Latest on the Lightning, Blues, Ducks, Blackhawks, Flames and Maple Leafs in your NHL rumor mill.
Friedman on the Lightning, Blues and Ducks.
SPORTSNET 960 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman believes a deal could be percolating between the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning involving suspended Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin. Friedman said he once thought Blues rookie Robby Fabbri could be part of it but no longer believes that’s the case.
Friedman also looks at the Anaheim Ducks surplus of young defensemen and suggests there’s the potential there for a big move. He noted a rumor linking the Ducks to Boston Bruins right wing Loui Eriksson. He also suggested the possibility of goaltender Frederik Andersen becoming a trade chip.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Blues aren’t willing to part with Fabbri for Drouin, and if Yzerman isn’t interested in adding to his salary-cap issues by acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk (who should be worth more than a promising but disgruntled left wing), I’m not sure if there’s a fit trade-wise for these two clubs. Yzerman supposedly wants either a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot (hence his rumored interest in Ottawa Senators blueliner Cody Ceci), or a comparable young player (hence the reason Fabbri’s name popped up a few weeks ago) or a couple of top prospects.
As for the Ducks and Eriksson, I’ve been among those speculating that there could be a fit there. The Ducks need a top-six scoring winger and the Bruins need a good young defenseman. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.
Blackhawks have roster needs to address.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Steve Rosenbloom believes the Chicago Blackhawks still need a top-six forward and a top-four defenseman if they hope to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. He suggests looking into bringing back left wing Andrew Ladd, who won a championship with the Blackhawks in 2010.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s been quite active in the trade market this season, and has a history of making moves near the deadline to bolster his roster for the playoffs. Don’t be surprised if he makes a deal or two in the coming weeks. I’m sure he’d love to bring back Ladd for another shot at a Cup, but cap space and the Jets asking price will be concerns.
Updates on the Flames and Maple Leafs.
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames management haven’t committed yet to being a buyer or seller at the Feb. 29 trade deadline. Topping the list of potential trade chips are winger Jiri Hudler, defensemen Kris Russell, right wing David Jones and goaltender Karri Ramo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All are pending UFAs this summer. The next three weeks will decide if the Flames become buyers or sellers. I’m guessing it’ll be the latter.
TORONTO SUN: Rob Longley joins the growing list of Toronto pundits guessing which current members of the Toronto Maple Leafs will be shipped out by the Feb. 29 trade deadline. His possibilities include P-A Parenteau, Roman Polak, James Reimer, Shawn Matthias, Michael Grabner and Nick Spaling, but not winger Leo Komarov.