The latest on Sergei Bobrovsky, T.J. Oshie, Joffrey Lupul, Jordan Eberle, Tomas Tatar and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch wonders if Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky could seek a salary comparable to Nashville’s Pekka Rinne ($7 million per season). Bobrovsky is early $5.625 million annually and is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights…Garrioch doubts the St. Louis Blues are shopping winger T.J. Oshie but claims talk is circling around winger Patrik Berglund…He doesn’t discount the possibility of the Arizona Coyotes attempting to re-sign pending UFA center Antoine Vermette…The Maple Leafs may have been gauging winger Joffrey Lupul’s trade value before he was sidelined by his recent injury. Given his $5.25 million annual cap hit through 2017-18, Garrioch doubts Lupul can be moved until he proves he can stay healthy…The Pittsburgh Penguins are no longer in the mix for Buffalo Sabres winger Chris Stewart but the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators still have interest…There’s a lot of focus on winger Jordan Eberle, who appears the odd man out if the Edmonton Oilers decide to make another move. Pending UFA defenseman Jeff Petry could be the next Oiler to be moved before the March trade deadline…There’s a belief some teams have interest in Mike Richards if the LA Kings are willing to pick up a bit of his $5.75 million annual cap hit, which runs to 2019-20. Garrioch notes Richards’ actual salary will decline over the course of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s a key factor behind the Blue Jackets improvement since the lockout, as well as why they still have a shot at a playoff berth despite a lineup walloped by injuries this season. It will cost over $7 million annually to re-sign him…Berglund could be moved but the Blues don’t appear in any hurry to shake things up…There’s widespread speculation the decision has already been made to move Vermette, who is a UFA this summer and could bolt for greener pastures…The last time Lupul last played over 69 games in a season was 2008-09. His ongoing injury woes combined with his salary makes him difficult to move, particularly during the season…Until the Sabres lower the rumored asking price for Stewart of a first-round pick and a top prospect or young roster player, they can forget about trading him…I expect Petry is next to be dealt but I don’t believe Eberle’s on the block…Richards would only be of interest to teams who need to get over the cap floor next season. Even then, the only way I see him being moved is if the Kings agree to pick up part of his salary. His declining production and lengthy contract scream “Buyer Beware!”
SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports nothing appears imminent for the Oilers, though he believes Jeff Petry could be first among those who could be dealt…He’s still awaiting what happens next for the Blues now that Brian Elliott has rejoined the lineup. They’re currently carrying three goalies in Elliott, Jake Allen and Martin Brodeur…The Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild both denied a rumor claiming Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth was heading to the Wild.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Blues will try to find a trade partner for Brodeur…It’s believed the Sabres intend to re-sign one goalie and perhaps trade another. Enroth and Michal Neuvirth are both UFAs this summer.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers fourth-line center Vincent Lecavalier’s performance has improved of late, with five goals in his last seven games. The Flyers attempted to trade Lecavalier last summer and could still attempt to do so if the right opportunity arose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Flyers are willing to pick up a chunk of Lecavalier’s remaining contract, I don’t believe they’ll find any takers.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James notes forward Tomas Tatar is turning into a valuable asset for the Detroit Red Wings, with 26 points in 39 games. She notes he’s on pace to become a two-time 20-goal scorer, which could make him “intriguing as a trade asset”, wondering if a package of Tatar, defenseman Jakub Kindl and a second-round pick might be enough to pry defenseman Tyler Myers out of Buffalo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tatar would certainly attract the Sabres interest, but their asking price for Myers including a top prospect like Anthony Mantha or Dylan Larkin as well as a first-round pick.