The latest on the Maple Leafs, Islanders, Jets and more.
USA TODAY: Keith Allen looks at ten pending free agents and whether their current teams should trade them or re-sign them. He believes Jarome Iginla, Ryane Clowe, Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Lubomir Visnovsky should be dealt, while Valtteri Filppula, Mark Streit, Ladislav Smid, David Clarkson and Viktor Stalberg should be re-signed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree, though as we’ll see below, Visnovsky isn’t a certainty to be dealt. Note also the players recommended to be dealt are ageing stars in the mid-to-late thirties, while those recommended for re-signing (Streit the sole exception) are in the late-twenties.
CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak suggests the trade talks swirling about Jarome Iginla will increase as the April 3 trade deadline nears, but he doubts a trade takes place over the next seven days.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Believe it or not, the Flames remain in striking distance of a playoff berth. If they gain ground in the standings, the Flames could retain Iginla. If they decide to move him, they’ll likely wait until the final days leading up to the deadline, and even then, it’ll depend on where they are in the standings, and Iginla’s willingness to accept a trade.
TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski suggests one way for the Maple Leafs to avoid another late-season swoon could be to make a trade. He reports of rumors the Leafs are interested in adding a center and a top-four defenseman, though he suspects they’ll likely drive for a playoff berth with their current roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are currently mired in a five game losing skid (0-4-1), and if this continues, it could spur management to make a move.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the NY Islanders have begun preliminary contract talks with Mark Streit, and could soon begin talks with goalie Evgeni Nabokov and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Staple also reports indications are the Isles would like to re-sign pending UFA winger Brad Boyes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A quick peek at the standings explains why. With the Islanders currently ninth overall and only three points out of a playoff berth, they’re not going into sell mode. If they’re still playoff contenders by April 3, they could become buyers, not sellers.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes the Jets should either give forward Alexander Burmistrov more playing time or use him as a trade chip. Burmistrov has been a healthy scratch over the past four games.