Updates on the Lightning, Jets, Red Wings, Oilers, Panthers, Wild and Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest on Stamkos and Drouin.
SPORTNET: Dean Blundell cited a source (the same one who told him Mike Babcock would sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs) claiming the Leafs may be prepared to make a pitch for the negotiating rights of Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos this summer, with the intent of trying to sign him to an eight-year deal worth between $11-$12 million per season.
Mike Johnston notes there’s a possibility Stamkos might waive his no-movement clause before the end of this month, suggesting the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames as “potentially good trade partners” before the trade deadline.
TSN: Darren Dreger believes the Toronto Maple Leafs have a remote chance of landing Stamkos. ” As much as we would like to conjure up a multitude of trade scenarios, unless told otherwise in the days ahead, it’s believed Stamkos is intent on doing what he can to help Tampa Bay vie for the Stanley Cup in June.” Dreger considers it a “large assumption” Stamkos and the Lightning can’t work toward a deal. He also notes the fishbowl existence of playing in Toronto could be a turnoff for the Lightning captain. There’s also the length of time it could take the Maple Leafs to be in Stanley Cup contention, whereas Stamkos wants to win a championship now, as well as the Leafs lack of skilled depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last week, I also did up a list of potential trade destinations if contract talks break down between the Lightning and Stamkos before the deadline. It was done more out of fun than anything else, but as we’ve seen, rumors persist over Stamkos’ future with the Lightning and the possibility of his waiving his no-movement clause at the deadline. I still doubt this will happen, but I can admit anything’s possible. While I disagree with most of Johnston’s trade destinations, I agree that any team making a pitch for Stamkos should be prepared to pay a significant price to land him. The Lightning won’t just give him away. Indeed, the asking price could be so expensive that it ensures Stamkos isn’t dealt at the deadline.
Bob McKenzie claims the Montreal Canadiens had serious interest in suspended Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin. So far, there’s hasn’t been a lot of results on that front.
Updates on the Jets.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports Jets captain and pending UFA left wing Andrew Ladd won’t be in limbo for long, citing GM Kevin Cheveldayoff saying it’s either a contract extension or a trade by the Feb. 29 deadline for Ladd. Wiebe considers the “Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders” as good fits for Ladd if he’s to be dealt.
630 CHED (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman reports the Winnipeg Jets inquired about New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, who requested a trade for family reasons last summer to a Western-Canadian club. The Islanders asked about Jacob Trouba, but the Jets rejected that. Friedman claims the Islanders won’t do anything that jeopardizes their chances of winning this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m expecting Ladd to be dealt by the deadline, perhaps to one of those club’s Wiebe listed. Forget about a Hamonic-for-Trouba swap, that’s not happening, at least not during this season. Maybe this summer, but as Friedman noted, Isles GM Garth Snow plays hardball with players coming off entry-level contracts, so if Trouba expects to get an eight-year, $56 million deal from Snow, he’ll be in for a rude surprise.
Red Wings trade-deadline plans.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland expects to be working the phones at the NHL trade deadline. If he makes a move, however, it’ll have to be for a “dramatic upgrade on one of our players” and it would require him to get creative with his salary-cap space. If Holland swings a deal, Khan believes it’ll be for a forward with offensive ability.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa also reports Holland will have to finesse his salary-cap issue, despite have around $4.3 million available, for the right deal. Krupa lists Toronto Maple Leafs winger P-A Parenteau and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz as two players who might be available now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland tends to look into rental players to help his club in the playoffs. Someone like Parenteau or Schultz could interest him, as the asking price should be affordable for either guy.
Latest on the Oilers, Wild, Sharks and Panthers.
630 CHED (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman cites the chemistry between Oilers center Connor McDavid and right wing Jordan Eberle as why the Oilers might be reluctant to part with Eberle, who’s come up in trade speculation this season.
TWINCITIES.COM: Chad Graff wonders if New York Islanders pending UFA winger Kyle Okposo might consider signing with the Minnesota Wild this summer. Okposo, 27, is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. If he’s willing to join the Wild, however, they’ll have to clear considerable salary-cap space to sign him.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: With Alex Stalock struggling this season, the Sharks could be in the market for a backup goalie at the trade deadline.
MIAMI HERALD: David J. Neal believes the Florida Panthers can afford to stand pat at the trade deadline. Unless they get a great offer, Neal believes they should do nothing at the deadline and allow their young players to benefit from playoff experience.