review of your draft picks for Detroit. Lots of good back and forth. our own Feds91stammer had a fantastic take on Jan Levine’s draft entry. Well worth the read!

In the past 2 days, I’ve spent several (too many) hours trying to scour for any real indicator on what the NHL revenues are looking like as the playoffs wind down. Basically, any quotes you find read like an injury report. You either find nothing, or someone saying “unfit to play”. you will find some interesting glimpses in this CBC article. In general, GMs seem to be saying, “buckle up. Everyone is going to take a hit.” Players seem to be a bit more optimistic with “yeah, it won’t be like I thought it would (free agency) but we’ll figure it out. At this point 17 teams have made cuts with salary and/or personnel. Ottawa got in a bit of trouble for slashing coaching salaries by 50%. The league stepped in and that was amended. Interestingly, Detroit hasn’t made any significant changes.

So, why would someone with chronic headaches and issues spend so much time pouring over numbers? I’m trying to develop a thermometer. Some sort of reading on what “reality” will look like in a couple weeks. In my past life of outside sales, understanding numbers and environmental factors helped to make projections that you would pass on to managers and VPs. If you were going to say, “we’re going to be short this month” you’d better have a darn good reason. Looking at the big picture, GMs are going to be scrambling up until draft day and beyond. One team representative (anonymous of course) feels that more RFAs than usual will go unqualified. The indicator may be that salaries will need to be below a players qualifier.

Of interest to Detroit, Vancouver is now letting it be known that Markstrom will be testing free agency. Just a month ago, that was being shot down. Management is alerting everyone that both Markstrom and Taffoli are a priority, this comment was attached:

“Jacob has earned that right if he needs to test the market, if he’s not happy with where we end up,” Benning said during his media rounds this week.

Of note, Benning is also expressing disappointment in the development of Jake Virtanen (again).

“We’ve been patient with him and his development but he’s a guy who I was expecting to produce more for us,” Benning said on Sportsnet 650.
“I was expecting more from Jake in the playoffs. He can skate, he’s strong, he can get to the net, and he’s a guy that we’re going to have to talk about here moving forward.”

As an RFA with arbitration rights, Benning may prefer to deal JV before getting to that point. Coming off of a hit of 1.25M, it’s hard to guess what JV’s representation are going to insist he’s worth. Vancouver doesn’t have picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft.

If Markstrom actually hits the market, I hope that Yzerman at least kicks the tires. The money players were thinking they’d get in March is a lot different than what is going to be available now. With Holtby assured to hit the market, and the possibility of Marc Andre Fleury being dealt, the market is getting more and more crowded. The problem? All these goalies are 30+. If they’re looking for term and trade protection, that deal could turn sour.

Finally, Bill Guerin of the Wild isn’t hiding the fact that Matt Dumba is being shopped. The 26 year old D man (righty) is locked up through 22-23 at 6m. Dumba put up 6 goals and 18 assists in 69 games after posting 12 and 10 in just 32 the year before. He’d had 14 and 36 in 82 games during the 17-18 campaign. Clearly, last year saw a drop off and Dumba may be getting a change of scenery.

Of Markstrom, Virtanen and Dumba, is there anyone you would take a good long look at? Right side D is going to start to get a bit crowded, but some righty’s can play left (as it is vice versa). I’d wondered if Yzerman would take a look at DeAngelo should NYR decide they can’t work out a new deal. Another righty. I’m still hoping for Tyler Johnson to one day don the Winged Wheel.

Let me know in the comments. Do you have offers for Vancouver or Minnesota?
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