Could the Flyers and Bruins pursue defensemen at the trade deadline? Will the Coyotes add a scorer? Read on for the latest.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Pannacio doesn’t see any major defensemen available by the March 5 trade deadline who could help the Philadelphia Flyers. Indeed, he doesn’t expect them to make any major moves until then. He expects they’ll look at pursuing a major blueliner in the off-season. Noting the Nashville Predators are loading up with young defensemen, Panaccio speculates they might move captain Shea Weber and his big contract. If they do, he believes the Flyers will be interested. Panaccio isn’t hearing any rumbling the Flyers are aggressively pursuing a scoring winger like Thomas Vanek.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Weber lacks a no-trade clause the Predators can deal him anywhere. Weber’s been invaluable rallying the Predators back into playoff contention this season, so the asking price will be steep for one of the league’s top defensemen. The Preds desperately need offense so expect the asking price for Weber to be at least one top-line scorer and either a second-line scorer or top forward prospect along with a first round pick. I wouldn’t say it’s a certainty the Predators move him, but if they got a mind-blowing offer one can’t rule it out. I agree with Panaccio that the Flyers won’t make any major moves near the deadline. They lack cap space and the asking price for the better players available (Vanek, Moulson) is too expensive.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty speculates over possible defensive moves by the Boston Bruins, who seek “a big, strong veteran defenseman that can block shots and throw bodies around in the defensive zone.” Haggerty acknowledged there aren’t many of those available right now. He believes it’s possible they could offer up a couple of non-first round picks to the Islanders for Andrew MacDonald. He doesn’t see them trying to land Dan Girardi as long as the NY Rangers want a first round pick as part of the return, and admits the Ottawa Senators aren’t parting with Chris Phillips.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli won’t make a trade just for the sake of doing so. If he believes MacDonald can be an improvement for his defense he’ll try to land him. Otherwise, he’ll stick with what he’s got or maybe seek a more affordable option. Girardi and Phillips aren’t among them.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reports Phoenix Coyotes’ GM Don Maloney’s focus is on boosting his club’s offense by the trade deadline, though the pickings are slim this year. He doesn’t expect any massive changes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If we take Maloney at his word we can rule out the Coyotes pursuing Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson or Mike Cammalleri. It’s rumored they were interested in bringing back former Coyote Ray Whitney from the Dallas Stars, but with the Stars jockeying with the ‘Yotes for a playoff berth that’s unlikely to happen. Perhaps Maloney looks at more affordable options like Florida’s Brad Boyes or Calgary’s Lee Stempniak.