Latest on Jaroslav Halak, Dustin Byfuglien, Simon Despres and more.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson cites stats showing Blues goalie tandem Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott have performed poorly against the other top clubs in the Western Conference. He sees them shopping Magnus Paajarvi and their first round pick, plus Halak will be in play, for a “true starting goalie”…The Blackhawks will shop for a second line center at the trade deadline…He believes the Jets should try to get something for Dustin Byfuglien via trade…Penguins defenseman Simon Despres could be shopped for a rental winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Paajarvi and a first landing a true starting goalie. Halak is also an unrestricted free agent, so adding him to the mix isn’t a sweetener. I still believe the Blues will stick with their tandem for this season, then shop for a goalie upgrade if needed in the off-season…Won’t be easy for the Blackhawks to land a true second line center. Not saying it can’t be done but it could come at the cost of a good young player…Byfuglien seems the most likely to be moved by the Jets. The question is, when will they make that move? I believe it’ll happen in the off-season when his salary will be easier to move…Despres could indeed be shopped in a package deal for a scoring winger.
CALGARY HERALD: Scott Cruickshank reports Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke has few “untouchable” assets on his roster, though he declined to name those on his roster. He did say he won’t move his top three picks in this year’s draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a good bet Sean Monahan won’t be moved, and I doubt he shops Jiri Hudler or captain Mark Giordano unless those two demand to be dealt. I also think he’ll retain Curtis Glencross (Truculance!) and Joe Colborne. Everyone else, however, could be available.