Latest on the Bruins, Rangers, Ducks, Sharks, Devils and Flyers in Part Two of today’s NHL rumor mill.
Updates on the Bruins, Rangers and Ducks.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports the Boston Bruins are negotiating through an “in-between period” heading toward the Feb. 29 trade deadline. While they need long-term help at defense and right wing, they still have sufficient depth in talent to carry them to a playoff berth. Shinzawa argues against acquiring short-term help by giving up picks and prospects. If they’re to trade pending UFA winger Loui Eriksson, he believes it should be for a return that helps them now and in the future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, it appears the Bruins aren’t comfortable with re-signing Eriksson to a long-term deal and could listen to offers for him. On the other hand, trading Eriksson simply to avoid losing him for nothing could hurt their playoff hopes this season. Finding a return that helps now and beyond this season at this time of year isn’t easy.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes it’s time for Rangers management to determine if winger Chris Kreider is either a future star or a trade chip leading up to next week’s deadline. He notes Kreider’s name has surfaced in the rumor mill, though that’s likely because of inquiries from rival clubs and not because the Rangers are shopping him. If Kreider is to be moved, Brooks is against the idea of using him for a short-term pickup like Carolina’s Eric Staal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Kreider gets dealt at the trade deadline. However, if he doesn’t step it up down the stretch and into the playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear his name come up in trade chatter by the NHL Draft in June.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens wonders if the rapidly improving Anaheim Ducks will make any moves by next week’s trade deadline. While the recent additions of David Perron and Ryan Garbutt have helped, Stephens speculates the Ducks could still use help on the wings, especially with winger Chris Stewart sidelined with a broken jaw. While Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd, Boston’s Loui Eriksson and Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker could be available, Stephens notes more affordable options could include Montreal’s Dale Weise and Buffalo’s Jamie McGinn. He also notes Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn is a restricted free agent and the Bolts must re-sign Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. GM Bob Murray can’t take on a player with too much salary unless he moves a salaried player out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Ducks improvement since Christmas, there’s less pressure on Murray to be a buyer before the deadline. Besides, he’s already been active in this year’s trade market. He could opt to stand pat by the deadline, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still looking for an affordable winger.
Latest on the Sharks, Devils and Flyers.
CSN BAY AREA: provides a list of possible trade targets for the San Jose Sharks if GM Doug Wilson decides to go shopping at the trade deadline. Among those listed are Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak, NY Rangers blueliner Keith Yandle, Vancouver Canucks rearguard Dan Hamhuis, Buffalo Sabres d-man Mike Weber and Montreal Canadiens blueliner Tom Gilbert. Forward options include Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker, Columbus’ Scott Hartnell and goaltenders James Reimer of the Leafs and Ben Scrivens of the Canadiens.
**UPDATE**: TSN.CA: This morning, the Leafs shipped defenceman Roman Polak and forward Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks for two second-round draft picks and forward Raffi Torres.
In the past, Wilson has shown a willingness to swing deadline deals to help his club. I think their priority is a backup goalie, followed by a defenseman. And once again, Wilson shows his willingness to make moves near the deadline to bolster his roster. In one trade, he addresses two of his needs without giving up anything off his current roster. I don’t think he’s done dealing, as they need a backup goalie.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti reports New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero isn’t shopping pending UFAs Lee Stempniak and David Schlemko, but didn’t rule out listening to offers. Stempniak acknowledged how he and his teammates perform will determine if he and Schlemko remain with the Devils after the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Devils play well this week, Shero might seek an affordable scorer to boost their weak offense. If not, he could be a seller.
CSNPHILLY.COM; Tim Panaccio reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall said he’s not looking to add players at the trade deadline. In other words, he’s not seeking any playoff rental players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall’s sticking to the long-term rebuilding plan and isn’t seeking a short-term fix. Unless he’s getting a player that helps his club beyond this season, the Flyers will have to reach this year’s playoffs with their current lineup.