Get the latest on the Leafs and Coyotes, plus updates on Ryan O’Reilly, Chris Stewart and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney is ready to engage in a roster fire sale and is waiting for the highest bidders leading up to the March 2 trade deadline. Garrioch believes teams looking to bulk up for a playoff run (Montreal, Chicago and Boston) will have interest in pending UFA center Antoine Vermette, while the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks could pursue blueliner Keith Yandle. Other trade candidates could include pending UFAs Zbynek Michalek and Martin Erat. Shane Doan’s no-trade clause gives him control over his future….Garrioch wonders if Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis will make a big move before the trade deadline or this summer, if Nonis will even still be the GM when the season ends, and if the Leafs will try to move scoring star Phil Kessel…Florida Panthers winger Brad Boyes might be available…Minnesota Wild forwards Ryan Carter and Kyle Brodziak and defenseman Nate Prosser have low trade value…Senators goalie Craig Anderson won’t be moved…Garrioch wonders which contender will make a pitch for New Jersey Devils winger Jaromir Jagr…Oilers GM Craig MacTavish doesn’t want to do much in terms of trades…There’s been no trade inquiries made of Buffalo Sabres winger Drew Stafford…Dallas Stars veteran winger Erik Cole might have trade value with a contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Coyotes pending UFAs Vermette, Michalek and Erat to be moved at the trade deadline, but unless they get a great offer for Yandle by March 2 I think they’ll try moving the blueliner in the offseason when the market will be better…If the Panthers fall out of playoff contention Boyes could be dealt…The Devils will hang onto Jagr probably up to deadline day in hopes of improving his trade value…There will be more interest in Stafford, a pending UFA, by the deadline…Cole could be on the move if the Stars are out of the playoff race by March 2.
SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston lists the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks as possible trade destinations for Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly…Nick Kypreos reports the Avalanche have put out trade feelers on O’Reilly in search of blueline help, claiming the Leafs and Sabres are among two teams interested in the Avs forwards… Elliotte Friedman reports the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames could have interest in Buffalo Sabres winger Chris Stewart…Friedman also speculates over the possibility of a Dion Phaneuf for Mike Richards swap, citing the Kings’ defensive needs given Slava Voynov’s uncertain future. Damien Cox claims Morgan Rielly is the Leaf garnering the most interest from rival GMs.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran cites the “Phaneuf for Mike Richards” and the “Ryan O’Reilly for Jake Gardiner and perhaps Tyler Bozak” as the current hot Leafs trade rumors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeeee! So many Leafs rumors, so little time. Sure, the Avalanche are gauging O’Reilly’s trade value, but again, they don’t have to move him by the deadline, and you can expect they’ll want a high price, meaning a top-two defenseman. Also, they’re currently only three points out of playoff contention. If they keep improving they won’t be under as much pressure to move O’Reilly this season. If they do decide to trade him it would be better in the offseason when there will be more suitors willing to deal…Regarding a Phaneuf for Richards deal, Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently cited the cap issues he’d face if Voynov should return to the lineup. Phaneuf is earning more than Richards, which would really put the Kings in a bind unless the Leafs take back a couple of million annually in salary…No way in hell the Leafs move Morgan Rielly…Sure, there’s interest in Chris Stewart, but unless the Sabres lower the asking price (believed to be a first-round pick and a prospect) they won’t be able to move him.
NJ.COM: Randy Miller believes the Philadelphia Flyers should start making moves which will improve their odds of landing Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL Draft. Miller suggests shopping defensemen with some trade value like Nick Schultz, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn.