The latest on Martin Brodeur, Mike Richards, Taylor Hall, Mike Green, Marc Staal, Ryan O’Reilly and Craig Anderson, plus updates on the Coyotes, Maple Leafs and more.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports it’s possible Martin Brodeur might return with the St. Louis Blues as their third goalie following his week-long leave of absence. The club could offer him a position in management though his former team, the New Jersey Devils, seem more likely under that scenario…Pierre LeBrun reports the Arizona Coyotes are expected to stage a full roster rebuild. That means Antoine Vermette is going to be traded, defenseman Keith Yandle could be moved either by the March trade deadline or the offseason, as well as blueliner Zbynek Michalek…Dreger claims the Winnipeg Jets seek a third-line right wing and could use a defenseman as trade bait once the blueline corps is healthy…LeBrun claims the Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs had conversations with the LA Kings regarding Mike Richards but his contract is a sticking point. He doesn’t believe Richards is a fit with either club…He also claims the Vancouver Canucks seek a top-six forward sooner rather than later, and they’re not thinking playoff rental…Mark Methot and the Ottawa Senators will take one more stab at contract negotiations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodeur should retire. It’s obvious he’s done as an NHL goalie…Vermette and Michalek seem the most likely to be dealt at the deadline. I believe the Coyotes will wait until this summer to move Yandle, as he’s their best trade chip and there will be a better market for his services this summer…Richards contract and his declining numbers are significant stumbling blocks.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the Edmonton Oilers aren’t shopping Taylor Hall but he thinks they could entertain the notion, though such a move would happen in the offseason…McKenzie thinks the Washington Capitals will consider trading Mike Green if they’re in danger of falling out of the playoff picture…The Colorado Avalanche aren’t shopping Ryan O’Reilly, though McKenzie feels they’re looking and gauging his market value…Darren Dreger doesn’t expect the Arizona Coyotes to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but Martin Hanzal and Keith Yandle are players they could consider moving. It remains to be seen if Shane Doan is willing to waive his no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Oilers receive a mind-blowing offer for Hall or he demands a trade, they would be fools to part with him…If the Capitals remain in playoff contention they’ll stick with Green for the rest of this season, even if it means losing him for nothing this summer to free agency…If the Avs are to move O’Reilly, the market for his services is better in the offseason…No way the Coyotes trade Ekman-Larsson unless he demands it. I’d also stick with Hanzal. Doan will remain a Coyote until he retires or asks to be dealt.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes the Pittsburgh Penguins losing defenseman Olli Maatta for the rest of the season could put them in the market for a blueline rental player like Carolina’s Andrej Sekera…Matheson thinks the Coyotes will try to move Vermette and Martin Erat by the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Maatta and Pascal Dupuis off the books because of injuries, the Penguins have enough wiggle room to add a defenseman like Sekera…Vermette and Erat are goners by the deadline.
CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak lists Antoine Vermette, Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers defensemen Jeff Petry and Buffalo Sabres’ Chris Stewart, Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth among those to watch leading up to the March 2 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect the Sabres will try to re-sign Enroth. The rest could be on the move by the trade deadline.
NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos lists goaltender Jonathan Bernier, defensemen Cody Franson and Morgan Rielly and forwards Nazem Kadri, Phil Kessel and William Nylander as the closest thing to untouchables on the Maple Leafs roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless they can re-sign Franson, I’d swap Gardiner for him. Otherwise, I agree with Traikos’ take.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan reports the security of a long-term contract has Senators goaltender Craig Anderson unconcerned over recent trade rumors about him suggesting he’d be a good fit on teams in need of an experienced starting goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Robin Lehner’s stalled development I’d say Anderson isn’t going anywhere.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers and Marc Staal are reportedly working toward a six-year contract worth between $5.6 – $5.9 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t say I’m surprised. While the Rangers have a number of free agents this summer, Staal is their priority.