Are the Capitals interested in Roberto Luongo? Could the Flyers pursue Jarome Iginla? Read on for the latest.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ed Willes reports Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis was spotted at Sunday’s Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals game, sparking rumors of the Canucks shipping goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Capitals, who’ve been struggling with Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth between the pipes. Willes noted the Capitals have three blue chip prospects in Evgeni Kuznetsov, Filip Forsberg and Tom Wilson. He doubts Capitals GM George McPhee would move them for a 33-year-old goalie carrying a lengthy, expensive contract like Luongo, speculating McPhee might have more interest in Cory Schneider.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Who said they were interested in Luongo? OK, just kidding. Still, the fact Gillis and his assistant GM attended that game during a season when Western Conference clubs don’t play Eastern Conference teams means they could be scouting potential trade partners for Luongo. It should be noted the Canucks haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard in the early going of this season, and with Ryan Kesler and David Booth sidelined by injury, they could be looking around for scoring depth. If the Capitals were interested in Luongo or Schneider, I daresay Gillis would want at least a second-line scorer who can help his club right now as part of the return. The Capitals have their own offensive woes, so there’s nothing on their current roster that could help the Canucks offense right now.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio suggested the Philadelphia Flyers should consider acquiring winger Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames to bolster their sagging offense. Despite Iginla’s age (35), Panaccio feels he still has plenty left in the tank, plus wouldn’t be as expensive as Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan, who could cost Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn or Claude Giroux. Panaccio believes the Flyers would have to place Chris Pronger and Matt Walker on LTIR to free up cap space for Iginla’s $7.5 million salary for this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One tiny flaw in Panaccio’s argument is Iginla carries a full “no-movement” clause in his contract. He’d have to agree to be dealt to the Flyers, and at this early stage in the season, I doubt he would consider abandoning the Flames. Maybe Iginla thinks about moving on at the April 3rd trade deadline if the Flames are out of playoff contention, but by that point, it might be too late to help the Flyers. They’ll have to look elsewhere for scoring help.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss wasn’t unaware his name was being bandied about on this Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast as a possible trade candidate. It’s been speculated Weiss is available, but Richards reports the Panthers have denied this, though contract talks between the center and the team could carry through the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The earliest I could see Weiss being dealt in late-March, and only if the Panthers are well out of the playoff race. If they’re still in the hunt by then, even if Weiss remains unsigned, they won’t move him.
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the return of veteran defenseman Anton Babchuk creates a logjam on the Flames already crowded blueline. The club would entertain offers for a defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman or TJ Brodie. If the Flames decide to move a blueliner at this point in the season, Babchuk (despite his “no-trade” clause) could be a candidate, as could Chris Butler, Cory Sarich or Derek Smith.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild have begun shaking up their lineup by calling up promising forward Charlie Coyle, which could be seen as delivering a message to struggling forward Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund. Russo noted Setoguchi has been the subject of trade rumors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild certainly won’t trade Granlund, who’s only a rookie and struggling to adjust to the NHL pace. Setoguchi, on the other hand, has been a disappointment with the Wild, and could continue to be a subject of trade chatter.