Possible Eastern Conference trade candidates, updates on the Maple Leafs, Canadiens and Canucks plus the latest on Mike Green, Andrej Sekera and more.
SI.COM: Allan Muir notes the NHL trade market will soon be fueled by Eastern Conference also-rans. He doesn’t believe the Buffalo Sabres will trade defenseman Tyler Myers but anticipates Jhonas Enroth, Michal Neuvirth, Drew Stafford, Torrey Mitchell and Chris Stewart (pending UFAs all) could be shopped by the March trade deadline…Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal’s made it clear he doesn’t want to waive his no-trade clause. Cam Ward’s improved performance this season could put him in play. The Hurricanes are negotiating with pending UFAs Andrej Sekera and Jiri Tlusty…Devils UFAs Jaromir Jagr, Marek Zidlicky, Martin Havlat, Steve Bernier, Michael Ryder, Bryce Salvador and Peter Harrold could hit the block by the trade deadline…The emergence of winger Josh Anderson could make Columbus Blue Jackets wingers Matt Calvert and/or Cam Atkinson available. Mark Letestu and Artem Anisimov are other possible trade options…Potential Philadelphia Flyers trade candidates include Luke Schenn, Andrew MacDonald, Nicklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn, as well as winger Matt Read…The Ottawa Senators hope to move Colin Greening…Possible Toronto Maple Leafs trade candidates include depth players James Reimer, Stephane Robidas, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik. Bolder options could include Dion Phaneuf, Cody Franson, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner and even Phil Kessel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While some notable names could be moved at the trade deadline, expect most of the players dealt to be pending UFAs or those with a year or two left on their contracts. Those with lengthy and expensive deals tend not to be dealt until the off-season, even with GMs now allowed to absorb part of a player’s salary to facilitate a trade…. Cam Ward has another year on his contract at a cap hit of $6.3 million plus a full no-trade clause. Still tough to move him… I doubt the Flyers will find much interest for MacDonald because of his contract. Short of a buyout, they’re stuck with it.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Washington Capitals must decide what to do with Mike Green, their number-five defenseman who’s earning $6.25 million this season and is a UFA this summer. He speculates the Capitals could try to move Green for a second-round pick at the trade deadline, or keep him for the playoffs and lose him for nothing to free agency in July…”Countless teams” are watching to see if the Carolina Hurricanes can re-sign defenseman Andrej Sekera…The Tampa Bay Lightning could trade winger Brett Connolly for a defenseman…The Capitals seek a right winger for their top line of Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Matheson suggests New Jersey Devils winger Michael Ryder, who might only cost a second- or third-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the Capitals could stick with Green for the rest of the season. I doubt they’ll have interest in Ryder.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have received trade inquiries about their pending UFAs like Cody Franson and even some for their bigger names like Phil Kessel, though teams expressing interest in those players have cap issues now and would prefer to discuss such moves in the offseason. Dreger doesn’t expect the Leafs to make a trade in the days ahead but perhaps something could materialize next week. The Leafs are seeking returns of players in their early-20s. There’s ongoing negotiations with Nazem Kadri, who’s seeking between $4-$5 million per season, but there’s no discussion of term and no formal offer…Dreger claims the Montreal Canadiens would love to add another top-six forward or perhaps another defenseman…The Vancouver Canucks seek a top-six forward but not a rental player.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Dreger also speculates the New York Rangers could have interest in Leafs center Mike Santorelli if the Leafs are unable to re-sign him…Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has been linked in trade talks with the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers…The Bruins, Blues, Canucks and Leafs could have interest in Arizona Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette…Canucks GM Jim Benning is open to trading either Jacob Markstrom or Eddie Lack.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve said before, the Leafs are most likely to shop those pending UFAs they can’t or won’t re-sign. I doubt they’ll move Kadri, who’s a restricted free agent this summer. Understandable that the Habs would be kicking the tires on possible Oilers trade candidates, but I’m not sure what deals they could make with the Predators, unless it’s to swap a forward for a defenseman. Lars Eller for Ryan Ellis? Discuss!