The Columbus Blue Jackets could have interest in Christian Ehrhoff, plus a look at possible moves by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Could Ehrhoff don a Blue Jacket?
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets have had talks with the agent for UFA defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who won’t be returning with the Pittsburgh Penguins next season. A deal could come together if Ehrhoff remains on the market long enough to drive down his asking price, as the Jackets only have around $3.6 million in cap space. Despite Ehrhoff’s injury history, Portzline believes he could help the Jackets’ power play. After acquiring Brandon Saad in a recent trade with Chicago, the Jackets have no need to sign any of the forwards still available in the UFA market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ehrhoff’s agent recently claimed his client was willing to sign another one-year deal, so the Jackets won’t be on the hook for a significant period by taking a chance on him. As Ehrhoff’s salary last season was $4 million, the Jackets might get him for less than half that, especially if they’re the only club seriously interested in him.
Updates on the Flyers.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien cited CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio reporting Flyers GM Ron Hextall claiming things remain status quo with aging forward Vincent Lecavalier, whose $4.5 million annual cap hit is difficult to move. O’Brien suggests the Flyers could be waiting until next summer to move Lecavalier, when his actual salary become more affordable.
NJ.COM: Randy Miller also noted the Flyers appear stuck with Lecavalier for another season. He also claims the Flyers will attempt to trade a defenseman prior to training camp, as they now have eight under one-way contracts for next season. Miller considers Luke Schenn ($3.6 million) the likely trade candidate, as he only has a year remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall was able to move Niklas Grossmann and the rights to Chris Pronger earlier this summer, so it’s possible he might still find a taker for Lecavalier. However, I think it’s more likely he could find a trade partner for Schenn, given his cap hit and term are lower than Lecavalier’s. Teams with cap space which could still use experienced blueline depth include the Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres, A need could also arise from a club that loses an established defenseman to a lengthy injury suffered in training camp or preseason action.