Canes trade for Leafs’ Patrick Marleau
The Carolina Hurricanes created some early buzz Saturday, making a trade an hour before the NHL Entry Draft resumed at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Nothing like last year’s blockbuster deal with the Calgary Flames, involving five players. The Canes did pick up a forward in Saturday’s trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Patrick Marleau, but he may never play a game for Carolina.
In addition to Marleau, the Canes obtained a conditional first-round pick from the Leafs in the 2020 draft, Toronto’s seventh-round selection in 2020. In exchange, the Leafs received Carolina’s sixth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft.
If Toronto’s first-round selection in 2020 is a top-10 pick, the Hurricanes would receive Toronto’s first-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft.
The Leafs got what they wanted: more salary-cap flexibility. Marleau, in the final year of his contract, has a $6.25 million cap hit.
While Marleau could be on the Canes’ roster, adding more leadership and veteran savvy to the lineup, it’s believed the Hurricanes might buy him out, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1. That would allow him to re-sign with the Sharks and retire, if that’s his personal plan.
Marleau, 39, has played 1,657 career games, fifth in NHL history, in 21 seasons with the San Jose Sharks and Leafs. He played the past two seasons with the Leafs, finishing with 16 goals and 21 assists in 82 games, and has 1,166 career points.
“It’s a good fit for them, loosening some cap space, and for us when you can pick up assets like that, a first-round pick, it’s important for the future,” Canes general manager Don Waddell said to the media after the draft. “The plan would be to meet with Patrick to see where he’s at and if he wanted to be a Hurricane we’d love to have him as a Hurricane.”
While in Vancouver, Waddell met with the agents for center Sebastian Aho and defenseman Justin Faulk about contract extensions. Waddell sounded optimistic about getting Aho signed sooner -- the Finn is a restricted free agent -- after his discussions Friday.
“I think things are going to move along but these kind of deals aren’t going to happen in June and July,” Waddell said of the Aho negotiations. “The good thing is I don’t think we’re terribly far apart and I think they want to get a deal done as much as we want to get a deal done. In time, we’ll get it done.”
With Faulk, who has one year left on his contract, it will take more time, Waddell said.
Waddell came to Vancouver determined to find some scoring help and a top-nine forward, saying he might be willing to swap some of Carolina’s league-high 10 draft picks. The Canes took forward Ryan Suzuki with the 28th selection in the first round Friday. And after Saturday’s early trade, they made a full day of it, patiently making pick after pick.
Waddell, with team owner Tom Dundon close by his side, was seen on the phone a few times at the Canes’ draft table on the arena floor. The Canes traded some picks back and forth, added some and drafted 11 players Saturday, but no major deals were arranged.
“An interesting day,” Waddell said. “We felt like we had a lot of guys on our list that we liked and we wanted to add a few picks as we went along.”
When the Canes drafted Suzuki they added a forward who played with winger Andrei Svechnikov -- the No. 2 overall pick last year -- with the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League in 2017-18. On Saturday, they used their first second-round pick, No. 36, to take a Russian goalie, Pyotr Kochetkov.
Kochetkov, 19, had been passed over in the draft but not this year. Not after starring for Russia in the 2019 World Junior Championship, where he received the best goaltender award after posting a 1.45 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. He also was the highest rated European goalie by NHL Central Scouting.
The Russians lost to Team USA 2-1 in the semifinals but topped Switzerland for a bronze medal as Kochetkov had 34 saves. The games were played at Rogers Arena.
The Canes again drafted some Finns, in keeping with their preference the past few years. Antonni Honka, taken No. 83, was the first defenseman chosen by Carolina in the draft and they later added another two D-men.
“The more swings you take the best chance you have to get some hits off it,” Waddell said of the 12 selections.
2019 NHL Entry Draft
Carolina Hurricanes selections, rounds 2-7
Saturday, Rogers Arena, Vancouver
Goalie, HK Ryazan, Russia
Starred for Russia in the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver. Posted a 2.13 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 18 games with Ryazan. Under contract to SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL.
Forward, Sarnia (OHL)
Rated 30th among North American skaters despite missing chunk of season with kidney injury, he may lack size but not punch. A physical type, he boosted his draft stock with a strong showing for Canada in world under-18s in April.
Forward, Tappara, Finland
With a knack for scoring, the skilled forward spent time last season with Tappara in the Finnish Elite League and the Tappara U20 junior team, and was loaned to LeKi. Rated 28th by Central Scouting among European skaters.
Defenseman, Jurukit, Finland
An offensive defenseman, he’s the younger brother of Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka. Played for Finland in the World Junior Championship this year. The right-shot D-man is a good skater and puck-handler.
Defenseman, US National Team
Rated 68th among North American Skaters by Central Scouting after being 88th at the midterm. Began his first year with the US National Team Development Program at 5-6 and 148 pounds but has grown, added strength and improved defensively in his two years in the program.
Defenseman, The Rivers School (Mass.)
Webber has the size and strength to be effective in the defensive zone. The Meadville, Pa., native played for Team USA’s Under-17 squad in the Five Nations Tournament and the Under-18 team in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Committed to Boston U.
Forward, Karpat, Finland
The right winger, who turns 18 in July, had 60 points in 51 games for Karpat Under-20 team, scoring 15 goals. Called a fluid skater with exceptional vision by some scouts, he played for Finland’s Under-17 team in World Juniors.
Forward, Yaroslavl 2, Russia
Had 18 points in 17 games for Yaroslavl’s junior team that won its league championship while also playing 10 games in the KHL this season for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Had five goals and seven points for Russia in the World Junior Championship.
Forward, Chilliwack, BCHL
The Fairport, N.Y., native had 31 goals and 64 points in 49 games for the Chiefs, finishing eighth in points in the British Columbia Hockey League. Committed to Penn State.
Forward, Sudbury, OHL
Consistency was a problem at times this past season but played well in second half. He’s strong on his skates and effective on faceoffs. Had 21 goals as an OHL rookie in 2017-18 for the Wolves.
Forward, Pentiction, BCHL
Had 40 points in 37 games for the Vees this season. Has committed to play college hockey North Dakota.