Updates on the Flames, Lightning, Devils and Sharks in your NHL Rumor Mill.
Flames GM trying to shake up his club.
TSN (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie reports there’s no question Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is trying to shake up his struggling roster, believing he’s spoken to a number of teams. He also doesn’t doubt Treliving contacted the Tampa Bay Lightning, but currently doesn’t believe they’ve spoken about Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. While acknowledging hearing rumors of the Flames’ interest in Stamkos this summer but claimed he didn’t see any evidence of it.
McKenzie also doubts Sean Monahan or Johnny Gaudreau are available, but doesn’t rule out the possibility of Sam Bennett being moved, though he doesn’t believe they’re trying to get rid of him now. McKenzie’s colleague, Darren Dreger, recalls speaking to Treliving months ago regarding Stamkos and he vehemently denied pursuing the Lightning captain.
CALGARY SUN (via SLAM! HOCKEY): Eric Francis also commented on the recent rumors regarding the Flames. He believes speculation suggesting the Flames could trade defenseman Dennis Wideman to free up cap space to re-sign blueliner Kris Russell could persist, as will rumors about pending UFA winger Jiri Hudler, who Francis feels could be dealt before the Feb. 29 trade deadline if the Flames fail to improve. He also noted the recent Sportsnet piece claiming Treliving had interest in Stamkos has prompted many folks to put together fantasy trades involving”Wideman, Hudler, Sam Bennett or even Sean Monahan.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I listed all the reasons why “Stamkos to the Flames” won’t happen yesterday, so I’m not going to chew my cabbage twice over this. I concur with McKenzie’s take that Treliving is calling around and the Lightning could’ve been among the clubs he spoke to. If the Flames don’t pull out of this tailspin soon, however, trade speculation will only increase, likely involving pending UFAs like Hudler and Russell, or perhaps Wideman if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Devils GM denies Larsson and Zajac rumors.
TSN 1200 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero denied reports claiming defenseman Adam Larsson could be dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Cam Atkinson or that Travis Zajac could be dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Shero insists he has no intention of trading Larsson and claims he hasn’t really spoken with Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello since he left the Devils in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larsson has really improved since the midpoint of last season, while Zajac’s declining stats and expensive contract (with a full no-movement clause) significantly dampens his trade value. Neither guy is leaving the Devils via trade anytime soon.
No deals coming yet for the Sharks.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz expressed doubt the San Jose Sharks will make any trades to shore up the club’s depth. Kurz notes the team’s recent rash of injuries and their ongoing adjustment to their new coaching staff.