The latest on Eric Staal, Phil Kessel, Antoine Vermette, Jaromir Jagr, Keith Yandle, Antti Niemi, Jordan Eberle, Braydon Coburn and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports center Antoine Vermette hasn’t given up hope of re-signing with the Arizona Coyotes, though contract talks have been put on hold. The decision will be made by new majority owner Andrew Barroway. If unsigned, Vermette could become a valuable trade chip before the March deadline…The Winnipeg Jets could shop a defenseman. Dustin Byfuglien isn’t available but teams could have interest in Adam Pardy…Garrioch believes there’s a market for Phil Kessel and cites some NHL executives speculating Kessel or Dion Phaneuf could be moved this summer…If the Oilers decide to shop Jordan Eberle, it’ll be in the offseason…Despite the Penguins recent acquisition of David Perron they remain in the market for a forward…The Canadiens are also shopping for a forward…Colorado’s Daniel Briere could prove useful for a team lacking playoff experience, like the New York Islanders…Oilers right-handed defenseman Jeff Petry could be a good fit with the Red Wings…The Flyers want to move defensemen Nick Schultz, Carlo Colaiacovo and Michael Del Zotto, but rivals have more interest in Braydon Coburn, as well as center Brayden Schenn…The Wild are rumored to have interest in Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, who has a no-movement clause but might waive it to go to a good team. The Hurricanes have had contract talks with pending UFAs Jiri Tlusty and Andrej Sekera but could shop them if they’re unsigned by the March trade deadline…The Blackhawks seek a defenseman…The Canucks are looking to move winger Zack Kassian…The Ducks could be shopping blueliner Mark Fistric.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ve heard for weeks that Vermette was a goner, so this news he’d like to re-sign is interesting. It’ll depend upon his asking price and how much new majority owner Barroway is willing to spend…Don’t expect the Jets to part with Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Jacob Trouba or Mark Stuart…Of course there’s a market for Phil Kessel and even Dion Phaneuf! The problem is they’re in the first year of expensive long-term contracts, which are almost impossible to move during the season. If the Leafs decide to trade either or both the earliest it’ll happen is late-June to early-July, when teams have more cap space and willingness to spend…Unless Eberle demands a trade I don’t believe the Oilers will move him…If the Isles shop for a forward with playoff experience they’ll want one who’s much younger than Briere and still has something left in the tank…Petry could be a good short-term option for the Wings…The Flyers could move Coburn or Schenn by the trade deadline, but of course it depends on the offers…Ward is playing well this season but he has that injury history and full control of his trade status via his no-movement clause…Canucks GM Jim Benning recently claimed he’s not shopping Kassian…The Ducks were rumored in the market for a right-shooting defenseman. Maybe they could try flipping Fistric for one.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Hurricanes captain Eric Staal wants to stay in Carolina and has no interest in waiving his no-trade clause. Damien Cox claims the Wild seek a goalie but don’t appear to have interest in Carolina’s Cam Ward. He feels their focus could be on the Sabres tandem of Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Staal wants to stay with the Hurricanes. Unless GM Ron Francis tells him they want to move on without Staal, I don’t see him calling for a trade.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports of Wild GM Chuck Fletcher’s best option to address his goaltending could be waiting for the trade market to improve. Cam Ward is the biggest name out there but he’s coming off a couple of injury-plagued inconsistent seasons, is nine years removed from his playoff MVP performance, and carries an annual cap hit of $6.3 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward’s no-movement clause gives him full control of this situation. The Wild might be better off looking elsewhere for goalie help.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa believes the heat is on Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis to give his future full-time head coach the right players to support scoring star Phil Kessel, but it’s a rebuild which will take time and Nonis might not be the GM who undertakes it…The New Jersey Devils believe Michael Ryder still has some offense left in the tank, but they could be in the minority…The Bruins need an upgrade on defense. Shinzawa notes Arizona’s Keith Yandle might be available, though it could cost Torey Krug along with “maybe another young roster player, a pick, and a prospect” to land him. They also have to clear out cap space for Yandle’s $5.25 million cap hit through next season…A possible goalie option for the struggling Wild is San Jose’s pending UFA Antti Niemi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans believes Kessel should be traded. It remains to be seen if Leafs management feels the same…Ryder’s a spent force, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a playoff contender took a chance on the pending UFA winger…Landing Yandle could cost the Bruins more than they’re willing to pay. Lots of clubs will be interested if he hits the trade block and that could drive up the bidding…If the Sharks feel confident in Alex Stalock as their starter they could move Niemi. The Sharks and Wild have a trade history so perhaps there could be some interest there from Minnesota.
TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie pours cold water on the “Jagr to Montreal” trade rumors. “Even if people speculate about it, don’t expect a trade involving the Habs and NJ for Jaromir Jagr. My understanding is it won’t happen.”
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres GM Tim Murray claims what trade calls he’s been getting from rival GMs is of the “tire-kicking” variety.