With demand peaking, which forwards are available?
Other teams confirmed to be looking for a top-six forward include Chicago, Toronto, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Detroit, the New York Rangers and, as Poile said, Nashville. San Jose could be in the mix for either a top-six forward or a checking-line forward. Boston and Vancouver are looking for a depth forward.
So, easier said than done when so many clubs are looking for similar assets.
“I’m running into the same thing everyone else is,” said Poile, who did at least claim depth forward Brandon Yip off waivers Thursday. “There’s 15 to 20 teams right now that are aggressively calling the three or four or five teams that they think are appropriate to call. And there’s nothing happening with those teams right now.”
What the trade market needs is more teams to declare themselves sellers and out of the playoff race. But it’s still too early for that. That’s what happens with so much parity in the standings.
Potential top-six forwards available? Again, it doesn’t mean all these players will move, but these are names we’ve heard that could be in play: Derek Roy, Brad Boyes and Drew Stafford in Buffalo; Vaclav Prospal, Antoine Vermette and Kristian Huselius in Columbus; Ales Hemsky in Edmonton; Tuomo Ruutu in Carolina; and the suddenly hot Jason Blake in Anaheim.
I believe both Detroit and Nashville are among the teams who like Hemsky, who is a UFA on July 1.
And of course there’s potentially Bobby Ryan in Anaheim as a trade target for many teams, although you wonder if the resurgence of the Ducks will give GM Bob Murray pause for thought. I still think Murray will take calls on Ryan right up through the deadline, but the offseason might afford a better window to instill more serious change in his lineup.