The latest on Alexander Semin, Eric Staal, Keith Yandle, T.J. Oshie, Chris Stewart, Cal Clutterbuck, Paul Martin, Dustin Byfuglien and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the word among NHL executives is Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is calling around in search of a trade, willing to discuss anybody except for his young core players. The Hurricanes would love to move underachieving winger Alexander Semin, who has four years at $7 million annually remaining on his contract, but there’s no interest. Captain Eric Staal’s name has been at the forefront of recent trade rumors. Pending UFA defenseman Andrej Sekera will be highly sought after…Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney could be ready to make big changes to his struggling roster. Garrioch considers defenseman Keith Yandle, who is 18 months away from UFA eligibility, could be the Coyotes best bargaining chip. The Coyotes hope to re-sign pending UFA center Antoine Vermette but it doesn’t appear as though that will happen. Garrioch speculates he’ll command $7 million annually on a long-term deal…There’s a sense St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong could be in the market for a forward. He’ll have to shed some salary to do so, and Garrioch noted the Blues had listened to offers for forward T.J. Oshie in the past…The Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins have interest in Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart. The Hurricanes might also have interest. Stewart’s recent play, however, means the Sabres will have to sell low to move him…There’s talk the New York Islanders would like to move forward Cal Clutterbuck, though his $2.75 million cap hit through 2016-17 could prove difficult to trade…Nothing new to report on Daniel Alfredsson, who continues to skate on and off…The Pittsburgh Penguins could shop pending UFA blueliner Paul Martin after Olli Maatta returns from cancer surgery. Garrioch speculates the San Jose Sharks could have interest…Teams are starting to wonder when Jets management will try to improve their club by shopping Dustin Byfuglien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis claims he’s had no trade talks regarding Staal, who said he doesn’t want to leave. Even if the Hurricanes pick up half of Semin’s remaining contract they won’t find any takers. Sekera will attract considerable interest if the Hurricanes shop him, but I suspect they could wait until the March trade deadline to do so…Yandle will attract interest around the league, but teams will try to squeeze Maloney to pick up part of his remaining salary. Yandle should fetch a scoring forward, but it could take time to make that deal…Vermette make $7 million annually? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a general manager succumbed to auction fever during the opening day of the UFA market…I think the Blues will be patient, rather than shake things up right now. Injuries (Paul Stastny, David Backes, Oshie) have affected their performance thus far…Given Stewart’s current play, the Sabres will be lucky to get a second-round pick for him…I don’t see many teams beating down the doors for Clutterbuck, and I expect the Isles will have to pick up part of his salary to make a deal happen. Such a move might not happen until the off-season…I understand Alfredsson’s determination to return for one last season, but if his back’s not ready by now to handle the rigors of an NHL season, it never will be…I expect the Penguins will try to move Martin before the trade deadline. Doubt he’s moved before the midway point of the season…Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will remain patient, but if they start to fall into a deep hole in the standings, that’s when he could pull the trigger on a major deal involving a player like Byfuglien.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Scott Nichols cited Hockey Night in Canada insiders Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman discussing Alexander Semin, Andrej Sekera and Daniel Alfredsson. Cox believes Semin is untradable right now and thinks Alfredsson will retire. Friedman observes the New York Rangers have several injured defensemen and could have interest in Sekera.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Buffalo Sabres will deal free agents-to-be Chris Stewart, Drew Stafford and Andrej Meszaros for more draft picks.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers will look toward their farm team to replace sidelined blueliners Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein while management scours the league in search of a sensible trade.