With the NHL trade deadline only two days away, here’s an April Fools joke-free version of the Morning Rumor Mill. Enjoy!
TSN: reports Vancouver Canucks GM Laurence Gilman told reporter Farhan Lalji GM Mike Gillis is in discussions “with multiple teams” and talks have advanced “beyond the tire-kicking stage” for Roberto Luongo. Gilman wouldn’t specify which clubs are interested in Luongo, but said his club seeks a third-line center. He also added no one was going to steal Luongo from the Canucks, and they weren’t interested in rental players. “We need something for today and tomorrow.”
TORONTO SUN: In addition to Roberto Luongo, the Maple Leafs are been linked to Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester and Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov in the rumor mill.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canucks want a good roster player as part of the return, it might prove difficult to move Luongo right now. I don’t believe the Leafs intend to part with Tyler Bozak. He’s got good chemistry with Phil Kessel, which they need for the playoffs. Landing Yandle and Bouwmeester would mean moving a good player, which I don’t see Nonis willing to do. Kulikov might be available, but I suspect the Panthers want to keep him. Nonis could bring in a defenseman, but I expect it’ll be an affordable rental player.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Penguins seek a fourth-line rental center. He suggests Phoenix’s Boyd Gordon. St. Louis’ Scott Nichol or San Jose’s Michal Handzus as possibilities…The Blues apparently aren’t impressed with the play of Patrick Berglund or David Perron, but won’t investigate moving either player until this summer…He suggests the Kings as a wild-card destination for Jay Bouwmeester, believing they’ll have the cap space next season to afford him…He feels Boston should take shot at acquiring Dustin Penner from the Kings…The Hurricanes could have interest in Oilers blueliner Ryan Whitney…Matheson also doubts the Canucks get more than a second-round pick and a prospect for Roberto Luongo now, but “maybe” they could land Toronto’s Tyler Bozak, or take on “someone else’s mistake”…Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis “can certainly be had”…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Penguins want a rental center, Gordon seems the best option…Berlund and Perron aren’t the only Blues forwards who’ve been disappointing this season, but I don’t see either guy being shopped at the deadline…I don’t believe the Kings can afford Bouwmeester. They have just under $50 million invested in 13 players next season. Unless they shed the equivalent of Bouwmeester’s $6.68 million cap hit, they cannot afford to take him on…The Bruins probably won’t pursue Penner. He won’t address their needs…I could see the Hurricanes bidding for Whitney…The Leafs won’t part with Bozak to get Luongo…Ellis has been a disappointment so far for the Predators. Remains to be seen if they move him.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a tweet from Newsday’s Arthur Staple denying a report claiming the NY Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks were talking a major trade in which center Frans Nielsen would head to Chicago.” No chance they trade Frans”, said Staple’s source. The report also suggested defenseman Mark Streit could be involved in the deal, but the Islanders are trying to re-sign him, and contract talks were reportedly going well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt the Blackhawks contacted the Islanders to make inquiries, but with the Isles battling for a playoff berth, I don’t see them parting with two key roster players for a couple of prospects.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Sabres star forward Thomas Vanek would love to remain with the Sabres, but would “look the other direction” if the club were to engage in a long-term rebuild. Vanek is eligible for UFA status in July 2014.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Vanek could test next summer’s UFA market if the Sabres engage in a lengthy rebuilding process. That he wants to stay, however, is a positive sign, and if the Sabres can improve next season, could go a long way toward keeping Vanek in Buffalo.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports sources claiming the Ottawa Senators have interest in Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross. Garrioch speculates the Flames would want goalie Ben Bishop in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames would be fools not to ask for Bishop, or Robin Lehner, for Glencross.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: David Pollak reports Ryane Clowe will know by Wednesday if he’ll finish this season with the Sharks or elsewhere. The Bruins, Canadiens, Rangers and Canucks are reportedly interested in him. Clowe has a no-trade clause, but it’s not expected to be an impediment if the Sharks shop him. GM Doug Wilson, meanwhile, claims he’s both a buyer and a seller heading toward the deadline.
CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz reports Boston and Montreal are considered frontrunners for Clowe.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk Clowe could’ve been dealt as early as yesterday, but it failed to materialize. Could happen today. Or tomorrow. Or Wednesday. Or not at all. Stay tuned…
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports the Anaheim Ducks could use a second line center, citing Washington’s Mike Ribeiro and Dallas’ Derek Roy as possibilities.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reports Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney could be a seller by the deadline. Captain Shane Doan is the only untouchable, but it would a blockbuster offer to convince Maloney to part with core players like Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Martin Hanzal. She believes prime trade candidates could be their pending UFAs, like Matthew Lombardi, Steve Sullivan, Boyd Gordon and Raffi Torres, along with goalie Mike Smith. Maloney, however, would like to re-sign Smith. All trades would likely have to be dollar-for-dollar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doan, Ekman-Larsson, Yandle and Hanzal won’t be dealt. I suspect they’ll retain Smith and try to re-sign him. The other UFAs, however, are likely up for grabs.
CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak lists Curtis Glencross, Lee Stempniak, and Michael Cammalleri as possible Flames trade candidates.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports any deadline moves by the Flyers is unlikely to help them now. GM Paul Holmgren said he won’t make any moves for “rental purposes” but instead with an eye on next season.