The Canucks placed Chris Higgins on waivers last Tuesday. A day later, the former Yale forward cleared, with nobody interested in assuming the $2.5 million he’s due annually through 2017. Higgins is only 32 years old. The left wing scored 12 goals and 24 assists in 77 games for Vancouver last season. But Higgins is the odd man out as general manager Jim Benning tries to make his aging roster younger.
Winnipeg Jets: All eyes are on captain Andrew Ladd and blueliner Dustin Byfuglien. “I don’t believe they’ll both be there after the deadline,” a league executive said Friday. The talk is the Jets tabled a six-year, $6 million deal to Ladd before the season, and that somehow the deal will get done.
New York Islanders: The sense is there won’t be any deal involving defenceman Travis Hamonic, who asked for a trade a personal reasons, until the NHL entry draft in June. A league executive said: “Garth Snow isn’t going to make this deal unless he gets good value in return.”
Now that he has about $4.1 million in salary-cap space and his team is in the playoff hunt, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is not ruling out adding a forward before the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
“If we can improve our team in any way without mortgaging the future, we’ll look at it,” Hextall said Thursday. “I mean, if young players can make us better, of course we’ll look at it.”
Had Brian Burke been hired a few months earlier in the summer of 2008, his first choice for Leaf coach would have been Joel Quenneville.
— Gord Stellick (@GordStellick) January 15, 2016
The Canucks probably haven’t done enough this year to get the most out of Vrbata. And if he’s not going to play with the Sedins, I’m not sure there should be much debate about his future in Van.
However, I can see how the Canucks would have pause with the trade deadline approaching. Scoring goals is so difficult for this group, do they really want to trade their second-leading goal scorer?
Head coach Mike Babcock dropped some clues on Hockey Central at Noon Thursday, when he specifically named seven players who have impressed him through the first half of the season.
Not named by Babcock? Centre Tyler Bozak, who thriving this season in spite of Phil Kessel‘s absence, and sniper James van Riemsdyk, now sidelined for weeks with a broken foot.
“Van Riemsdyk, I think other teams would love to get their hands on him.,” Friedman said. “I’ve had a couple of teams tell me that they’ve asked and been told he’s not available. So the price is very high for him.”
Multiple sources have confirmed to Sportsnet that Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli offered centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to Nashville in a bid to land defenceman Seth Jones.
Chiarelli had no comment on this report, neither confirming nor issuing a denial when reached. And of course, Nashville general manager David Poile chose to deal Jones to Columbus for Ryan Johansen instead. What it tells us is that Chiarelli sees Nugent-Hopkins as the one player from the Oilers former core that can command the greatest return — yet at the same time is expendable.
Hockey commentator Craig Simpson says the Edmonton Oilers should be stepping up, even with key players out of the line-up. At the same time Simpson told Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now that it’s no time to make a trade, not until players like Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom return and the Oilers see how the team functions at that point.
Kypreos says that Kadri wouldn't be a good trade piece for Drouin because Yzerman would want someone younger.
— Platinum Seat Ghosts (@3rdPeriodSuits) January 14, 2016
“The No. 1 question I was asked this week was, ‘What’s Chevy going to do?’ And everybody wants to know what Chevy is going to do… what’s he going to do with Ladd and Byfuglien. Two guys, unrestricted free agents. They’ve had contract negotiations. I think Ladd seems to be further down the road than Byfuglien, but neither one of them is close to being done.
Among the worst-kept secrets in the NHL is that the Lightning would like to trade Carle, a move that would clear $5.5 million off Tampa Bay’s salary cap. But Carle has two seasons on his contract beyond this season, a road block in trying to work out a deal with another team.
It appears the Jonathan Drouin trade talks are heating up. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie provides an update on The Morning Show on TSN Radio 690 in Montreal.
After months without any meaningful transactions, the recent spate of trades has NHL fans expecting a flurry of activity in the days ahead. And based on the buzz around the league, they’re going to get it.
Here’s a look at a 13 noteworthy names who could be on the move ahead of the Feb. 29 trade deadline: