Latest on Jonathan Drouin, Kevin Shattenkirk, Steven Stamkos, Keith Yandle and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
Highlights from Hockey Night in Canada’s “Headlines.”
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Tampa Bay Lightning seek a player similar to Jonathan Drouin as a return for the 2013 first rounder. It’s rumored the St. Louis Blues are interested in Drouin, and Friedman speculates the Bolts want someone like Blues rookie forward Robby Fabbri. Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was rumored to be in play, but his $4.25 million cap hit could be a problem for the Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Color me unsurprised, especially regarding Shattenkirk’s cap hit and the Lightning’s cap space. It certainly sounds like Drouin could be dealt. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he’s prepared to trade the unhappy young winger, but only for a return that makes sense for his club. “So it’s important for our organization that if we make a trade we get equal value, and you can measure that in a lot different ways, but Jonathan has been told that he won’t be traded to make him happy but because it’s a good trade for the Tampa Bay Lightning,’’ said Yzerman. So, are the Blues willing to part with Fabbri, who has the makings of a future star? Time will tell.
Speaking of Shattenkirk, Friedman believes the Blues will be getting calls about the 26-year-old defenseman, who is a year away from unrestricted free agency. It’s believes the Blues had offered up Shattenkirk to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Johansen prior to the Jackets shipping the center to the Nashville Predators for young rearguard Seth Jones.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Jay Bouwmeester recently sidelined, the Blues might not be keen to move Shattenkirk until they know for sure how long “JayBo” will be out. The Blues could use another swift-skating offensive forward, and Shattenkirk should fetch that return. However, he’s also their best puck-moving defenseman. The Blues must be careful here. They could wait and see how the rest of this season pans out and then shop him in the offseason if they come up short in the playoffs again.
Damien Cox reports New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle is unlikely to sign a contract extension before the Feb. 29 trade deadline. He’s eligible for UFA status in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle is being mentioned more frequently in recent days as a possible trade candidate, especially with the Rangers struggling since early-December. They could use an offensive boost at right wing.
Latest from Garrioch’s “Insider Trading.”
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray is seeking a forward and have defensemen to offer up . Several teams are keeping an eye on the Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch doesn’t indicate which clubs are watching the Ducks. Blueliner Sami Vatanen has recently surfaced in the rumor mill as possible trade bait.
A couple of teams have shown interest in Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Cowen’s $3.1 million cap hit through 2016-17, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s traded by the Feb. 29 deadline.
There’s a belief if Steven Stamkos hasn’t re-signed yet with the Tampa Bay Lightning that he’s not going to, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be traded, as the Lightning need him in order to reach the playoffs. A lot could also depend upon what happens with Jonathan Drouin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s over six months until Stamkos becomes eligible for UFA status. Lots of time yet for both sides to hammer out a deal. Just because they’re not discussing negotiations publicly doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t happening.
“Several Eastern Conference teams — including Montreal, Ottawa, Buffalo, New Jersey and Boston — have made calls to Yzerman to see what the asking price is for Drouin.” However, Yzerman would prefer shipping Drouin to a Western Conference club. Garrioch notes the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks all seek help up front. Garrioch also notes the rumored asking price from the Blues is promising rookie forward Robby Fabbri.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Yzerman gets a better offer from an Eastern club than a Western one, he could jump on it. Still, if he’s going to move Drouin, I think his preference is to a Western club.
Don’t expect San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau to be going anywhere.
Latest on the Leafs.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports at least two teams called the Maple Leafs inquiring about defenseman Roman Polak’s trade status but found the asking price too high. With less than two month before the Feb. 29 trade deadline, it’s believed Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello has priced his players very high right now. However, those prices are expected to drop as the trade deadlines approaches.