Latest on the Penguins, Blue Jackets and Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
Friedman on the Penguins and Blue Jackets.
SPORTSNET (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman doubts we’ll see a drastic move by the Pittsburgh Penguins involving Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins are currently up for sale, and the club’s value could be affected by moving either player. Friedman also believes the current ownership would have to approve a Crosby or Malkin trade. He points out both players have no-movement clauses. He also questions the logic of attempting to move Crosby when he’s currently at a low point in his career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby and Malkin aren’t going anywhere, certainly not when the Penguins are up for sale. The club is more valuable to prospective buyers with both stars on the roster. The only way I see either guy getting dealt is if they demand a trade, and that’s not happening.
Friedman also reports Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has really tried hard to make a trade this season but can’t get it done. He notes the Jackets have a lot of players with term on their contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have reached the point of no return this season. There’s no deal to be found that can put them back into playoff contention. I think it’s time their front office started seriously re-evaluating their current roster to determine what moves can be made at the trade deadline and the offseason to improve their fortunes next season. I’m not calling on them to tank this season, but merely to accept reality and start preparations for next season. There’s definitely a lack of leadership in that dressing room, plus they’re in serious need of skilled defensive depth.
Latest on Keith Yandle.
NEWSDAY: Steve Zipay recently examined the New York Rangers season at the Christmas break. He suggests determining what to do with pending UFA defenseman Keith Yandle could be their most difficult decision, wondering if the Rangers could shop him at the trade deadline.If they shop him, Zipay wonders if “a package of Yandle, a prospect and a pick” might fetch a top-six forward from a Central Division team like Winnipeg or Colorado.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers keep stumbling, Yandle could be a goner. The Jets are loaded with defensemen so I doubt they’ll have interest in Yandle. The Avs could certainly use skilled blueline depth, but I also doubt they’ll part with an asset for a player they could perhaps signs via free agency in July.