NHL Trade Buzz: Driedger drawing interest after Panthers sign Knight


Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are 10 days remaining until the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET; April 12). Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:

Florida Panthers

Chris Driedger is a goalie drawing interest ahead of the deadline after the Panthers signed top goalie prospect Spencer Knight to a three-year, entry-level contract Wednesday.

“TSN Insider Trading” reported teams have checked in with the Panthers to see if Driedger is available, and that general manager Bill Zito is taking a wait-and-see approach as the goalie market starts to take shape.

Knight, selected by the Panthers with the No. 13 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, is a finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the top NCAA Division I men’s goalie.

Driedger is 10-4-2 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 16 games. He and Sergei Bobrovsky have split time in goal as the Panthers (24-9-4) are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the eight-team Discover Central Division.

Driedger can be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Tweet from @TSNHockey: ICYMI, INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…- Latest on Oilers and RNH- Luongo to be named 🇨🇦 GM for Worlds- Panthers and Chris Driedger- Update on Nikita Kucherov- Leafs and Andersen���s status- Luke Hughes a no-go for U18sWATCH 🌍: https://t.co/AV58Otzunq pic.twitter.com/PBRjn1NDt2

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers are looking for a third-line center, according to Sportsnet.

Kyle Turris, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent, has not worked out in that role, with five points (two goals, three assists) in 23 games. He also missed four games in NHL COVID-19 protocol from March 9-15.

The Oilers haven’t had much luck with other in-house options for that spot. Tyler Ennis has scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 27 games and was assigned to the taxi squad Friday after clearing waivers. Gaetan Haas has scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 22 games.

Luke Glendening of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Sutter of the Vancouver Canucks were among possible players of interest, according to Sportsnet. Each can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Derek Ryan of the Calgary Flames is another potential unrestricted free agent who would be interesting if made available.

Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Thursday he doesn’t anticipate making any major changes ahead of the trade deadline.

“This year, with some of the things that we did during the offseason, it is fully connected to what you’re going to be able to do during the season,” McCrimmon told The Athletic in comments published Thursday. “So when we made the decisions that we made, to be as close to the salary cap as we are, that then impacts what your ability is to change your roster during the season. Which we were comfortable with because we feel good about our roster.”

Vegas signed defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year, $61.6 million contract ($8.8 million average annual value) during the offseason.

The Golden Knights (24-9-2) are tied with the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the eight-team Honda West Division.

Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said Wednesday that he would be OK entering the postseason with the same players that currently are on his roster. McCrimmon seems to agree.

“In terms of taking players off our roster, we’re happy with our roster,” McCrimmon said. “I like the chemistry of our team. I think the players we have can help you win. So I don’t see us moving money off our books in any significant way leading into this trade deadline.”

Tweet from @TheAthleticNHL: What is Kelly McCrimmon’s philosophy about making changes when his team is playing well?@JesseGranger_ goes 1-on-1 with the Golden Knights’ GM to discuss the trade deadline, Mark Stone, Alex Pietrangelo and more������https://t.co/k6UPs7pIrM

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