Latest on the Senators, Flames, Blues and Bruins.
OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren and Bruce Garrioch report Senators management recently met with their scouts to determine where the club stands and how it can improve. The Senators are in the market for a scoring winger. Warren reports the Sabres’ Matt Moulson and the Oilers’ Ales Hemsky are believed on their list of options, while Garrioch believes Moulson is their top choice, though if the asking price is too high they could look elsewhere. Assistant GM Pierre Doiron told Warren it’s possible the Senators could make a move before the trad deadline but Garrioch believes it’s doubtful they’ll do anything before the Olympic break.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While much depends on where the Senators are in the standings before the deadline I believe they will indeed acquire a scoring winger in the coming weeks. They can draw upon their depth in young players and prospects as trade bait. Moulson and Hemsky could be attractive targets but there could be a bidding war for their services.
CALGARY SUN/CALGARY HERALD: reports the Flames will try to trade defenseman Shane O’Brien after recently demoting him to the minors. The Sun’s Randy Sportak meanwhile wonders what the future holds for Flames pending UFA winger Mike Cammalleri (Do they re-sign him? Do they trade him?).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could try to package O’Brien with Cammalleri or another player to move him before the deadline. Otherwise they could be forced to wait until this summer to trade him or buy out the final year of his contract. I believe Cammalleri’s a goner by the trade deadline. I don’t see him staying with a rebuilding team.
STLTODAY.COM: Dan O’Neill points out the reasons why it would be difficult for the St. Louis Blues to acquire Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s well worth the read. Short version: lack of cap space and the Sabres’ high asking price for Miller works against making a deal. Sure, it’s possible if Blues GM Doug Armstrong can get creative, but that limited cap space means shedding salary to take on Miller’s cap hit, which could adversely affect team chemistry.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty cites a Bruins source claiming the pickings for defensemen are slim in this year’s trade market. Defensemen like “Chris Phillips of the Senators, Dan Girardi of the Rangers and Andrew MacDonald of the Islanders simply aren’t being made available this point.” Haggerty also noted a potential trade target could be the Oilers’ Nick Schultz, who’s a UFA this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins stand a better chance getting Schultz than Phillips and Girardi, while the Isles won’t part with MacDonald if they’re still in the playoff chase by the trade deadline.