Will the Maple Leafs make a trade by the deadline? Does Rick Nash want out of Columbus? Does Jarome Iginla believe he’ll be dealt at the deadline? What’s the latest on the Kings, Avalanche and Sharks? Read on to find out!
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reports there’s a “real chance” the Toronto Maple Leafs could stand pat at the trade deadline, citing a lack of availability of top-six forwards in this year’s trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good heavens! You mean Brian Burke won’t be able to land Jeff Carter/Rick Nash/Ryan Getzlaf/Bobby Ryan/Corey Perry or any of the other top flight superstars the Leafs have been linked to for weeks? Zounds and gadzooks! Seriously, if there’s not much out there to deal for, it might be best for Burke to stand pat, especially if his team keeps playing as well as they have since the All-Star break. No point making a trade just for the sake of doing so.
It’s been suggested in some quarters Burke should shop center Mikhail Grabovski as part of a package to bring in a center who can help the Leafs. Well, as one person noted on Twitter last night, “You know which team could use Mikhail Grabovski to help them make the playoffs? The Toronto Maple Leafs”.
SPORTSNET.CA: John Shannon reports he’s received “a couple of calls” from friends of Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Rick Nash, claiming Nash is unhappy with the direction of the Blue Jackets and wouldn’t object to a trade, though he won’t be the one to seek it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this story, and probably won’t be the last. I spoke with a Columbus sportswriter last week about Nash’s potential availability, and they told me that as long as Scott Howson remains the Blue Jackets GM, Nash won’t be going anywhere. So, unless Nash demands a trade, it doesn’t appear Blue Jackets management will ask him to accept one.
CALGARY HERALD: Vicki Hall reports Flames captain Jarome Iginla once again dismissed speculation about his trade status, saying he intends to stick with the Flames to the end of this season, adding he still believes the Flames can make the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla won’t be traded this season, and while I don’t believe the Flames will shop him this summer, don’t be surprised to see his name pop up again in the rumor mill this summer.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports the Kings would like to bolster their anemic offense, but a lack of available talent and cap space could make the picking slim.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: What? You mean the Kings aren’t about to pull off a blockbuster to acquire Jeff Carter or Alexander Semin or Zach Parise? Now what will the rumormongers do? Seriously, Elliott is spot on over the Kings situation, and while management will do what it can by the deadline, there may not be much they can bring in at this point in the season to significantly improve their offense.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Avalanche forward David Jones, an unrestricted free agent this summer who’s been struggling this season, is aware of the trade rumors swirling about him, but remains focused on trying to help the Avs make the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the lack of depth in available talent so far in the trade market, maybe the Avs can exploit that by shopping Jones to teams seeking offense.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: David Pollak reports Sharks GM
Dean Lombardi Doug Wilson could be shopping for a scorer by the trade deadline. Speculation has him interested in Columbus’ R.J. Umberger and Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu. Wilson declined to talk about rumors or what he might be seeking if he is in the market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson has a reputation for being active near the trade deadline. This season probably won’t be any different.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen takes a look at the Western Conference and which clubs could be buyers or sellers.