The latest on the Flames, Blues, Kings, Blue Jackets and Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest Flames speculation.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving “holds some sway” over the trade market for defensemen. Dennis Wideman’s played well for the Flames, but he’s carrying a $5.25 million annual cap hit and a full no-movement clause. Kris Russell would love to stay and the Flames want to keep him, but it could come down to the cost of re-signing him.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie believes Treliving wants to improve his struggling club but won’t make a panic deal. He believes there’s some interest in Wideman but also cited his contract as a sticking point. He claims teams are interested in Russell but the Flames would like to re-sign him. Pierre LeBrun reports the Buffalo Sabres have spoken to the Flames (among other teams) as they would like to add a top-four defenseman, but there’s nothing imminent right now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a prime example of how the marginal increase in this season’s salary cap is adversely affecting the NHL trade market. Even with teams having the ability to pick up part of a player’s cap hit, there simply aren’t enough sufficient cap space willing to make moves right now. Wideman’s no-movement clause also gives him full control of this situation, as he won’t waive it to go to just any club. Unless Treliving is willing to part with Russell for a return that can genuinely help the Flames, it’s unlikely he’ll make a deal. He won’t make a panic trade.
Latest Blues Clues.
TSN: Darren Dreger notes the injury-ravaged St. Louis Blues are bringing in veteran forwards Martin Havlat and Dainius Zubrus on professional tryout offers. He claims there’s teams calling the Blues offering up forwards. Their primary target is Carl Gunnarsson, but the Blues don’t want to give up on him just yet, especially with Kevin Shattenkirk still sidelined.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those offers can’t be that good if they’re going the PTO route. Perhaps when Shattenkirk returns to action, they’ll listen to offers for Gunnarsson.
Updates on the Kings, Blue Jackets and Canucks.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman claims the Los Angeles Kings are among the teams seeking a defenseman or two as they aren’t happy with their mix.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun claims the Kings have in fact found stability on their blueline, citing comments from assistant GM Rob Blake claiming their situation has sorted itself out. After dropping their first three games, the Kings have won six straight.
Friedman wondered what the Vancouver Canucks will do with Yannick Weber, who’s seen limited action this season. He also noted Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson has his fans around the league, but his $3.5 million annual salary makes him difficult to move. Friedman also has a theory that the Blue Jackets will take this season to evaluate Ryan Johansen’s performance under new coach John Tortorella before deciding if they’ll re-sign him next summer or trade him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Canucks are in any hurry to move Weber right now. They’ll likely want to see how things play out over the next month or two. I also doubt the Jackets will rush to make any trades until they’ve had time to evaluate the club’s performance under Tortorella. Currently, they’re 2-1-0 under their new coach. As for Johansen, they won’t be making any evaluations until his current health issue (fatigue) is resolved.