Join the HTR Mail List
If face-of-the-franchise Jarome Iginla is willing to accept a trade, or if he’s so frustrated that he’s actually thinking of asking for one, he wasn’t saying Wednesday.
Maybe white smoke will billow out of the Saddledome when Iginla has made up his mind whether he wants to negotiate a contract extension with the team or try for a championship ring elsewhere.
There are rumblings blueline workhorse Jay Bouwmeester, the NHL’s all-time leader in games played without a single skate in the post-season, could be asked to waive his own no-trade clause.
GM Paul Holmgren clearly would like to land a premium puck-moving defenseman. It would be easier for him to pursue that if he could trade Danny Briere. However, Briere doesn’t want to move and has a no-trade clause. If he decided to waive it in pursuit of a better shot to win the Stanley Cup, he is highly marketable because he has a proven playoff track record (50 goals and 59 assists in 108 games). He’s due to make $3 million next season and $2 million in 2014-15. The problem is he has a cap hit of $6.5million. He would be a great fit for a team that didn’t go to the cap ceiling.
I do think Bouwmeester is the exact type ofD the Oilers need. But I highly doubt the Flames would move him within the Division
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) March 14, 2013
Nothing spells trade rumour like the combustive mixture of a bad team and a pending veteran free agent.
General manager Steve Tambellini, in his typically impassive fashion, said he isn’t about to make significant changes to the Edmonton Oilers.
In a brief look back on the first half of the Oilers’ season, Tambellini said on Tuesday that while he isn’t unwilling to make moves, he is not going to do so at the expense of the youth on the team.
Through thick and thin, Ryan Miller has been the Buffalo Sabres’ go-to guy. There are some rumblings that might change, though.
During the first intermission of Tuesday’s Vancouver Canucks-Columbus Blue Jackets game, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported that Miller’s “days are numbered” in Buffalo.
I know the Bruins have strong interest in Ryane Clowe but asking price is 1st rd pk and prospect from what I am told. Too high.
— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) March 12, 2013
With the NHL trade deadline less than a month away, NHL scouts have been out and about getting in-person looks at the various players known to be on the trading block.
According to Twitter reports from The Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein and the Morning News’s Mike Heika, Boston has been one of the six teams that have attended the Stars’ last two games, along with Pittsburgh, Toronto, Columbus, Minnesota and the New York Rangers.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis may want to kick the tires now on pending restricted free agent Shawn Matthias of Florida.
At 25, the 6-foot-4, 216-pound centre had seven goals through 26 games this season and his pro-rated $900,000 US contract is expiring. Panthers GM Dale Tallon is looking to rebuild, but this might be a tough piece to pry away. Worth a try for a longer fix.
Here’s what’s out there in the UFA market:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland has been trying to acquire a big-name, impact player for several months, but he’s set to bring a stud NHLer to Detroit this season.
The Wings currently sit fourth in the Western Conference, but are only two points out of ninth position.
After failing to capitalize on back-to-back games against the Columbus Blue Jackets, where Detroit only managed one point in a shootout loss Sunday, it’s becoming more and more evident that the Wings will need some outside assistance if they want to make a run this playoff season.
Holland has kicked the tires on Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, but the price tags for both players are considerably high.
Bouwmeester has one-year remaining on his contract beyond this season, while Yandle has three years.
As much as the Red Wings need an upgrade on the blueline — and they could target others, such as Buffalo’s Robyn Regehr or Edmonton’s Ladislav Smid — they desire secondary scoring help.
“I think we’re doing a lot of things the right way to win games,” Yzerman said. “Our coverage in our own zone, we’re improving upon. The results aren’t showing up in wins and losses, but we’re hoping if we stick with the process, that will start to show up, and we hope sooner rather than later.”
That’s not to say Yzerman isn’t working the phones ahead of the April 3 trade deadline for help on the blue line, which is thin after the top four and shouldered the blame for the final goal in Saturday’s devastating 4-3 loss to the Canadiens.
“We want to make the playoffs,” he said.
So, the plan is to add to the roster rather than sell?
With every embarrassing loss, Jarome Iginla’s decision must get a little bit easier.
With the NHL trade deadline 24 days away, there are way more buyers than sellers because there are few teams that are definitely out of the playoff picture, barring a miracle run — the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres.
Don’t expect Leafs GM Dave Nonis to mess with a good thing. Toronto has excellent chemistry under coach Randy Carlyle which means neither centre Tyler Bozak nor left winger Clarke MacArthur — both UFA’s — likely won’t be going anywhere.
This year’s deadline is scheduled for April 3 — a mere 12 games before the end of the season — so teams should know if they are buyers or sellers. But for the Leafs, the decision-making process could be a little more complicated since they could be buying and selling.
Will Nonis try and dump the team’s highly paid healthy scratches? Will he try to turn some of the pending unrestricted free agents into draft picks? Will he try and acquire a top-line centre such as Colorado’s Paul Stastny to push the Leafs from a bubble team to a contender?
Time is ticking away on the Jarome Iginla era in Calgary, as the most popular player in franchise history has yet to decide whether he wants to remain with the Flames.
Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, has given the Calgary Sun an ominous update on the situation between the two sides, saying the Flames captain is “not currently in negotiations” with the NHL club he’s played with the last 18 years.
Six points out of the No. 8 spot heading into Sunday’s visit by the Montreal Canadiens, the goal for Florida now is to try to move a few contracts and see if the club can set the course for next year after the Panthers fell back.
With the exception of centre Jonathan Huberdeau, defenceman Erik Gudbranson, goalie Jakob Markstrom and centre Drew Shore, pretty much every player on the Florida roster is up for grabs as the Panthers try to shed some cash.
Rutherford said Canes may look to upgrade defense but noted many other teams trying to do same. Said could add a “depth” goalie.
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) March 8, 2013
talked to Brenden Morrow about the April 3 trade deadline, and he had a refreshing point of view.
Morrow knows that there’s a very good chance he could be traded, as he can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer and the Stars appear to have no interest in signing him. At age 34, he believes he still has plenty to give, and he is taking a calm attitude about handling the trade talk.
There are some interesting potential free agents out there as the deadline approaches including forwards Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames, Mike Ribeiro of the Washington Capitals and defenceman Mark Streit of the New York Islanders, but the problem as the trade deadline nears is going to be separating the buyers from the sellers. With teams playing just a 48-game schedule there is not going to be the same kind of separation you would have near the end of an 82-game schedule.
Another possibility is Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang. He’s got one year left on his contract after this season and is due for a big raise from his current deal, which carries a cap hit of $3.5 million. With centre Evgeni Malkin also coming up as a potential UFA after next season, is Penguins general manager Ray Shero going to be able to keep everybody happy?