Is there a chance the Toronto Maple Leafs land Kevin Shattenkirk? It would be a good fit for both. -- @cduran88
Yes, there's certainly a chance. Shattenkirk will have offers, significant offers. I've speculated in this space before that I think the New Jersey Devils are going to throw a big contract his way and hope he signs it. I think the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins will be involved, but I wonder how far down the road they will go. I'd put the Maple Leafs in that boat. He would absolutely help as a top-four, right-handed defenseman (Nikita Zaitsev is their other-top four righty). How deep are the Maple Leafs willing to go, though, knowing that they're going to have to soon give raises to forwards Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner and William Nylander? The good news is, they don't have any forwards with a problematic long-term contract. Maybe Matt Martin, but $2.5 million annually for the next three seasons is not a salary-cap charge that will break them. They could make a run at Shattenkirk and he'd be a good fit, especially on their power play. I think Shattenkirk struggled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Washington Capitals because for some reason the Capitals stopped playing the way they did in the regular season. It didn't help that he was on a pair with Brooks Orpik, who is on the downside of his career and struggles to get up and down the ice the way he used to.
Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Shattenkirk nets PPG for OT win
Three moves you can see the New Jersey Devils making or that you think they should make (Ilya Kovalchuk, Kevin Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie)? -- @Chris_Amos54
The Devils should sign and trade Kovalchuk if they can. If not, maybe they sign him, keep him for half the season and deal him before the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, when his value could be higher and teams in contention might be willing to pay more.
The Devils should take a run at signing Shattenkirk, as I mentioned in an answer above. They need a veteran, right-handed, puck-moving defenseman who can make their power play dangerous. He's the guy. They might have to overpay for him, but that's the position they are in if they want to get a player of his caliber.
I don't see Oshie going to New Jersey. All indications are he wants to go back to the Capitals and the Capitals want him back. There are a lot of things to be determined in Washington, including if coach Barry Trotz will be back, but Oshie should be at the top of their list of players to re-sign.
What do the Anaheim Ducks focus on this offseason and who do they protect in the expansion draft? -- @Bbpagewolf
I could see the Ducks trading a defenseman, but I think a lot of that depends on the health of Simon Despres. They clearly have a surplus of defensemen, which is a good thing because it puts them in a position of strength to acquire a forward or two. I'd like to see them bring back forward Patrick Eaves, but not on an outrageous contract. Let's remember he didn't have a breakout season until he was 32 years old. What are the odds he scores 32 goals again? They need a backup goalie. Jonathan Bernier was good, but he also may have played his way out of Anaheim in losing Game 6 of the Western Conference Final to the Nashville Predators.
The second part of your question is the most intriguing. The Ducks obviously have to protect forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler, who each has a no-movement clause in his contract, in the NHL Expansion Draft that will stock the Vegas Golden Knights. Anaheim has to try to get defenseman Kevin Bieksa to waive his no-movement clause to open a spot to protect another defenseman; they also could buy him out or trade him. Without Bieksa, I think they'll protect eight skaters, regardless of position, and one goalie. Joining Getzlaf, Perry and Kesler should be forwards Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg, and defensemen Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler and Josh Manson. John Gibson is the obvious choice at goalie. They may try to trade defenseman Sami Vatanen. Defenseman Shea Theodore is exempt.
Video: CGY@ANA: Eaves finishes Getzlaf's crafty faceoff shot
Who among the available head coaches is a good fit for the Florida Panthers? -- @StefaniJanvier
I keep thinking about Dan Bylsma because I don't think Bylsma got a fair shake with the Buffalo Sabres. He took over a team that knew it was going to be bad for at least one season and got them to be at least semi-respectable. Then, this season, when we all thought they'd be better, they lost their best player, center Jack Eichel, to an injury that cost him the first 21 games. The Sabres were 7-9-5 in those games. Once Eichel was back and the Sabres were trying to rebound, there were problems with the goalie, the defense, and the system in general. There was a general unhappiness in Buffalo, and I think Bylsma deserves part of the blame, but not all of it. He got fired, and that's fine, but I think he can coach in the NHL and maybe giving him a more established team will help. The Panthers are a more established team than the Sabres.
If not Bylsma, I could see Florida trying to hire an assistant from another team, maybe Todd Reirden of the Capitals. Reirden is going to get his chance to be an NHL coach. Why not with the Panthers?
There's also Ducks assistant Paul MacLean, who won the Jack Adams Award when he was coach of the Ottawa Senators. He has with Anaheim for the past two seasons, and you can't really argue with the Ducks' success even if they haven't quite gotten over the hump in the playoffs.
And don't forget about Predators assistant Phil Housley, but he's kind of busy at the moment preparing for the Stanley Cup Final.
What's the first offseason move for a team like the Detroit Red Wings, who are just entering a rebuild? This includes anything at the draft. -- @J_ferns97
Let's talk realistically here. The Red Wings are not far off from being a playoff team, which is what they want to be at this point. They are not entering a rebuild like Buffalo, Toronto or the Arizona Coyotes. Detroit is entering a new arena next season and needs to put a team on the ice that will keep people in the seats. So there's no big rebuild in Hockeytown.
The Red Wings also have a number of quality players in place, but Detroit absolutely has to get better on defense, and I do think a change among the forwards could be in the offing if only to shake things up. The goaltending situation needs to be ironed out too. Jimmy Howard is the better of the two goalies, in my opinion. He should go into next season as the unquestioned No. 1, but he also might be exposed in the expansion draft if the Red Wings choose to protect Petr Mrazek, who at 25 is eight years younger than Howard. It makes sense to protect the cheaper, younger goalie.
To be a playoff team, the first thing they need to do is get a quality top-four defenseman. Again, I don't think they're going to go into full rebuild mode, so I do expect general manager Ken Holland to be on the lookout to make this team better, not shred it.
Video: NJD@DET: Howard makes a nice sprawling save on Hall
Where could T.J. Oshie land after this season? Could he be a good compensation from the Ducks for Jakob Silfverberg? Or stick with the Capitals? -- @glushbeats
I'm not sure what you mean by compensation for Silfverberg, because Oshie can become an unrestricted free agent. If the Ducks wanted to, they could try to sign Oshie and keep Silfverberg. I said above I think the Capitals are going to try to keep Oshie, but we'll see what happens with the coaching situation and a number of other things that have to be decided. If Oshie doesn't sign before July 1, I would bet he's not staying in Washington. Typically, a player who gets to July 1 changes teams unless he has been a mainstay in a market (Shane Doan in Arizona, for example). If Oshie becomes a free agent, he'll have a lot of suitors. The Ducks have some salary-cap issues, so I'm not sure how involved they could get. It's too early to predict.