Latest on the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins, plus an updates on the contract status of Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell.
Could the Ducks shop a goalie?
630 CHED (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondered if Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray might shop one of his goaltenders, specifically current starter Frederik Andersen. He points out promising John Gibson has got to play at some point, and also noted Gibson is signed long term, while Andersen isn’t.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I only see them moving Andersen if their season goes completely off the rails. Even then, that’s not a certainty. While the Ducks are struggling to score, Andersen’s posting up strong numbers and certainly isn’t to blame for their recent difficulties. Then again, perhaps shopping him now might attract a solid bid from a club desperate for an upgrade in goal.
Flames interested in Blue Jackets’ Rychel?
SPORTSNET 960 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Friedman also noted Calgary Flames assistant GM Craig Conroy recently scouted a game involving the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, speculating he might have been looking at winger Kerby Rychel. He claims the Blue Jackets are willing to trade Rychel, but the asking price is more than the Flames are willing to pay. He believes the Blue Jackets seek a good young defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, the Jackets seem to be asking a lot for Rychel, who has promise but still hasn’t established himself as a worthwhile NHL player. On the other hand, you have to wonder why the Jackets are willing to part with Rychel. Are they that desperate to improve that they’re willing to move a supposedly good young player with lots of potential? Or is Rychel really not becoming the player they thought he’d be and hope to snooker a rival GM into giving up a decent asset for him? Let me know what you think in the comments section, folks.
Bruins deny Chara and Marchand rumors.
CSNNE.COM: Appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger And Mazz” show, Boston Bruins president Cam Neely “denied that trading veterans Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand has been discussed by the team.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m surprised Neely didn’t jump on this sooner. Perhaps teams were calling the Bruins to determine if Chara or Marchand were available? Regardless, they won’t be going anywhere for the time being, though I wouldn’t be surprised if their names resurface in the rumor mill near the Feb. 29 trade deadline, depending upon the Bruins’ performance and where they are in the standings by then.
What does the future hold for Brian Campbell?
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports defenseman Brian Campbell’s future with the Florida Panthers could hinge upon the club’s performance this season. Campbell, 36, is an unrestricted free agent next summer and isn’t ruling out re-signing with the Panthers. He played a big role in developing blueliners like Jason Garrison and Aaron Ekblad.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It ultimately comes down to his asking price. He obviously won’t be getting over $7 million annually and must accept a substantial pay cut to remain with the Panthers on a short-term deal. While the Panthers performance could factor into Campbell’s decision, so too will his play factor into that of management in determining what kind of deal to offer him. If the Panthers are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline and if it appears Campbell could test the UFA market, they could shop him.