The latest on the Flames, Blue Jackets, Flyers and Rangers.
CALGARY SUN: Steve MacFarlane reports Flames GM Jay Feaster is merely doing his job by listening to possible trade offers from rival general managers. He also respectfully declines to talk about trade rumors, such as the recent one claiming teams are calling him to inquire about winger Rene Bourque. Feaster’s also said that anyone not name Iginla, Kiprusoff, Giordano and perhaps Glencross is fair game if an opportunity arises to improve the club. Bourque has a modified “no-trade” clause, meaning he either provides a list of teams he’d accepted being dealt to, or a list of those he’s not willing to join without written consent. MacFarlane doubts Feaster would trade Bourque for a draft pick or “a bag of pucks”, and suggested any further changes could depend on if the Flames are still battling for a post-season berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade scenario we discussed last night on The Face Off Hockey Show was Bourque for Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu, whom TSN’s Darren Dreger also suggested was a player of interest for some teams. Of course, we’re just spitballing and not saying it’s something that’s going to happen. The Flames aren’t going to rush into a deal to move any player, but Feaster isn’t going to just sit and wait for the Flames to play their way out of lengthy slumps as in the past when Darryl Sutter was the GM. I agree with MacFarlane that Feaster won’t just give Bourque away if he were to seriously consider trading him, as he’ll want a top-six forward in return who can help the Flames right away. Bourque’s modified NTC will also limit the market for potential destinations, which is worth bearing in mind.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets president Mike Priest has provided head coach Scott Arniel and GM Scott Howson with votes of confidence. Howson confirmed he’s received trade inquiries from other GMs, but isn’t close to make a trade at this time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those two have the support of ownership for now, but if they’re still floundering by mid-season, one or both could be gone. One reason Howson probably isn’t close to making a deal is the offers are likely very one-sided, and not in his favor.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers callup of Brayden Schenn leaves the team uncomfortably close to the $64.3 million cap ceiling, as they now have only $21K of available cap space. Panaccio believes they’ll have to shed a major salary at some point if they’re to have any cap flexibility by the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring injuries which put players on LTIR or further demotions, the Flyers will indeed have to dump a salary, and that means Scott Hartnell’s name will continue to feature prominently in this year’s rumor mill.
NEW YORK POST: Sean Avery not only doubts he’ll be recalled by the Rangers, but also doubts another NHL team will have interest in him.