Updates on Ales Hemsky and Tim Connolly plus the latest on the Kings, Maple Leafs,Bruins and Wild
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports the Kings were interested in James Neal prior to his trade from Dallas to Pittsburgh but not at the expense of a top defenseman. They’ve also looked at Florida’s David Booth and Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky but have made it clear they’re not trading prospect Brayden Schenn. Elliott suggests it would be surprising if GM Dean Lombardi does anything bigger than his usual and tedious mid-range deals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand Lombardi’s reluctance because of the promising depth of young talent currently on his roster. Still, with a playoff shot no sure thing this season he’ll likely face pressure to do something besides his “usual and tedious mid-ranger deals”.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli might not be done dealing, this time perhaps for an affordable veteran blueliner who can fill in for youngsters Adam McQuaid or Steven Kampfer or perhaps in case of an injury.
BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Tim Connolly’s days with the Sabres could be coming to an end as he might be of interest to teams like Washington, Pittsburgh or Los Angeles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Harrington that Connolly probably won’t be re-signed, and with the Sabres struggling to gain ground in the standings of late the likelihood Connolly could be dealt will only increase leading up to the deadline.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan speculated as to which defenseman the Maple Leafs might pursue leading up to the trade deadline, noting Florida’s Dennis Wideman, Colorado’s John-Michael Liles and Atlanta’s Zach Bogosian are thought to be available, and they could offer up the third round pick they got from Philadelphia in the Kris Versteeg deal. One Leaf who won’t be dealt is defenseman Luke Schenn.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bogosian would be the ideal target but apparently the Thrashers are shopping him. Liles inconsistent play and Wideman’s habit of turning over the puck in his own zone could affect their value but of the two I think Leafs GM Brian Burke might prefer Wideman.
EDMONTON SUN: Robert Tychkowski reports Oilers winger Ales Hemsky acknowledged the possibility he could be dealt by the trade deadline, saying he “doesn’t hold the cards”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The asking price for Hemsky is rumored to be “high”, which could keep him in Edmonton beyond the deadline.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the recent hand injury to Mikko Koivu could push Wild management into the trade market seeking a short term replacement by the deadline. Centers who might be available include New Jersey’s Jason Arnott, Buffalo’s Tim Connolly, Montreal’s Jeff Halpern and Florida’s Cory Stillman or Marty Reasoner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Connolly might be a better target as could Reasoner. The Habs probably aren’t shopping Halpern and with the Devils trying to get back into the playoff race they could retain Arnott.