Latest on Vincent Lecavalier, Marian Gaborik, Jarome Iginla, Stephen Weiss, Matt Cullen and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Rangers, Blues and Senators are among several teams seeking a defenseman before the trade deadline…He claims “many GMs” believe the Penguins will deal for Calgary’s Jarome Iginla…Unless the Senators get a sweet offer for Ben Bishop, Garrioch doesn’t believe they’ll shop him…It’s rumored the Rangers have floated the idea of shopping Marian Gaborik…The Red Wings are rumored to be interested in Florida center Stephen Weiss…The Stars have to decide if they’ll re-sign or trade captain Brenden Morrow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One defenseman who’s believed available is Edmonton’s Ryan Whitney, but the decline in his play has apparently killed his trade value…Iginla’s been linked to the Penguins since he and Sidney Crosby meshed as linemates for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics. It remains to be seen, however, if Iginla gets dealt, and if the Pens are willing to go that route, especially if it’s possible they could sign him as a UFA this summer…I also don’t see Bishop being dealt for the time being. Even when Anderson returns, it’s best to keep that depth between the pipes just in case. Goaltending is what will get the Senators into the playoffs…Gaborik has a no-trade clause, plus that one year at $7.5 million on his contract would also limit interest, especially with the salary cap declining to $64.3 million next season…I wouldn’t rule out the Senators have interest in Weiss, especially if Kyle Turris keeps struggling…For my take on Brenden Morrow, check out my latest THN.com column.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tom Jones believes the Tampa Bay Lightning should shake things up by trading Vincent Lecavalier, though he acknowledged the difficulty of doing so, given his age (33), no-trade clause and the remaining seven years on his hefty contract. Citing the “Lecavalier-to-Montreal” rumors of a few years ago, Jones suggested trying to peddle him to the Habs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not impossible to trade Lecavalier, but I doubt if the Bolts were to shop him they’d find many takers, especially with the salary cap dropping for next season. His hefty salary alone is enough of a show-stopper. As for the Canadiens, that ship sailed four years ago. There’s new management in Montreal and their focus is not on bringing in a big-name Quebec-born star.
TORONTO STAR/CALGARY SUN: Damien Cox and Randy Sportak both suggest the fact the Calgary Flames were willing to part with their first and third round picks this year as compensation for Ryan O’Reilly could mean those picks could be in play on the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve already said the Flames attempt to sign O’Reilly was a desperation move by a front office which has deluded itself into thinking it is only one player away from being a playoff club. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were willing to shop those picks for a quick fix.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen is slated for UFA status this summer and could be a trade deadline candidate, but he hopes to stay with the Wild.