Updates on the Flames, plus the latest on Dustin Byfuglien and Luke Schenn in your NHL rumor mill.
No big trade for the Flames?
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames GM Brad Treliving, appearing on TSN 1200 in Ottawa, cautioned that trades usually aren’t the answer for a struggling team like his. “Going out and just saying, ‘Ok, you’re going to trade your way out of slumps or trade your way out of issues,’ it’s just not realistic,” Treliving said. “We’re not out there trying to blow up our team and do all these sorts of things. At the end of the day, we’ve got a really good group here. We’ve just got to get everybody to play better, more consistently, longer. And that’s the challenge here for us right now.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, there’s no deals to be found that can help the Flames right now, so they’re going to have to suck it up and start playing better. Treliving probably wasn’t planning on blowing up his roster, but a number of respected media sources ( notably TSN’s Bob McKenzie, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman) claimed he was working the phones looking for help over the past couple of weeks. The problem for every struggling team this early in the season is there aren’t many decent trade partners to choose from, since most GMs are still evaluating their rosters in October. With most teams also possessing limited salary-cap space, that makes early-season deals even tougher to find.
Could the Wings pursue Byfuglien?
ESPN.COM: Responding to a reader’s question if the Detroit Red Wings could pursue Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, John Bucciogross said he doubts they go in that direction. Citing Byfuglien’s UFA status at season’s end, he notes the high cost of re-signing him (possibly $7 million annually) and doesn’t consider Big Buff as an organizational pillar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Buccigross’ take, and I also don’t believe the Jets are planning on moving Byfuglien anytime soon. Much will depend upon where they are in the standings come the Feb. 29 trade deadline. If they’re out of playoff contention, they’ll likely try to trade Byfuglien, but if they’re still in the playoff hunt, I believe they’ll keep him, even at the risk of losing him to free agency in July.
Update on Luke Schenn.
TODAY’S SLAPSHOT’s Chris Nichols recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman regarding the trade status of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn. Friedman claims the Flyers “have been trying to deal Luke Schenn for awhile and there just aren’t takers.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering there are teams currently believed to be seeking defensemen (notably Boston and Columbus), it’s apparent Schenn’s stock has significantly fallen over the past year. He’s been a healthy scratch through half of the Flyers’ games thus far, and his $3.6 million cap hit is difficult to move right now.