Latest on the Blue Jackets, Flames, Blues, Lightning and Sabres, plus an update on Zdeno Chara.
Highlights from Garrioch’s “Insider Trading.”
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Columbus Blue Jackets bench boss Todd Richards could become this season’s first coaching casualty, suggesting John Tortorella, Jacques Martin, Randy Carlyle and Ron Wilson as potential replacements. Others on the coaching hot seat include Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau, Boston’s Claude Julien and Los Angeles’ Darryl Sutter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets enter the week 0-6-0. Something’s got to give if they don’t reverse their fortunes soon.
Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is carrying three goaltenders in Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio. It’s expected Treliving will eventually trade one of them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s assumed Hiller is the most likely to move. It’s been reported the Flames tried moving him at last year’s trade deadline and at this year’s NHL draft.
Garrioch doubts the Boston Bruins will trade defenseman and team captain Zdeno Chara, citing his annual cap hit ($6.9 million) and lack of experienced depth on the Bruins’ defense corps. It’s believed when Chara’s name surfaced last week in the rumor mill that a couple of teams (“maybe Chicago, Los Angeles and Columbus because they’ve been calling around for blueline help”) made inquiries but were rebuffed. The Bruins are also in the market for a defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Blackhawks, Kings and Blue Jackets inquired about Chara. Those three cannot afford to take on that big cap hit. Besides, the Blackhawks are in the market for a third-pairing d-man, not a top-four blueliner.
Teams in need of blueliners should call the St. Louis Blues or Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s believed the Blues are willing to discuss Carl Gunnarsson while Lightning rearguards Braydon Coburn or Matt Carle might be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems a little early for those two clubs to start shopping blueliners. With the Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk on the shelf, I don’t see Gunnarson going anywhere. I expect the Lightning wish to keep their current roster intact for another run at the Stanley Cup Final.
Before pursuing a trade for a goalie, Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray wants to see how his club performs without Robin Lehner.
Update on the Blue Jackets.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday the Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks aren’t in a hurry to replace their respective head coaches. Regarding the Jackets, it’s believed management is more likely to pursue a trade than consider a coaching change.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Jackets will find a deal that helps them. Rival clubs will want them to part with promising players like Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray.