Changes could be coming for the Senators following the trade freeze, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli addresses Brad Marchand’s trade status, plus updates on Martin Erat and Mikhail Grabovski.
NOTE: The NHL Christmas Trade Freeze is in effect until 11.59 PM on December 27.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren reports the Senators understand changes could be coming in the near future if they don’t snap out of their current funk. Warren speculates a predictable short-term fix could be acquiring an experienced, reliable blueliner, like Rostislav Klesla of the Phoenix Coyotes, though his $2.9 million contract is a bit expensive for the budget-conscious Senators. Klesla’s bounced between the Coyotes and their farm club this season. He speculates if owner Eugene Melnyk were willing to take on Klesla’s salary, the asking price could be “a third or fourth liner or a bottom end defenceman, rather than parting with a high-end prospect or top draft pick.” He noted GM Bryan Murray “floated the names Erik Condra, Colin Greening and Eric Gryba when pursuing Michael Del Zotto of the New York Rangers earlier this season”.
Warren also floated the idea of shipping captain Jason Spezza to a Western Conference club hoping to make a playoff push if they could get a first round pick as part of the return, though such a move would hinge on Spezza waiving his no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Spezza demands a trade Murray won’t go to that extreme, but the Senators GM has been shopping around for weeks for help, and we could see a move occur early in the New Year if the club doesn’t turn things around soon. Warren’s suggestion of pursuing Klesla isn’t a bad idea, especially if Murray could convince the Coyotes to pick up part of the blueliner’s salary. The Senators could use more than just a “band-aid solution”, but post-trade freeze that’s probably all that’s available.
BOSTON GLOBE: Amalie Benjamin reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli isn’t interested in trading a struggling Brad Marchand, even though the winger’s recent antics in Vancouver didn’t sit well with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was silly to assume Marchand would be dealt because his recent trash-talking was frowned upon by management, the coaching staff and his teammates. Despite his struggles, Marchand remains a valuable player for the Bruins.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley recently responded to questions from his readers over the status of Martin Erat and Mikhail Grabovski. He expects Erat will be traded this season but it be closer to the trade deadline. He noted Grabovski wants to remain with the Capitals but he’ll have to accept less than the $5 million per season he could get on the open market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Grabovski still wants to remain with the Capitals following this season he might accept $3.5 million per season. Remember, he was bought out of the remaining four years of his $27.4 million deal with the Leafs.