The latest on the Blue Jackets, Kings, Panthers, Senators, Sabres, Flyers, and Rangers, plus a look at which teams have the cap space to make deadline moves.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH:Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is still waiting for the right price for Rick Nash. He also said no player was off-limits, other than those with movement clauses in their contracts. Sources also say the Blue Jackets have received inquiries about R.J. Umberger and Derick Brassard.
TSN’s Darren Dreger last night reported the Flyers are out of the bidding for Rick Nash at the current asking price. Dreger feels the NY Rangers are the front-runners.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets might have an easier time moving Umberger and Brassard than Nash and Jeff Carter at this time of year. Still, there’s always a possibility a desperate team – hello there, LA Kings – might be willing to move on Nash or Carter. Speaking of the Kings…
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports this week could be the most important of Dean Lombardi’s tenure as Kings GM. His team is in danger of missing the playoffs, and if that happens it could cost him his job. If he lands a scoring forward it might salvage the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are the lowest scoring team in the NHL. A team like that usually doesn’t make the playoffs, and if not for Jonathan Quick’s goaltending, the Kings wouldn’t stand a chance. Lombardi must bolster his offense or his team’s playoff hopes could be in jeopardy, as could his job.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Mike Beradino reports on what Panthers GM Dale Tallon might do to bolster his club at the trade deadline. One thing Tallon won’t do is acquire a quick-fix, stressing the importance of finding a deal which helps his team now and in the future.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators team owner Eugene Melnyk didn’t close the door on the possibility of GM Bryan Murray trying to move the contracts of expensive players if it could bring the Senators young players. That prompted Garrioch to speculate defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba could be on the move, though Murray told Melnyk no changes are necessary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuba’s a UFA, Gonchar has one year left on his contract. Murray doesn’t believe changes are needed, so why would they move Kuba and Gonchar? I’ll be surprised if either guy is dealt by the deadline.
BUFFALO NEWS: The trade deadline looms over the Sabres roster.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio believes shoring up the Flyers defense doesn’t address their real problem: goaltending. “There is a feeling the Flyers would move Bobrovsky if they could get a cheap, reliable goalie to fall back on if Bryzgalov fails to pull himself together’, writes Panaccio. “Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders would be a perfect fit.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately, Islanders GM Garth Snow has repeatedly said he’s not shopping Nabokov. Ultimately, the Flyers are probably stuck with the goalies they started this season with, for better or worse.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski acknowledged the possibility he could be traded by the deadline.
TSN.CA: Matthew Wuest of CapGeek.com looks at which NHL teams have the cap space to make moves at the trade deadline.