A look at which teams might be next to make a significant trade, the Rangers make an offer to Anton Stralman, and an update on the Devils efforts to bring in more depth at center.
ESPN.COM: In the wake of the Vancouver Canucks four-player deal with the Florida Panthers, Craig Custance suggests four struggling teams – Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens – could be next to make significant early season moves. Custance noted Flames GM Jay Feaster is reportedly receiving interest in winger Rene Bourque, and Feaster “might do well to move Matt Stajan if he can find any takers”. The Bolts and Habs are believed in search of blueline help, with Custance citing “an NHL source” claiming the two teams had contacted the Toronto Maple Leafs about a deal involving one of the Leafs blueliners.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be highly unusual for the Leafs to deal with their arch-rivals from Montreal. It could take a third team getting involved for the Habs to land one of the Leafs defensemen. One gets the sense that something big could happen with the Canadiens or Blue Jackets soon if they don’t snap out of their respective skids by week’s end, either with a trade, a coaching or management change. I don’t see Feaster being able to move Stajan, thanks to his contract.
NEW YORK POST/NORTHJERSEY.COM: report the Rangers late last week made a contract offer to UFA defenseman Anton Stralman, who skated with the New Jersey Devils in preseason but has yet to be signed by the Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word from the Rangers confirming this, nor from the Stralman camp if he’ll accept the offer, or remain in Europe, where he currently has some options. Stralman wouldn’t replace what injured Marc Staal brings to their defense, but he’s a decent puck-moving blueliner who could prove helpful on the PP.
NEW YORK POST: Mark Everson reports the Devils have the cap space to add an experienced center to fill the hole left by injuries to centers Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson, but it appears” they’re going to to beat the bushes for a diamond in the minors, someone lost in someone’s shuffle.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Everson noted, it would appear the Devils have spent as much as they’re going to this season if they’re looking instead for cheaper options in the minors.