Rumours: Canadians targeting Senators in Round 1?

The journalist out mail media Bruce Garrioch reports that Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion remains poised to trade the No. 7 in the upcoming NHL draft.

Garrioch identifies the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes as two teams interested in adding another top-10 pick despite the Senators looking for a big comeback. Garrioch writes that in return for their first pick, Senators are hoping for a right winger to play alongside Tim Stützle, or a right-hander to round out their top-4.

Garrioch made an offer for Kevin Fiala to the Minnesota Wild before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings last week and wonders if there are other forwards on the market who might be of interest. He identifies Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat, Vancouver Canucks’ JT Miller or Connor Garland, Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi, and Winnipeg Jets forwards Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois as possible options, depending on their costs.

Should the team decide to upgrade defense instead, Garrioch notes that Jakob Chychrun is the biggest name available and would fit what the Senators are looking for. However, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said last week that he expects to keep the 24-year-old this summer.

Fleury, another Leafs target?

Our colleague Pierre LeBrun got in touch the athlete Monday the Toronto Maple Leafs worked on a trade deadline trade to acquire Marc-Andre Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks which ultimately fell through.

LeBrun notes that Fleury was willing to accept a trade for Toronto but was eventually traded to Minnesota Wild after the first trade failed. LeBrun wouldn’t be surprised if the Maple Leafs return to try to add Fleury to their roster, this time via the free-agent market.

The 37-year-old goaltender had a .908 percent save and a 2.90 goal-against-against average in 56 games with the Blackhawks and Wild last season. In the playoffs, he recorded a .906 save and 3.04 goals against average as the Wild were eliminated by the St. Louis Blues in six games in the first round.

LeBrun says the Wild remain interested in signing Fleury, but will be competing for the veteran with no fewer than 10 teams looking for goalies and only four notable candidates in the free-agent market: Fleury, Jack Campbell , Ville Husso and Darcy Kuemper. LeBrun wonders if Stanley Cup winner Avalanche could fall back on Fleury if they can’t come to terms with Kuemper.

Fleury just signed a three-year, $21 million deal and won the 2020-21 Vezina Trophy with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Where will Giroux go?

With Claude Giroux and the Florida Panthers considering continuing their partnership, it looks like the Edmonton Oilers will be among the teams that will woo the veteran when he tries his hand at the free-agent market starting July 13 .

LeBrun wrote the athlete that the Oilers “have been discussing internally the merits of trying to sign Giroux” if they don’t retain Evander Kane’s services.

LeBrun notes that Giroux will be looking for a multi-year deal, but adds that the 34-year veteran will also be looking to join a winning team.

Ottawa Senators are also reportedly interested in Giroux, but LeBrun wonders if the team is close enough to a playoff spot to clinch it.

Giroux had 21 goals and 44 assists in 75 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Panthers in 2021-22, scoring three goals and adding 20 assists in 18 games after being traded to Florida. He added three goals and five assists in 10 playoff games as the regular-season champion Panthers were swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.

Giroux said last month he was interested in staying in South Florida, although salary cap play remains an issue for the Panthers. According to trade site CapFriendly, the team has just over $3 million in space with just 17 players signed for next season.

The Oilers have $7.1 million in play with 15 players under contract, but they could free up another $2.2 million if Mike Smith is placed on the long-term injured list.

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