The latest on Jeff Carter, Ryan Suter, Shane Doan, Lubomir Visnovsky, Nicklas Grossman and Marek Zidlicky, plus updates on the Senators, Flyers and Red Wings.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports multiple source confirm the Blue Jackets have placed Jeff Carter on the trade block, but Carter shrugs off the trade rumors, saying his focus is on getting healthy and returning to the team as soon as possible. Carter said he has not asked to be traded. GM Scott Howson declined to comment on the rumors, but did say he recently met with Carter’s agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact Howson won’t comment on the rumors speaks volumes. We now know for certain Carter’s on the trade block, as TSN’s Darren Dreger first reported over a week ago, but the question is, how difficult will it be for the Blue Jackets to move his big contract? It’s not impossible to trade him, but that contract is almost as good as a “no-trade” clause. I think the odds will be better during the off-season, when there are more teams with more cap space and willingness to spend, though this summer, that might not occur until after a new CBA is hammered out. Even then, his NTC kicks in on July 1st, which will further complicate things, unless they trade him in June.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Predators GM David Poile said contract negotiations with Ryan Suter’s agent are ongoing and he hopes to re-sign the blueliner at some point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile said the only real deadline he has with Suter is July 1st, the date the blueliner becomes eligible for UFA status. I think that says all we need to know about Suter’s trade status.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed the Senators have interest in Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu. There’s also a campaign afoot amongst some Senators fans for the club to bring back Chris Kelly, who’ll be a UFA this summer. Kelly was dealt to the Bruins last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Line forms to the left for Ruutu…It’s believed the Bruins will re-sign Kelly, but of course, if that doesn’t happen, it might be a good idea for the Senators to explore bringing him back.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers could turn their focus to Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen and Montreal blueliner Hal Gill.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: Allan Maki reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland will look to bolster his lineup by the trade deadline. He doesn’t want to move any early round draft picks, adding his intent is to enhance, not remodel, his lineup.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky is very unhappy playing for head coach Mike Yeo, and the situation could result in the Wild trading the veteran blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zidlicky’s performance has been in decline at age 35, and with one year remaining on his contract worth $4 million, he might not be easy to move.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance listed the Lightning, Canadiens, Stars, Coyotes and Ducks among the trade deadline “bubble teams”. Pierre LeBrun suggested keeping an eye on Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky as a possible trade candidate, as well as winger Jason Blake. LeBrun also suggested Stars blueliner Nicklas Grossman might be a trade option for the Flyers, Tampa Bay center Dominic Moore could attract considerable attention if the Lightning decide to move him at the deadline, and Coyotes GM Don Maloney once again denied rumor Shane Doan might be traded.