Should the Predators shop Shea Weber? Will Nail Yakupov be an Oiler after the March 5 trade deadline? Are the Flames holding trade talks?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau makes the case for the Nashville Predators to trade captain Shea Weber, believing his $7.8 million annual salary cap hit is an obstacle in building the depth necessary to become a Stanley Cup contender.
Proteau also suggests Weber’s departure could be off-set in the long term by promising Seth Jones. Despite Weber’s expensive salary, Proteau believes there’s never been a better time to shop an all-star defenseman, suggesting the Flyers and Oilers would be among those interested in his services.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adam makes a good case, but ultimately it’s up to GM David Poile, and there’s no indication he has any intention of trading Weber this season. Perhaps Poile changes his mind, but such a move would occur in the off-season, when the salary cap is expected to significantly increase and more teams will have a willingness to acquire a superstar with a big contract.
SPORTSNET.CA: Responding to a reader’s question over Nail Yakupov’s future with the Oilers, Jeff Marek doubts they’ll give up on the promising winger, while Billy Jaffe believes it’ll depend upon Yakupov’s relationship with coach Dallas Eakins and what they could get in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Oilers want to retain Yakupov, but if they hope to either add a top defenseman or goaltender later this season, he’s their best trade chip. He’s on an entry-level contract, and the Oilers are already deep in young forwards.
SPORTNET’S Roger Millions reports the following via Twitter: “#Flames Feaster says discussions on going with teams about possible moves. Evident other clubs covet vets with workable deals.” He added, “Feaster adds US Thanksgiving a likely time frame for players to start moving around league. This likely too early.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Feaster does make moves it’ll likely be to move out players in the final year of their contracts who no longer have a future with the Flames. Mike Cammalleri, Matt Stajan and Lee Stempniak are possibilities.