Latest on the Devils, Blackhawks, Avalanche, Penguins and Wild.
NEW YORK POST: Mark Everson reports the New Jersey Devils could be looking to add depth to their defense corps before Monday’s trade deadline. “The Marek Zidlicky situation remains unresolved, with the Devils perhaps unable to handle the rest of his $4 million salary”, reports Everson. “As a precondition of receiving advances on future revenue from the league, The Post reported a secret payroll budget was imposed on the Devils. That budget, separate from the salary cap, may not have room even for the $1 million left on Zidlicky’s salary this season.” One option could be Montreal’s Chris Campoli. Winnipeg’s Johnny Oduya is unlikely to be moved with the Jets back in playoff contention, while other options (Bryan Allen, Lubomir Visnovsky, Jaroslav Spacek) are expensive.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even with a possibly tighter budget, I wouldn’t rule out Lamoriello finding an affordable option for his defense.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns suggests Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman might be forced to part with one of their promising rookies (Marcus Kruger, Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw, Dylan Olsen) in order to add a puck-moving defenseman and another forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Such a move won’t come cheap, and if Bowman does move one of his rookies, or another top prospect, it cannot be for simply a playoff rental, but someone who can help the roster in the future. Otherwise, it could be simply a waste of promising talent for a quick fix which might not pan out.
DENVER POST: Mike Chambers believes the Colorado Avalanche’s fine performance in their 4-1 win over the LA Kings means they won’t be sellers by Monday’s trade deadline, as they’re now only two points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Joe Starkey says forget about the Penguins trading struggling defensemen Zbynek Michalek or Paul Martin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know some Penguins followers have called for one or the other to be traded to bring in better players, but their salaries are difficult to move, and as Starkey suggests, the best bet is to retain them and hope they rediscover their game.
TWINCITIES.COM: Ben Goessling examines possible moves by the Minnesota Wild by Monday’s deadline, suggesting goalie Josh Harding and blueliners Marek Zidlicky and Greg Zanon could become trade candidates. They won’t, however, mortgage their future by trading prospects like Mikael Granlund or Jonas Brodin.