Latest on Andrew Ladd, Mikkel Boedker, Scott Hartnell, Nazem Kadri, Radim Vrbata and more in part three of your NHL rumor mill.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “30 THOUGHTS”.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Los Angeles Kings were believed seeking a defenseman, but Marian Gaborik’s injury could have them in the market for a winger. So could the New York Rangers, if sidelined Rick Nash needs more recovery time.
St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong, however, might not be among them, citing a lack of salary-cap space. Friedman claims there was a sense a year ago the Blues had interest in Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri but that didn’t go far.
Friedman suggests a swap of Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell for Nashville Predators left wing Colin Wilson might only make sense to him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It makes sense to me as well. In fact, I suggested it as a hypothetical trade in a recent Bleacher Report slider.
The Anaheim Ducks aren’t among the teams most often mentioned as interested in adding pieces (“Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles and the Islanders”) by the trade deadline. With the Ducks climbing in the standings, GM Bob Murray could be reluctant to messing with a good thing right now.
The Arizona Coyotes could be among the clubs seeking a goalie. Friedman wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs netminder James Reimer could be a fit. Also, if the Coyotes trade winger Mikkel Boedker, Vancouver Canucks right wing Radim Vrbata could return to the Coyotes.
San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson could be in the market for a backup goaltender.
The Calgary Flames are among several clubs with interest in Pittsburgh Penguins AHL goalie Matt Murray. The Pen appear reluctant to part with him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Penguins will part with Murray. He’s a key piece for their future.
Edmonton Oilers winger Teddy Purcell might interest the Florida Panthers if they don’t land Winnipeg Jets winger Andrew Ladd.
Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles could have interest in Calgary Flames defenseman Kris Russell.
Friedman wonders what Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall might do at the deadline. He could try to create more openings for his promising young defensemen. He wonders if edgy blueliner Radko Gudas might hit the trade block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Gudas’ loose cannon act this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up on the block. Hextall also said earlier this week he’s not seeking playoff rental players. That doesn’t mean he might not make a move, but he’ll want something back that help now and in the future.
He expects suspended Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin to re-enter the rumor mill at some point. He isn’t sure if the Lightning will circle back to previously interested teams like Colorado, Nashville and Ottawa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin could be moved at the trade deadline, but I still think that’s a deal that takes place in the offseason.
Friedman isn’t sure what to make of Loui Eriksson’s situation with the Boston Bruins. It’s possible they could retain Eriksson for the remainder of the season, even if he isn’t re-signed before the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Eriksson fetches a top-four defenseman with reasonable term on his contract, the Bruins could retain him for the rest of the season.
Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller has resurfaced in the rumor mill. Chicago’s been mentioned but they might not have sufficient cap space. Columbus could be another.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman also wrote about some other rumors that he discussed in yesterday’s Reddit AMA. You can read about those in Part One of today’s NHL rumor mill.
UPDATES ON THE COYOTES, PANTHERS AND PENGUINS.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports via Twitter: “It’s believed Arizona has backed off a previously tabled offer to extend (Mikkel) Boedker, which further supports the likelihood he will be traded.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a last-minute change, Boedker’s probably on his way out of Arizona, perhaps by as early as this weekend.
NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford yesterday cited a report out of Florida noting Panthers co-owner Doug Cifu spoke highly of Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd, noting Panthers GM Dale Tallon knows Ladd well from their days with the Chicago Blackhawks. Cifu didn’t say if his club is pursuing the Jets captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of recent speculation linking Ladd to the Panthers, who have the depth in young talent to entice the Jets, who could seek a promising forward as part of the return for Ladd.
DK PITTSBURGH SPORTS: Josh Yohe reports Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell and the Jets’ Andrew Ladd have been linked to the Penguins. GM Jim Rutherford isn’t tipping his hand, but is comfortable with his team and its direction. “And the injection of youth, he told me, isn’t going away down the stretch”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Rutherford isn’t seeking a rental player.