Will the Habs sign and trade Max Pacioretty?
Sportsnet: One of the biggest questions facing the Montreal Canadiens this off-season involves Max Pacioretty and whether he is part of the long-term plan in Montreal. Pacioretty, 29, was one of the big names rumoured to be traded at the 2018 NHL trade deadline, but ultimately, a move wasn’t made. Elliotte Friedman reports the renewed interest from other teams comes in the aftermath of Evander Kane signing a seven-year, $49 million contract with the San Jose Sharks, taking a scoring winger out of the free agent market. Friedman reports that some teams interested in trading for him are also asking about a potential sign-and-trade with the Canadiens to guarantee Pacioretty’s services for more than one year.
Coyotes offer Oliver Ekman-Larsson a contract extension
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Arizona Coyotes have offered defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson an eight-year, $66 million extension, which he would be eligible to sign on July 1. Ekman-Larsson, who’s eligible to become a free agent next July, is entering the final season of a six-year, $33 million contract he signed with the Coyotes in 2013. He had 14 goals and 42 points – fourth on the Coyotes in scoring – in 82 games this season. He has spent his entire career with the team since being drafted sixth-overall in 2009, but it’s possible his time with the team could be coming to an end in the near future if elects not to sign an extension.
The Dallas Stars interested in Phil Kessel?
TSN: Phil Kessel’s name has entered the NHL trade rumor mill thanks to a reported rift with head coach Mike Sullivan and Bob McKenzie confirmed late last week the Pittsburgh Penguins plan to listen on offers for Kessel. Josh Lile of the Dallas Morning News reports that with the cap projected to increase by $3 million-$6 million, adding Kessel’s $6.8 million salary would not be a problem for the Dallas Stars. He also believes the team is in need of a right winger and a high-end scorer, since only four Stars topped 42 points last season.