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Rumor mill: some teams have Shane Wright in their sights
Credit: Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images
With the draft and the free agent period just around the corner, rumour season is in full swing in the NHL.

In order to keep abreast of everything that’s happening on the Bettman circuit, here are the main stories that are currently attracting attention in the league:

Teams have Shane Wright in their sights

Two years ago, many people expected Shane Wright to become a member of the Canadiens. The Montreal team had the first pick in the draft, and Wright was at the top of many lists.

But the rest is history: to everyone’s astonishment, Kent Hughes called out Juraj Slafkovský’s name on stage.

Wright was finally selected fourth by the Kraken. He played a few games in the NHL, but the Kraken is taking its time letting him marinate in the AHL.

Now, in his piece of the day for TheFourthPeriod, David Pagnotta mentions an interesting piece of information: there are NHL teams that would like to get their hands on Shane Wright in a trade, and even if the calls haven’t gone out yet, they intend to do so soon.

In his paper, Pagnotta makes it clear, however, that Kraken GM Ron Francis has no intention of trading his prospect. Instead, he has every intention of giving him a chance to earn a regular NHL roster spot next year.

Remember that, at the moment, the Kraken’s training club is still alive in the AHL playoffs. The young forward is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury, but should return to action shortly.

We’ll see if any team can convince the Kraken to trade Wright. It seems unlikely, but as they say, if Wayne Gretzky was traded…

Jake Guentzel with the Blackhawks (or Sharks)?

When the free agent market opens, Jake Guentzel will be one of the most coveted players on the market. The forward, who dominated with Sidney Crosby for years, had a strong end to the season after being traded to the Hurricanes.

And since he’ll be one of the few top forwards available on the market, we can expect to see him in the sights of many teams.

On The Jeff Marek Show today, Marek and Elliotte Friedman made some “surprise” predictions for July 1.

Friedman’s? To see Guentzel come to an agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Friedman justifies his prediction by noting that Guentzel could return close to home (he’s a Nebraska native) and noting that the Blackhawks will need players to play with Connor Bedard.

Taylor Hall is all well and good, but it’s going to take more.

Chicago currently has $33.8 million in spending money (though they do need to sign a few up-and-coming free agents), so money won’t be an issue.

The main focus will be on Connor Bedard.

In a similar vein, Marek wonders if the Sharks might be interested in Guentzel. In their case, it would be to play with Macklin Celebrini (who isn’t ready to say he’ll turn pro next year) and Will Smith.

We’ll be watching, but the two worst teams of last season are likely to have Guentzel in their sights.

They clearly won’t be alone, though.

Mathieu Joseph on the market (again)

Last fall, Mathieu Joseph’s name was widely circulated in transaction rumours. Ottawa needed to free up some cash, and Joseph’s $2.95 million annual salary was expendable.

In the end, Shane Pinto’s suspension solved the problem, so Joseph stayed in town.

That said, with the Senators still needing money this summer, they’re looking for players to sacrifice… and according to Bruce Garrioch(and as reported by TVA Sports), they’re “actively” trying to trade Joseph to Ottawa.

With 35 points in 72 games last year, one has to wonder if any teams have any interest in Joseph. And if they are, one also wonders if it’ll take a little extra candy from the Senators to facilitate the whole thing.

It’ll be something to keep an eye on, but once again, Joseph’s name is in the transaction rumours. We’ll see if he leaves for real this summer.

In bunches

– Maxim Massé and Sacha Boisvert are two potential targets at No. 26.

– The 11th pick of the draft would be a possible trade.

– Wow.

– It’ll be one to watch.

– Nice read.

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