The latest on Mikkel Boedker, Loui Eriksson, Andrew Ladd, Dan Hamhuis, Kris Russell and many more in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest from TSN’s Insiders.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Arizona Coyotes are “aggressively evaluating” the trade value of right winger Mikkel Boedker, a pending UFA. While the Coyotes would love to re-sign Boedker, they’ll consider trading him if that’s not possible. GM Don Maloney could seek a first -round pick or a good player or a top prospect.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe the Coyotes could re-sign Boedker, but lately that’s sounding like less of a certainty.
Pierre LeBrun reports Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman could pursue an affordable deal for a left wing on Jonathan Toews’ line.
Darren Dreger reports there’s been very little contract talk between Montreal Canadiens management and the agent for winger Dale Weise. If the Habs shop Weise, there will be interest in him.
LeBrun believes Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is in the rental market. LeBrun could be looking at Toronto Maple Leafs UFA defenseman Roman Polak or Boedker.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Polak will be a more affordable acquisition than Boedker, as the Coyotes will set a high price (first-round pick, top prospect or good young player) for him.
McKenzie speculates the Buffalo Sabres seek a second-round pick for winger Jamie McGinn.
Dreger claims the Boston Bruins’ preference is to re-sign winger Loui Eriksson, but they prefer a three- or four-year term.
McKenzie notes reports out of Vancouver claim Canucks coach Willie Desjardins could be on the hot seat. Given injuries to some key players, the Canucks might not make an in-season coaching change. If they miss the playoffs, however, all bets could be off.
Highlights from LeBrun’s latest “Rumblings.”
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports a top-nine winger tops the list of Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon but not at any price. While LeBrun speculates Tallon could be interested in left wing Andrew Ladd, but not if the Winnipeg Jets seek too much in return.
The Dallas Stars could look at adding a defenseman before the trade deadline, though it’s not an urgent need. They could look at Dan Hamhuis of the Vancouver Canucks or Kris Russel of the Calgary Flames.
Highlights from Friedmans latest “30 Thoughts”.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman can see the Anaheim Ducks could kick the tires on someone like Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise.
The Edmonton Oilers have pulled right wing Jordan Eberle off the trade market. Friedman believes the Oilers also had interest in Florida Panthers forward Brandon Pirri until he suffered a nasty ankle injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Oilers revisit their interest in Pirri in the offseason?
Prior to firing Mike Yeo as head coach, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher tried to make a trade to reverse his struggling club’s fortunes. However, the three players teams were most interested in were defenseman Jonas Brodin and forwards Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreitter.
It remains to be seen if Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis could consider waiving his no-trade clause.
Friedman isn’t sure if the Winnipeg Jets six-year, $36 million offer to pending UFA winger Andrew Ladd remains on the table. It’s believed Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff needed some time to determine how Dustin Byfuglien’s new $7.6 million cap hit means for Ladd, who says he wants to remain with the Jets.
Keep an eye on the contract negotiations between the Calgary Flames and Kris Russell, the Arizona Coyotes and Mikkel Boedker and the Boston Bruins and Loui Eriksson.
Updates on the Blackhawks, Canucks and Ducks.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Hine reports the Blackhawks placing defenseman Rob Scuderi on waivers means they could free up an additional $950K of salary cap space if he goes unclaimed and is demoted to the minors. That will give GM Stan Bowman some room to work with leading up to the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Bowman could use it to acquire a defenseman. It’s also possible he could instead pursue a left wing. While Bowman could stand pat if he doesn’t find a deal he likes, I expect he’ll make a move to address one of those needs by the deadline.
THE VANCOUVER SUN/THE PROVINCE: Iain MacIntyre reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning has few attractive trade assets beyond right wing Radim Vrbata and defenseman Dan Hamhuis leading up to the trade deadline. MacIntyre doesn’t see the Sedins , Ryan Miller, Alex Edler or Jannik Hansen being in play. Ben Kuzma, meanwhile, wonders if head coach Willie Desjardins has a long-term future with the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s some dark mutterings in the Vancouver media over how much sway Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini has in management decisions. The latest suggests Aquilini is preventing Benning from being a deadline seller. I’ll be surprised if Benning becomes a buyer, simply because that means giving up some of their promising young players. I doubt very much he and team president Trevor Linden will agree to that.
The Canucks tried rebuilding on the fly this season and it didn’t work. If they lose more ground in the standings between now and Feb. 29, they’ll be sellers, not buyers. And that means they’ll try to move Hamhuis, Vrbata, maybe Alex Burrows and demoted forwards like Brandon Prust and Chris Higgins. And I concur with Bob McKenzie that they probably won’t make an in-season coaching change. Desjardins, however, could face an uncertain future after this season.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson doubts Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray will part with any of the good young defensemen on his roster simply to acquire a rental player like Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd or Boston’s Loui Eriksson. However, he wonders if Murray might instead dangle a top prospect like Brandon Montour or Jacob Larsson.