After the Canucks’ 4-1 loss to the Sharks, winger Alex Burrows appeared on Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours segment with Cassie Campbell and Scott Oake.
The first question was very specific: “have you waived your no trade clause?”
Burrows didn’t shy away. He said he and GM Jim Benning had a frank chat a week or so ago. Burrows didn’t want to get into details but he admitted he still wants to win and he wants to be a playoff player. He also mentioned the challenge of having a young family and the stresses being away from his kids places on them, implying there were very specific circumstances he would consider if a trade were to materialize.
The price to trade for pending free agent defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk is too high. The price to sign him long term is even more expensive … Have to wonder a little about Shattenkirk when he had a chance to play for a contending roster in Tampa Bay for $6 million a year over seven years and he turned it down. Never mind where the Lightning are now: A defence with Viktor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Shattenkirk would be Blackhawks-like … Asked a Leafs front office man what to expect from Toronto on trade deadline day: “A lot of phone calls,” he said, “probably no trades.”
The Rangers have gone big at each of the past four deadlines, trading three first-rounders, four second-rounders, a world-class sniper (Marian Gaborik), a captain on an expiring contract (Ryan Callahan) and two prospects (Anthony Duclair and Aleksi Saarela) for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, Ryane Clowe, Marty St. Louis, Keith Yandle and Eric Staal. (John Moore came and went in separate transactions.)
And even as Gorton seeks help both on defense and up front (Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen, anyone?), a sellers’ market in which renting Dallas’ Patrick Eaves somehow cost Anaheim a second-rounder that could become a first, portends a low-drama deadline on Broadway.
With only nine days until the March 1 NHL trade deadline though, what is the mindset of this team?
“If we have a good week, we’re going to probably maintain and look and see what’s available,” said president of hockey operations Dale Tallon during a Monday afternoon appearance on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590. “We’re not going to give up much off our roster to chase something. We do have some picks and prospects, but we’re not going to see many changes on our roster.
“So if it’s a deal there that’s a short-term kind of quick fix thing, we might look at that as well. But obviously we prefer to be buying. I think that’s what’s going to happen.
Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province believes the Canucks have three marketable assests ahead of the trade deadline. Those players are; forwards Alex Burrows and Jannick Hansen, and goaltender Ryan Miller. Burrows and Miller are both playing on expiring contracts, while Hansen is signed through next season at a cap hit of $2.5 million.
The Canucks may be forced to move Hansen in order to avoid leaving him unprotected in the Las Vegas expansion draft. Linden admitted to TSN 1040 earlier this month that if his roster remained in its current state, one of , Sven Baerstchi and Hansen would likely be left available for the Golden Knights.
Brian, 32, could be in his final week in a Lightning uniform, depending on how things develop at the March 1 trade deadline.
Boyle, who can be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is drawing interest from several teams looking for a versatile veteran for a playoff push.
The Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets (with Boyle’s former Rangers coach, John Tortorella) are reportedly among the suitors. So are the Oilers, which the Lightning hosts Tuesday.
Understandably, a Dennis Wideman demotion doesn’t attract the same sort of front-page attention as Johnny Gaudreau’s.
It is, however, representative of one of the biggest problems the Calgary Flames have faced all season long.
This team is devoid of a quality no. 4 defenceman.
It’s part of the reason T.J. Brodie has struggled to regain the scoring touch and effectiveness he enjoyed last year while he was paired on the top line with Mark Giordano.
The right-winger is currently on a one-year, $5.75-million contract and is looking to “hit a home run” in his impending free agency, said Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment on Saturday.
“Long term. That’s what Radulov wants,” said Kypreos. “This is his window of opportunity to get a long-term deal.”
Francis said, “I’m always open to anything that will make our team better.” Like nearly all GMs in February, he has been working the phone, although he has a lot more salary-cap flexibility than a lot of other GMs.
Given the defensive depth in the organization, Francis might look to deal a defenseman, if the trade makes sense. There are teams desperate for defensive help and might be willing to part with a top-six forward who could help the Canes.
If the Canes struggle in the homestand, Francis also might go in the other direction — perhaps look to deal some of the Canes’ pending unrestricted free agents.
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