TSN’s Darren Dreger joins us in today’s Sekeres and Price show, tidying up some of the details of what happened — and didn’t happen — between the Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins last week.
As you’ll hear, the Canucks were working on a deal to send forward J.T. Miller to Pittsburgh, but needed a third team involved to take on a Penguins player they would receive in return. Dreger tells us it was a “veteran” player and we can deduce that it wasn’t a centreman (or at least, not Vancouver’s preferred centreman) given the widespread reporting that the Canucks needed to replace Miller down the middle if they were going to make the trade.
We also know, with Dreger confirming Rick Dhaliwal’s reporting, that Carolina was involved both from an interested party standpoint, and as an engaged team in what could’ve been the rare three-way hockey trade.
We don’t see many of those anymore. Typically, when a third team is involved, it’s to broker money and move the player on after receiving a draft pick.
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Dreger tells us a Western Conference team was also contacted to facilitate a deal. Alas, no dice.
The interesting part is whether these discussions pick back up in June. The Penguins have $20 million in cap space this summer and are all-in for what’s left of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have $30 million in space.
Pittsburgh would be Miller’s home market given its proximity to his eastern Ohio home.
Carolina may be the second-best team in the NHL, but if its old playoff downfall (lack of scoring) arrives again this spring, the Canes will likely be back on the market for forward help.
As for Miller, he’s left to finish the season in Vancouver where he is shining under new head coach Rick Tocchet. And he’ll have the knowledge that at least two teams — and likely more — will be paying attention.