The latest on Andrej Sekera, James Wisniewski, Joffrey Lupul, Ryan O’Reilly, Antoine Vermette, Braydon Coburn and more.
Latest from TSN’s insiders.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reports the Chicago Blackhawks are among the teams with interest in Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Andrej Sekera. McKenzie also reports Arizona Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek’s been sidelined a week with a concussion. While he could still be traded, his injury could affect the return the Coyotes could receive, perhaps a conditional draft pick depending on his health…Pierre LeBrun believes the Los Angeles Kings are leaning toward adding a player or two and deal with Slava Voynov’s cap hit if he’s acquitted in his domestic violence trial and reinstated by the league. The Kings still haven’t received clarity from the league on this issue…Darren Dreger reports Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski could be available but his cap hit ($5.5 million annually for two more years) is an issue…LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens still hope to add another forward and defenseman, but he doesn’t see the Habs pursuing Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul citing the three years and $5.25 million annual cap hit left on his contract ..Dreger also believes a deadline deal involving Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly is unlikely and it’s possible he could be dealt during the NHL draft in June.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of interest in Sekera but I’ll be surprised if the Blackhawks land him. Asking price is apparently a first-round pick and a prospect…Should be interesting to see if the Kings actually gamble on adding a player at the deadline. They’ve currently won eight straight so some pressure is off management as they’ve climbed back into playoff contention, but depth is essential down the stretch…The Jackets might have to pick up a chunk of Wisniewski’s salary if they hope to move him before the deadline. Failing that, maybe he gets moved in the offseason. One of my readers wondered why I believe Wisniewski will get more interest in the trade market than Lupul. Two reasons: Wisniewski’s contract is shorter and he’s a right-handed blueliner, which is a valuable commodity among NHL teams this season…LeBrun notes the Habs won’t sacrifice their future to add short-term depth. After landing Devante Smith-Pelly yesterday, GM Marc Bergevin could stand pat if there’s no deal out there which suits him. Definitely don’t see him going after Lupul…I think the Avs will wait until the offseason to make a decision on O’Reilly, when there should be more suitors.
Update on the Bruins, Sharks and Blues.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports the pressure is on Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to find a replacement for sidelined center David Krejci. He considers Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette the likely target. “If the Coyotes are looking for a first round pick and a top-level prospect in exchange for Vermette, the hope would be that the Bruins can widen the deal’s scope and get either Keith Yandle or Zbynek Michalek included in the trade discussions as well,” write Haggerty. Such a move, however, might mean moving out a salaried player this summer if they wish to retain those players after this season.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Mark Purdy examines several trade scenarios for the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline. One is giving up young talent and prospects for a rental player to help them make the playoffs. Another is trading away pending UFA goalie Antti Niemi for a high draft pick or talented young player. Another is trading mid-level players like defenseman Scott Hannan, or forwards Tyler Kennedy and James Sheppard for picks and prospects. Purdy speculates the most likely option is making no moves at all, sending a message to the team they’re getting the opportunity to gut it out and make the playoffs.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy P. Rutherford reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong appears to be in the market for a defenseman. Options could include New Jersey’s Marek Zidlicky or Arizona’s Keith Yandle or Zbynek Michalek. They could also look to add depth at forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli has in the past shown a willingness to wheel and deal near the trade deadline, as he did in 2011. Still, he’s got limited assets to move if he hopes to land Vermette or explore a wider deal…The Sharks are struggling to remain in the playoff race so it’ll be interesting to see what GM Doug Wilson does. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be a buyer…With Kevin Shattenkirk still a long way from returning to the lineup I wouldn’t be surprised if Armstrong landed a depth defenseman. Not sure if he’ll go after Zidlicky, Yandle or Michalek. Maybe he tries to get Roman Polak back from Toronto?
Coburn, Tlusty and Petry moving soon?
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports the Flyers have a glut of defensemen and could send Braydon Coburn packing by the trade deadline. With Kimmo Timonen set to return to the lineup on Saturday, the Flyers must shed a salary to make room on their payroll. Nick Grossmann, Luke Schenn, Michael Del Zotto and Carlo Colaiacovo could also be available, but Coburn could have more value. He has a year remaining on his contract worth $4.25 million with a limited no-trade clause of 10-12 teams he’d accepted being dealt to.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe there will be interest in Coburn, who could probably be had for a draft pick or prospect as the Flyers can’t take back any salary. However, those clubs could try to squeeze the Flyers to absorb part of his remaining salary.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes winger Jiri Tlusty could attract interest as a playoff rental leading up to the trade deadline. Tlusty is an unrestricted free agent in July and could interest clubs seeking a two-way forward who can help on the power play.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce McCurdy wonders if the Chicago Blackhawks are the logical destination for Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry, who is expected to be dealt by the trade deadline.
Updates on the Canadiens and Panthers.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey speculates the Canadiens acquisition of Devante Smith-Pelly from Anaheim yesterday could be the only move they make before the trade deadline. He claims Habs GM Marc Bergevi was shopping for a physical defenseman but the play of Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn may have changed his mind.
MIAMI HERALD: Jack McCarthy reports Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon suggests more moves could be in the offing for his club in the wake of trading Sean Bergenheim last night to Minnesota. Tallon, however, also cautions he won’t be doing anything crazy as his club remains in the playoff chase.