Updates on Loui Eriksson and Ryan Johansen, while Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli addresses the trade speculation swirling about his team.
What could the Bruins get for Eriksson?
THE BOSTON GLOBE: If the Bruins decide to trade pending UFA winger Loui Eriksson before the trade deadline, Fluto Shinzawa believes the asking price will be comparable to what the Arizona Coyotes received from the Chicago Blackhawks (first-round pick and a prospect) for center Antoine Vermette last season. If the Bruins were to include one of their two 2016 first-round picks, it might be enough to land a young defenseman to replace Dougie Hamilton. He suggests the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild as trade destinations, citing their deep bluelines and need for offensive depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: What the Predators and Wild specifically need is a top-line center. Eriksson won’t address that need for either club. Speaking of the Wild…
Should the Wild pursue Johansen?
STARTRIBUNE.COM: If the Columbus Blue Jackets are listening to offers for center Ryan Johansen, Michael Russo believes he’s the type of player the Wild should pursue, not NY Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic. “The Wild doesn’t need a top-four defenseman. It needs a No. 1 center.” Russo wonders if Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is willing to dangle “Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba or Gustav Olofsson?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Fletcher would almost certainly have to include one of them in a package deal (along with a first-round pick and a top prospect) for Johansen. The Wild are bumping up against the salary-cap ceiling, so Brodin ($4.1 million annual cap hit) would be a good fit cap-wise in exchange for Johansen’s $4 million salary. But is he enough as the centerpiece of a package offer to tempt the Blue Jackets? Probably not.
Chiarelli downplays Oilers trade rumors.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli downplayed recent trade speculation swirling around his club. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the focus of recent chatter. While Chiarelli is disappointed in his club’s performance, he said now is not the time to make a trade simply for the sake of doing so. “I’m not averse to making moves and I’ve had a lot of conversations in the last two weeks. It doesn’t mean we won’t make a move, but to think, ‘Hey, I’ve got make a move to shake things up,’ I think that’s the wrong way to approach it. I have to take a global perspective on this thing.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Chiarelli is taking this season to evaluate his club’s strengths and weaknesses before making his moves, which could start as the trade deadline approaches. I daresay by this summer, we’ll see some changes to the Oilers roster. As for who gets dealt, I think the only true untouchables right now are Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall, Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. I doubt Nugent-Hopkins gets traded, but it could depend upon what they do with Leon Draisaitl once McDavid returns to action. Same goes for Jordan Eberle. Feel free to weigh in here, Oilers fans, let me know what you think.