Latest on Eric Staal, Jonathan Drouin, Chris Kunitz, Mikkel Boedker, Kris Russell and many more in part one of your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM GARRIOCH’S LATEST “INSIDER TRADING.”
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Carolina Hurricanes will soon learn if captain Eric Staal is willing to waive his no-trade clause before tomorrow’s 3 PM ET trade deadline. There’s talk the New York Rangers would be a perfect fit because he’ll have the chance to play with his brother Marc.
The Rangers, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets are among the clubs with interest in suspended Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wants a return that can help his club immediately, plus a prospect or two.
The Boston Bruins must decide if they can either re-sign pending UFA winger Loui Eriksson, retain him for the rest of this season and risk losing him to free agency in July, or trade him before tomorrow’s deadline. If they trade him, there’s no guarantee they’ll get back a suitable replacement, plus it could hurt their playoff hopes. At this point, Garrioch believes it’s unlikely they’ll move him.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to move winger Chris Kunitz, but he has another year at $3.85 million left on his contract and that won’t be easy to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kunitz also has a modified no-trade clause, listing 22 teams he will accept being traded to. Despite that broad list, I don’t seem much of a market for a fading 36-year-old winger.
It’s believed winger Mikkel Boedker turned down a five-year deal worth $5.5 million annually from the Arizona Coyotes. Boedker, a pending UFA, could be traded before the deadline.
The Buffalo Sabres could shop pending UFA winger Jamie McGinn for a second-round draft pick.
It’s believed the St. Louis Blues contacted the Bruins and Coyotes about their available forwards but so far the asking prices are high. The Nashville Predators could also shop for a forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues GM Doug Armstrong recently claimed his limited cap space could prevent him from making a significant deal. Unless it’s dollar-for-dollar or a rival club takes on more salary in a deal, Armstrong might not be able to add a forward.
The New York Islanders have shown “more than a passing interest” in former Islander and current Toronto Maple Leafs winger P.A. Parenteau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parenteau left last night’s game against Montreal due to muscle cramps. It’ll be interesting to see if that affects his trade value at all.
“Boston, Florida, Tampa, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Washington, Dallas., Colorado and the Islanders” are believed to have contacted the Calgary Flames regarding blueliner Kris Russell. Other defense options include New Jersey’s David Schlemko, Ottawa’s Patrick Wiercioch and Carolina’s Ron Hainsey. Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis is also an option but he must first waive his no-movement clause. He’s reportedly interested in the Dallas Stars.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are believed willing to part with left wing Scott Hartnell and defenseman Fedor Tyutin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some Twitter buzz yesterday claiming the Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators were working on a deal involving Hartnell, but several reporters subsequently said there was nothing to it. Time will tell if this rumor had any legs.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM SPORTSNET’S SATURDAY HEADLINES.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there’s no progress thus far in the Boston Bruins’ contract talks with Loui Eriksson. He claims the “Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and potentially the Tampa Bay Lightning” could be among the clubs with interest in Eriksson. Those clubs are also pursuing Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker, who the Bruins could chase if they trade Eriksson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins trade Eriksson they must get back a top-six winger to offset the loss of his offense. Either that, or a good young top-four defenseman plus a top prospect. Anything less could jeopardize their playoff hopes.
Friedman also claims the New York Rangers could be a trade destination for Carolina’s Eric Staal. Speaking of the Rangers, they’ve apparently told defenseman Keith Yandle he won’t be traded.
Damien Cox reports New Jersey Devils winger Lee Stempniak could be dealt before tomorrow’s deadline. He also claims the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to trade unhappy defenseman Jared Cowen, who cleared waivers and was loaned to their AHL farm team but apparently isn’t going there. Cox suggests “maybe Chicago” as a destination for Cowen, perhaps in a salary swap for winger Bryan Bickell.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said he was “probably done” dealing, but of course we can never full rule anything out. Still, I’m not sure Cowen’s a fit for the ‘Hawks. The only upset I can see is Cowen’s cap hit for next season is lower than Bickell’s, giving the ‘Hawks a bit more wiggle room under next year’s cap. That’s assuming Bickell will accept a trade to the Maple Leafs.
Friedman notes the Washington Capitals place defenseman John Carlson on LTIR, freeing up salary-cap space to enter the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE : Until Carlson’s injury, I didn’t think they’d be very active after acquiring Mike Weber from Buffalo. That has likely changed, especially with Carlson going on LTIR. However, the Caps will still have to ensure they free up sufficient cap space when Carlson returns near the end of March.
John-Michael Liles, Dan Hamhuis and Kris Russell are believed in play in the trade market. Friedman said Hamhuis was linked to Boston and Dallas, while Cox suggested Russell could interest the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the Penguins’ addition of Justin Schultz yesterday, they might not be in the market for another defenseman.