Check out the latest speculations on the Ottawa Senators and Minnesota Wild, plus the Coyotes deny trade rumors about Shane Doan.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher still believes in his team but that doesn’t mean he’s not shopping around for help for his struggling roster. Fletcher is scouring the market not just for a goaltender but also position players. Goaltending remains the focus of his attention.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports he hasn’t heard any denials regarding the Wild’s rumored interest in Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. Friedman notes Fletcher isn’t the type of GM to deal futures on a short-term fix and prefers to retain his first-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted yesterday, Ward is having a good performance this season, but he’s also got a year left on his contract at a cap hit of $6.3 million with a full no-movement clause. If Ward agrees to be dealt to the Wild, the Hurricanes must either take back some salary or retain part of Ward’s salary to fit him comfortably under the Wild’s limited ($5.5 million) cap space.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports a source saying the Ottawa Senators haven’t given up on making the playoffs. GM Bryan Murray is calling around looking to bolster his scoring. While nothing seems imminent, LeBrun believes the Senators need scoring help now, not by the March 2 trade deadline.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators want to put themselves in position to be buyers by the trade deadline, but that won’t happen unless they can close the gap on a playoff berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After falling to the Avalanche last night the Senators are eight points out of playoff contention. I agree with LeBrun’s take that they must find a scorer now, as it will be too late by the March trade deadline to address their needs. They’ve been linked to Buffalo’s Chris Stewart for months but the asking price reportedly remains high (believed to be a first-round pick and a top prospect). Arizona Coyotes forward (and former Senator) Antoine Vermette is also believed available but he too could prove pricey. There really isn’t much available in the trade market right now and not a lot of sellers.
Murray could be bold and offer up one of his goalies for a scorer. The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild are two clubs in need of depth between the pipes who might listen if Murray were to go that route.
CBS SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes took to Twitter to deny rumors from a supposed Coyotes insider claiming Shane Doan was demanding a trade, posting a picture of the Easter Bunny as the insider’s source.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe that’s what’s known in the industry as a “bazinga!”