Could the Oilers trade their 2014 first round pick? Are changes coming for the Jets? What blueliners could the Bruins and Capitals target? Are the Devils shopping for a scorer? 

Craig MacTavish could retain his 2014 first round pick.

Craig MacTavish could retain his 2014 first round pick.

EDMONTON SUN: Terry Jones reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish appears to be changing his mind about trading his first round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, as it now appears that pick could be among the top five in the draft lottery. MacTavish acknowledged he’d listen to offers but his club will be scouting as though they’re retaining the pick. MacTavish also declined to comment on rumors he’s shopping center Sam Gagner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacTavish is expected to seek bigger, physical players.  He could certainly improve the odds of landing a bigger skilled player by packaging Gagner with that first round pick. Judging by his comments to Jones, however, it’ll have to be a significant offer to convince him to make that move.  

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Ed Tait called upon Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to do something (coaching change or a trade) to shake up the struggling Jets, who are in danger of sliding completely out of the playoff race. Gary Lawless believes replacing coach Claude Noel isn’t enough, as there are some core players (Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Blake Wheeler) who should be shipped out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted in a recent column for The Hockey News, Cheveldayoff can ignore the growing impatience of the local media but not that of Jets fans. Changes are needed and soon.  Given the lack of activity in the trade market, there’s not much available to help the Jets roster. That could mean a coaching change is more likely than a trade. Players like Ladd, Byfuglien and Wheeler usually aren’t moved until the off-season. That doesn’t mean they can’t be moved between now and the trade deadline, but the odds of getting a good return are better in the off-season, when teams have more cap space and willingness to wheel and deal.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty lists NY Rangers Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto, Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart, Buffalo’s Christian Ehrhoff, Philadelphia Andrej Meszaros and Ottawa’s Chris Phillips as possible trade options for the Bruins to replace the injured Dennis Seidenberg.

CSNWASHINGTON:COM: Chuck Gormley listed Girardi, Phillips, Stuart, Carolina’s Ron Hainsey, Buffalo’s Henrik Tallinder, Columbus’ Nikita Nikitin and the NY Islanders Andrew MacDonald as possible trade targets for the Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are riding high in the Eastern Conference standings so they’re under less pressure to make a trade than the Capitals, who are battling to hang onto a post-season spot. Of these, I believe Girardi is the most valuable but also the least likely to be dealt if the Rangers remain in the playoff picture. Despite Phillips’ UFA status I don’t believe the Senators are keen to move him. The asking price for Del Zotto is rumored to be a top-four defenseman. The Sabres would love to be rid of Ehrhoff’s big contract but I don’t see the Bruins being keen to take it on, even if the Sabres were to pick up half of it. The Islanders could move MacDonald if he’s unsigned before the trade deadline but I’m guessing they’red prefer to hang onto him. That leaves Stuart, Meszaros, Hainsey, Tallinder and Nikitin as your remaining options. Try not to get too excited.

NJ.COM: Randy Miller recently interviewed Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, who acknowledged looking around for scoring help but added there isn’t much available to help his team right now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like any good GM, Lamoriello is always on the lookout for anything which could help his club. That doesn’t mean he’s working on a deal right now. If the Devils remain in the playoff chase by the March deadline I expect Lamoriello will seek a scorer.

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66 Responses to Latest Oilers, Jets, Bruins, Capitals & Devils Rumors – January 9, 2014

  1. hugh says:

    isnt ehroff cap hitt like 4 million? if they were to pick up half his salary, that would put him at 2 million cap hit, im sure a bunch of teams would jump on him at that price. The canucks should try to grab him as he had his best years with them

  2. hugh says:

    Also most of the actual money in Ehroff’s salary was at the begging of the contract c10 million for first year, and 8 million for second year including the bonus. From now till the end of his contract, he is owed to 4 million a year for 4 years, 3 million 1 year, and the last 3 years at 1 million.

  3. Dabroons says:

    MacDonald is the player most likely to replace Seidenberg. The Broons already have Hamilton, Boychuk, and McQuaid as right shots, so Girardi doesn’t really fit them well. Ehrhoff, Del Zotto, and Hainsey are more offensive defensemen. Mark Stuart would be ok, but he’s more of a third pairing Dman.

  4. Leafs24/7 says:

    Love to see the Oil go after Weber (if he is interested in living in Edmonton).

    • Dchamp says:

      seriously harshly doubt it

      • KevJam says:

        Seeing that Nashville has their own celery cap and Jones will need to be re-signed in a couple of years packaging Klefbom and the 1st round draft pick and a roster player like Eberle or Yak for Webber, I don’t doubt it at all.

        • Styxcanada says:

          A huge chunk of Weber’s salary has already been paid in bonus money so he’s not nearly as expensive as he looks at this point.

          • KevJam says:

            He has over 12 more years at 7.857 cap hit. It was a 14 year $110 million contract. How can a huge chuck of it already been paid?

          • Shticky says:

            Still owed 82 million dollars…14 mill for the next 2 seasons 12 mill for 2 more after that before its anything close to a normal salary “huge chunk of it” already paid out might be a bit of a stretch..Shea Weber is still very expensive and will be for a while.

    • oilerman53 says:

      The Preds won’t bite on Yakupov so methinks it would be a package for forwards. Eberle is expendable in my eyes, hes a good player but is soft and doesnt match up well against the big California teams. If I were the Oilers I’d start out with Eberle, Marancin, Hemsky and the first rounder in 2015 for Weber.

  5. Leafs24/7 says:

    Lou
    How about Clarkson. You can have him for free LOL

    • Sam says:

      So you’re writing Clarkson off already…

    • Sam says:

      If used properly the beauty of Clarkson was supposed to be that there would be no need for an ORR or Mclaren to be in the lineup. When your enforcer can play the 3rd line- maybe even spot on the 2nd and score 15 goals (not this year) you would be in good shape

      • Aki Berg says:

        Exactly my thoughts. Unfourtanetly that is another concern that goes back to the coach

        • CAB says:

          Exactly, no one plays great there first year anyways, its like Toronto is an acquired taste. He will be fine next year.
          Not many teams are using there enforcers much, but Toronto has 2, just brilliant.
          Get rid of both and let the younger kids step up, Ashton, Smith, Bodi.

      • Leafs24/7 says:

        $5.25M for a third line guy? plus Bolland at nearly $3.4 and due for a major raise this summer. At these rates of salary they both should be 2nd line guys at the least.
        The cap pot does not have an endless supply of cash like the old days when there was no cap.

        • Sam, says:

          I hear you but he can be versatile – and he can play 2nd line as he did in NJ- just needs to find his groove

    • Styxcanada says:

      Problem for Clarkson is a new city, new team, new system and a different role. He wasn’t a 3rd liner for the Devils. He is payed like a 2nd or 1st liner but doesn’t get those minutes or opportunities. The Devils didn’t have as many scorers so Clarkson had more offensive chances than he’s been getting with the Leafs. Kind of a crappy spot for him, course he’s getting paid so I’m sure he’ll be alright :)

  6. EJH says:

    The Caps should move Nuevirth to the Jets or Isle for Stuart or MacDonald to help their blue line. Jets are a bit more cap tied but the Isles have plenty of space to take on Nuevirth and they coudl always re-sigh MacDonald.

    I think the Caps should move Johannson as well. He is just to soft for the Caps style of play. A deal with the Oil could work. Johannson and Fehr for Gagner. Not that Gagner is any tougher but he seems to be more stablished in the NHL.

    At some point I’d expect on of the Florida forwards to head north to the Pens as well, possibly for Dupres.

    • rc21pa says:

      There is no forward in the panthers organization that would be a upgrade or helpful to the pens

  7. NYR4LIFE says:

    I can only remember one time in recent history that the Rangers were sellers at the deadline. And that was at a time when they decided to build from the back end outward. Its pretty obvious that MDZ will be traded. But I don’t think Girardi is going anywhere unless the return is significant and helps today, not tomorrow or in 5 years.

    • Ken says:

      I agree with you 100%. The trade market is slim this year especially for scoring forwards. I think they are just throwing Girardi’s name out there just to see what is offered up.

      • NYR4LIFE says:

        I’m not even sure the trade rumors swirling around Girardi or Callahan have any significance other than the fact they are both Ufa’s at the end of the season. Without a Richards buy out, they still will have around $31 million in cap space (around $38 million if Richards is bought out.) to sign 12-13 players , 6 of which are Rfa’s. I don’t see any reason they could not comfortably sign both and still go fill out the roster in free agency.

        • Shticky says:

          Im pretty sure thats probably true…more media generated than anything, if the Rangers buy out Richards there is tones of room to sign everybody and perhaps to pick up a more reasonable center contract at the draft, or as you mentioned a UFA.

    • Gored 1970 says:

      I don’t get the MDZ rumors. He’s obviously not a top 4 D yet that’s the asking price. What would GMs be trading for – potential? Is it that he doesn’t get along with AV? If he was a top 4 D, they wouldn’t be trading him.

      As for Gagner, while the Oil fans think he would be worth a 1st (those delusional fans also think Hemsky has trade value) but a small 3rd line center is probably worth a 2nd round pick at best.

      • NYR4LIFE says:

        MDZ plays around 18 minutes per game which puts him 5th on the Rangers for ATOI among d-men, one minute less than Stralman(4th). But his playing time this year is down 4-5 minutes per game from the previous 2 years. He can produce points in the right environment, but he also can be a liability on defense. I don’t know if he is worth a top 4 d-man, I think that is a little high. I guess that would depend on the team receiving him and their top 4 d-men. I think he would fit in nicely with the Sens where he has been rumored to go all along. Other teams have a way to take struggling Rangers or ones that don’t seem to fit their style of play and polish them into something better. Kovalev, Savard, Knuble, Rozsival, Moore, even Wade Redden seemed to find a home last year in Boston. MDZ is a guy I hope is not traded within the EC.

      • john says:

        they’re no dillusional than leafs fan who think kadri is going to land them a getzlaf type

  8. Sam says:

    Never has a small 60 point centre gotten so much attention. He is a skilled little player but I hope he is dealt to Florida so he never comes up again. Teams with aspirations of success dont want a 2nd line centre like Gagner (or Kadri- someone please take him) they want Ryan OReilly…
    The Oilers treat would do well to treat their draft picks like hockey cards. They have more value when un opened. Once you take a Yakupov, RNH Gagner and Paajarvi AND play them on a brutal team…their value is diminished.
    If he they draft again this year- they are idiots- trade the pick ahead of time.
    if they are willing to trade Eberle or RNH they wont improve

  9. Doug says:

    Hugh is right most of the big money was already paid out so the Sabres don’t save much and have to replace him. I also read that he has been mentoring Pysck and that he’s playing well. I don’t see the Sabres moving him.

  10. pensarmy says:

    I would like to see the Penguins get Kyle Okposo out of NYI. His contract and cap hit are very good. Maybe Letang to NYI for Okposo and Strome

    • NYR4LIFE says:

      This deal looks GREAT!…………….. For Pittsburgh. I don’t see it happening, but it looks nice on paper. lol

    • Aj says:

      I am a fan of the deal as well. I think it would give the team a bit more of an edge having Okposo for the top 6. But I doubt Letang would be everything needed to make it happen. Perhaps a throw in of Despres or Bennett would be enough to make it work while giving the Isles a scorer with a lot of potential or a puck moving D who has room to grow?

      • NYR4LIFE says:

        But from the other side, how could the Islanders possibly see this as a deal that helps, not hurts them? I don’t think any GM out there is saying to himself that a struggling d-man costing $7 million per against the cap would look great on his roster, with the added bonus of giving up a solid prospect and a top 6, 50+ pt. per season player. What is the attraction from the Islanders side on this deal? Maybe if Millbury is making this trade, but outside of him I can’t see any Gm doing this, unless Snow is a huge Pens fan. I’m guessing my sarcasm was lost on the “This deal looks GREAT!…………….. For Pittsburgh. ” : (

        • Shticky says:

          Agreed and lets not forget Snow has already dealt away a first rounder and Moulson for Vanek (granted he will recoup some of that if he decides to move Vanek) he would be cleaning the cupboards of youth and futures to add salary to an already struggling club. There would be way cheaper options to get a puck moving D man.

    • Styxcanada says:

      Yeah I’m guessing that Pit is the only team that would like Okposo :) He seems to have finally figured it out and is playing remarkably well with Tavaras and Vanek. Decent size, great numbers reasonable contract. Clearly the Isles should move him asap. Strome also looks very good (was leading rookie scorer in the AHL before being called up). I can’t imagine why the Isles would want to hold on to young cost controlled players who are performing well when they could move them for someone elses huge contract.

      • NYR4LIFE says:

        LOL Styx,
        Maybe if they put Fleury in the mix they could get 2 bad contracts while getting rid of those pesky cost controlled guys outperforming their deals…….hahahahahahaha

    • Jes says:

      You serious?

    • RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

      And GM Ray Shero would need a police escort to get out of town safely after that deal. Simon Despres and Beau Bennett for Okposo I could see, but there’s no way Letang enters that deal. As for Strome, why would the Pens want yet another centre to bury behind Crosby and Malkin?

  11. Micki says:

    I doubt the Bruins will get Girardi. Rangers wouldn’t want to trade him there and i don’t think the Bruins want to pay a steep price either.

    As for the OIlers, they are a joke. Once again this team will draft high, probably 1st overall….again….and not grow. This franchise is wasting talent in the NHL. It’s ridiculous.

  12. Steve says:

    Well, now that the Sabres have a new GM, hopefully the store is open, Tim is listening to all offers and we’ll see some movement before the Olympic Freeze.

  13. uknowho48 says:

    Spector,

    I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  14. Aj says:

    Edmonton’s problem are summed up with one line: Get some F***ing Defense already!!!! Until they figure that out, it doesn’t matter who they trade in (unless it is that coveted D) or out.
    Winnipeg’s problem is that they still are the Atlanta Thrashers and they still need to grow thier depth – this is a 5 year plan, not a 2 or 3 year one that people are under some illusion with. Thier prospects have gotten a bit older and developed, but in some cases are still underperforming. Little has been solid, but a guy with the talent like Evander Kane should be lighting the league up. I too don’t see Noel being the problem. Byfuglien would be ideal to trade for some missing pieces, like for example, moving him for a roster player and some prospect/picks or even lookign for a deal with Edmonton for some skilled players (base of a Yakopov deal maybe?)

    • Shticky says:

      I would not do Yak for Buff, you nuts? A bad D gets worse with Buff. Now a team that actually plays a good defensive game that needs points from the back end would make sense, but if my club struggles to play defense Im not taking a guy who is terrible in his own end to try and improve it, especially for a kid who no matter what some think of his attitude might put up 50 goals in the league in the future. If Im dealing Yak for a dman Id package him for something much better than Buff.

    • Styxcanada says:

      I actually see Winnipeg as being in a very bad position. They have just enough talent to finish in the middle of the pack. They are treading water with not a lot of great prospects in the pipeline. Wheeler, Ladd, and Buf are what they are going to be. They have a couple of young guys (Kane and Scheifly (sp?)) who will improve but don’t seem like enough to put them over the top. They look like a team just good enough to flirt with the playoffs and possibly sneak in if things fall right. The end result is they don’t get the higher draft picks needed to really help move things along.

  15. smcb says:

    Winnipeg needs to move Byfuglien back to the forward position. He could play in the top six as a big power forward winger… He is horrible on defence anyways. Problem solved.. It makes the most sense..

  16. GusMacDuff says:

    I think if Byfuglien wanted to play forward he’d be playing forward. He don’t want to…you know how much those guys have to skate?

  17. pen's 4ever says:

    To the Jet’s… Kris Letang

    To the Pen’s… Evander Kane

    BYE BYE TANGER

    • NYR4LIFE says:

      Pen’s 4ever to the nut house.

      • rc21pa says:

        I agree a bad trade but you also grossly undervalueletang. Despite injury prone his contract is extremely affordable for most teams and a puck moving d-man is the hardest player to acquire.

        • Shticky says:

          Disagree, a center or stud shut down guys are look around the league guys available that could be called. Pmd that could be available Kulikov Yandle or Morris DelZotto Gardiner or Franson, Buff, just off the top of my head. Now name a center that could play top line or second line center….Gagner maybe? Shutdown type D that can play in the top 2 pairing? McDonald maybe (and I doubt it) Girardi.

          • NYR4LIFE says:

            The problem with Letang is his contract that kicks in next year making him the highest paid puck moving d-men in the league. The contract takes him to 34 years old. There are definitely cheaper alternatives as Shticky has pointed out. 7.25 million is not “extremely” affordable to most teams. Even those with deep pockets.

    • john says:

      this is a deal that makes sense for the pens and the jets…but i could see letang to edmonton for eberle as well

  18. Leafs24/7 says:

    I have to laugh at MLSE and us Leaf fans this morning as we sit here during another season of mediocrity. Most fans saw this train wreck after watching the first 10 games of the season as our team got out shot and out played most of those games and we all realized something needs to change and fast. The real kicker was Phaneuf telling the media he was happy with the way the team was playing going into the Christmas break.

    Fast forward to today with the wheels clearly falling off Nonis is proving he is a Burke clone and has every intention to let the season finish in disaster before axing the coach so instead he tinkers with 3rd and 4th line guys expecting it to change the direction of the team. Nonis also goes out and awards mediocrity by allowing Dion to join the seven year club even after the Capitan tells the press he is ok with the team playing sub par hockey. Nonis also allows the coach to clearly play favorites with the goaltenders who are supposed to be raising each others game by competing on fair ground (not).

    Once again this boils down to the back room of MLSE awarding mediocrity because why not? The money will still roll in so what’s the difference.

    • Shticky says:

      Like I said before this is going to be a very different looking team by the deadline, either Carlyle is fired or there are a whole lot of guys are moved, and I dont just mean Gardiner or Kadri types. Im talking guys like Lupul Raymond Gardiner Kuli Franson, I doubt besides maybe Phil and Dion (and even that wouldn’t surprise me if the price is right) there would be anyone not available. It will be a team with Carlyle type guys in the room or no Carlyle. As Ive been saying for what seems like ever now Carlyle and the Leafs is the definition of square peg round hole. It just cant work the way its set up right now. Even when they were winning it wasnt because they were playing any kind of decent hockey they just had goalies stealing games. Myself I hope its Carlyle because they have showed glimpses of being a fast entertaining team, but I have my doubts thats the road Nonis will go down or it would already be done. Look for a lot of trades. The culture of this team is going to change one way or another.

  19. Leafs24/7 says:

    This can no longer be blamed on Carlyle. He is still employed by Nonis even as the ship slowly sinks. This is all on Nonis now since about the Christmas break. Awarding the captain in the middle of a melt down and keeping the coach reminds me of Burke awarding Lyles with a four year contract while he’s out with a concussion and keeping Wilson during the same melt down. Like I said Nonis has shown to be a Burke clone.

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