Latest on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Cam Fowler, plus the Nashville Predators are in the market for a forward.

Could the Oilers trade Nugent-Hopkins for a defenseman?

Could the Oilers use Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as trade bait for a defenseman?

Could the Oilers use Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as trade bait for a defenseman?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited TSN’s Ryan Rishaug “floating the notion” of the Oilers trading Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for a defenseman if Leon Draisaitl proves the real deal at center. Rishaug points out he’s heard nothing to suggest the Oilers will make this move. He feels Nugent-Hopkins would fetch a better return than winger Jordan Eberle. Staples doubts the Oilers will make that move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an interesting suggestion by Rishaug, but as Staples notes, we don’t know yet how Draisaitl will pan out over the course of this season. The Oilers undoubtedly want to see what their top two scoring lines look like once Connor McDavid (broken clavicle) returns to action sometime in the new year. I don’t doubt Nugent-Hopkins could bring back a solid return, perhaps even that elusive top-two blueliner, but dealing him away also robs the Oilers of their best two-way center. I certainly don’t expect them to move Nugent-Hopkins while McDavid is on the shelf. 

Sabres interested in Fowler?

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington noted Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray and his player personnel director scouted the Sabres’ game against the Dallas Stars last Tuesday. So were Arizona GM Don Maloney and Winnipeg director of pro scouting Mark Dobson. Harrington notes it’s not the first time this season “the Anaheim contingent or Dobson” have visited Buffalo. He claims Sabres GM Tim Murray could have interest in Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fowler’s name recently surfaced in the trade rumor mill. However, Ducks GM Bob Murray stated he’s not rushing to make any deals right now. However, with the Ducks struggling to gain ground in the Western Conference standings (they’ve lost five of their last seven games), Murray might be forced to change his mind. Remains to be seen if he moves Fowler. 

Predators could use a forward.

YAHOO SPORTS: Greg Wyshynski reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile acknowledged his club could use more depth at forward. “In goal and in defense, we’re very pleased there. Can we improve our forwards a bit? That would probably be the missing piece,” he said. Wyshynski suggests the Predators need help at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile will be patient. I daresay he’ll try to upgrade that spot closer to the Feb. 29 trade deadline. One of the commenters on Wyshynski’s piece suggested shipping Seth Jones to Edmonton for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but Poile won’t move the guy who will eventually become the linchpin of his defense corps.