We have a trade to announce: Philadelphia acquires Pavel Kubina from Tampa Bay


Put the Rick Nash rumors on hold – and the Luke Schenn ones too while you’re at it – Pavel Kubina is the latest addition to the Philadelphia Flyers. Tampa Bay, who kept Kubina out of their lineup on Thursday to make sure he would stay healthy, will get a second and a fifth round draft pick in exchange. This also comes just two days after the Flyers acquired fellow defenseman Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars for a pair of draft picks.

None of this will replace Chris Pronger, but it does serve to address the team’s defensive problems. Both Grossman and Kubina are big men who aren’t afraid to throw around their bodies and block shots. Even combined they might not be able to match a healthy Pronger in terms of offensive output, but the struggling Ilya Bryzgalov will certainly appreciate their work. We’ll have to wait and see if the Flyers are done shopping. Either way, they look much more like a serious playoff contender now than they did a week ago.

Here’s what Eric Staal is looking for in free agency

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 29:  Eric Staal #12 of the New York Rangers skates against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on February 29, 2016 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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You won’t find many free agents with as mysterious a path as the one that’s ahead for Eric Staal.

How much of a step back will Staal be willing to take following a whopping $57.75 million contract? Will a tepid rental run with the New York Rangers and lean years with the Carolina Hurricanes make for a really weak market?

Staal’s agent Rick Curran faces a delicate balancing act in managing offers and Staal’s pride. He shed some interesting light on the situation to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti on Tuesday.

Who is interested

Most interestingly, a Hurricanes reunion isn’t totally out of the question:

Carolina leaned toward nostalgia by retaining Cam Ward, yet initial indications were that they wouldn’t do so with Staal.

Curran says there are three-to-four suitors overall, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

What Staal wants

We know that E. Staal is looking for the following factors, via reports from Shannon and Gulitti:

  • He wants a top-six role and wants to play as a center.
  • To help his cause, Staal isn’t expecting a long-term contract.

Of course, the most interesting question (“Can Staal stomach a huge drop in money?”) wasn’t answered.

A quick look at Staal’s value

Again, Staal was a borderline disaster with the Rangers, especially in failing to generate a single point in New York’s five-game playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was also the face of a Hurricanes franchise that didn’t get a sniff of the playoffs in ages.

Simply put, he struggled to justify his enormous former contract. That said, if you can look beyond declining scoring numbers, his possession stats indicate that he can at least help someone.

Curran deserves every penny from his cut of a deal if he can get Staal a generous dollar amount and the prominent role he craves.

Chiarelli states the obvious: ‘It’s hard to get a No. 1 defenseman’

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers attends the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Of all the reasons the Edmonton Oilers haven’t made the playoffs in a decade, the best is that they haven’t had a number-one defenseman since Chris Pronger forced his way out right after their run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

In fact, they haven’t even had close to a number-one defenseman. Tom Gilbert might have been their best. Yes, really, Tom Gilbert. Unless it was Jeff Petry. Maybe it was him. (Here, you decide.)

And that’s why there’s so much pressure on GM Peter Chiarelli right now. Even with Connor McDavid and all the other talented forwards the Oilers have assembled, it’s hard to see them contending without a significantly better blue line.

“I can understand the fans’ frustration, but you have to make the right deal. I’m having lots of discussions,” Chiarelli told reporters Saturday at the draft. “It’s hard to get a No. 1 defenseman. There are not many — over half the teams don’t have one. There are deals out there we’re working on that have good defensemen. They’re smart, they can move pucks. Different players. As I’ve said, I’d prefer a right-shot defenseman. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

Which is why the Oilers have been linked to P.K. Subban, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jacob Trouba, Matt Dumba, and Jason Demers. The latter is the only unrestricted free agent. The others will cost some serious assets, if they’re even available at all. Remember that Columbus had to give up Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones.

Prior to last weekend, many expected Chiarelli to use Edmonton’s fourth overall draft pick as currency to land a top defenseman in a trade. Or, if not that, at least choose a defenseman with the selection — someone like Mikhail Sergachev, who went ninth to Montreal, or Olli Juolevi, who went fifth to Vancouver. But then winger Jesse Puljujarvi fell into their lap, and they weren’t going to pass on him.

And so Chiarelli will keep trying. (Just like Don Sweeney will keep trying in Boston.)

“You have to grind away,” Chiarelli said. “Whenever there’s a deadline, things loosen up. The next one is July 1.”

Related: Why are the Oilers still bad? Look at their drafting

Preds prospect Trenin breaks leg while cycling, out four months

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 27:  Yakov Trenin poses for a portrait after being selected 55th overall by the Nashville Predators during the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 27, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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From the Nashville Post:

Yakov Trenin, the Nashville Predators’ top pick in the 2015 NHL draft, will miss this week’s prospects camp and most – or all – of training camp due to a broken leg he sustained during an accident back home in Russia.

According to general manager David Poile, the 19-year-old center was biking with friends when he was forced off the trail and into a tree.

Trenin, 19, was taken 55th overall in his draft year, then proceeded to score 26 goals and 61 points in 57 games last season for QMJHL Gatineau.

Poile said the organization is “really high” on Trenin and noted that, while the plan was likely for him to return to junior this season, the club had anticipated him participating in training camp and perhaps some of the preseason.

With the broken leg, and a recovery period Poile estimated at four months, those plans are pretty much dashed. Trenin is going to Nashville later this summer for the majority of his rehab.

Canucks fined for tampering, though Benning ‘intended no harm with his comments’

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Jim Benning, General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks is seen prior to the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The NHL has come down on Vancouver GM Jim Benning for remarks made during draft weekend in Buffalo.

From the league:

The Vancouver Canucks organization has been fined $50,000 for violating NHL By-Law 15, the National Hockey League announced today.

“Canucks General Manager Jim Benning violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his Club’s potential interest in players under contract to other NHL Clubs,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

“I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future,” the Deputy Commissioner added.

The League will have no further comment on the matter.

Benning found himself in hot water after admitting the Canucks were interested in a pair of players —  Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, and Habs blueliner P.K. Subban.

“The price would be really high to acquire a player like that,” Benning said of Subban. “We’ve done our due diligence, like we do with all the players who are out there. But it’s a long way from completing a trade like that.”

Those comments irked Montreal GM Marc Bergevin.

“I was not happy and I’m still not happy about that,” Bergevin said, per the Vancouver Sun. “The league is looking into it. He crossed the line. I don’t know where the line was crossed but he definitely crossed the line. It can’t happen.”

Following the NHL’s ruling, the Canucks released the following statement: