The latest on Travis Zajac, Luke Schenn and an update on what it could cost the Bruins to land Dustin Byfuglien.
Byfuglien to Bruins remains a long shot.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa weighed in on the recent “Dustin Byfuglien to the Bruins” speculation that arose in the wake of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg being sidelined for two months by back surgery. He suggested the Jets “would want one of the Bruins’ two 2016 first-rounders and help off the roster.” Given the Jets depth in goaltending prospects, Shinzawa doubts they’d have interest in promising Bruins netminder Malcolm Subban.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are rebuilding this season, so I don’t see them swinging for the fences by parting with a big return for a defenseman who could bolt via free agency next July. The Jets won’t want to take back significant salary because, as Shinzawa points out, they have to re-sign captain Andrew Ladd (who’s also a UFA) along with rising stars Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele (both RFAs and potential offer-sheet targets). The Bruins currently have around $4.7 million in available cap space, including Seidenberg’s salary (as he hasn’t yet been placed on LTIR). They can’t afford Byfuglien’s $5.2 million cap hit unless they send a sizable salary the other way. Ultimately, I think the Bruins will look toward more affordable short-term options and will likely scour the waiver wire first before going the trade route.
Could the Devils trade Travis Zajac to the Leafs?
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports speculation is brewing in Toronto suggesting the New Jersey Devils could have a trade on the table that sends center Travis Zajac to the Maple Leafs. Former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is now the Leafs general manager and it’s believed he’s keen on acquiring Zajac, though Chere claims Lamoriello could be “discussing several potential deals with Ray Shero.” He also reports “center Nazem Kadri is one potential piece of a trade, although the Devils would undoubtedly consider a package deal if it could bring James van Riemsdyk to New Jersey.” Zajac has five seasons remaining on his contract worth an annual cap hit of $5.75 million, along with a no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see how acquiring Zajac helps the Leafs in any way, especially if they’re considering giving up promising youth to get him. The Leafs are supposed to be rebuilding. Trading away their best left wing in van Riemsdyk, or a decent young center like Kadri, would be a big mistake. And if they’re part of the return for Zajac, a 30-year-old center whose best seasons appear behind him, it would be another in a long series of colossal blunders on the part of Leafs management. As for the Devils, if there’s a chance to land van Riemsdyk or Kadri without giving up too much in return, or by shedding Zajac’s contract, then by all means, do it.
Update on the Flyers.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers GM Ron Hextall is apparently still trying to trade forwards Vincent Lecavalier and R.J. Umberger, as well as defenseman Luke Schenn. “The general manager said trade talks have been quiet, but he expects them to pick up next week as teams get down to their final cuts and start addressing needs.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the three, the 25-year-old Schenn is the more likely trade chip. Sorry, Flyers fans, but you’re stuck with Lecavalier and Umberger for another season.