The latest on Dan Girardi, Ryan Miller, Curtis Glencross, Paul Stastny, Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Gagner, Matt Moulson and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the NHL’s Olympic roster freeze period (February 7-23) could result in an increase in trade activity much sooner than usual. The annual trade deadline is March 5…The Bruins intend to look to within their organization to replace injured defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, but if that fails to work could test the trade market. Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi could be a target, as Garrioch claims he’s been shopped owing to management’s concern over re-signing him…Sabres goalie Ryan Miller might not be traded after all. The new Sabres GM could try to re-sign him, plus their asking price (three prospects and a first round pick) is too high…The Canadiens may have looked at Flames winger Curtis Glencross, leading Garrioch to wonder if the Flames try to convince him to accept a deal. The Habs are also believed trying to move Daniel Briere…The Phoenix Coyotes could be interested in Sabres’ winger Matt Moulson…The Hurricanes might not be done dealing. Garrioch cites a couple of sources claiming GM Jim Rutherford is willing to trade anyone except Eric and Jordan Staal, but he doubts they’ll move winger Jeff Skinner. Forwards Jiri Tlusty, Tuomo Ruutu and defenseman Ron Hainsey are the likely trade candidates…The Avalanche wish to retain Paul Stastny but Garrioch believes he could be moved if the Avs get an offer of a player and a first round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers remain in playoff contention I doubt they move Girardi or fellow UFA Ryan Callahan…Unless Miller has expressed a willingness to re-sign with the Sabres they must move him for the possible best return…Glencrosss has a no-movement clause plus he’s on injured reserve (ankle) and isn’t expected to return until sometime in February. Besides, he plays with the truculence Brian Burke prefers in his players…The Hurricanes probably aren’t done dealing but they’re not trading just anyone. Skinner’s not going anywhere. Blueliners Justin Faulk, Ryan Murphy and goaltender Cam Ward won’t be dealt…Wouldn’t be surprised if the Coyotes are interested in Moulson, but they won’t be the only team…Given the Avs performance this season, I think they’ll retain Stastny and try to re-sign him to a more affordable contract this summer.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports there’s talk the Edmonton Oilers could shop center Sam Gagner. Neither the team or Gagner’s agent would comment. Gagner signed a new three-year contract last summer but lack no-trade protection, though GM Craig MacTavish promised he wouldn’t be traded. Friedman believes it’s a situation where they try to work with Gagner to work out something to his satisfaction. Friedman also said there was no meeting between Rangers management and Michael Del Zotto’s reps yesterday but it’s believed there will be some sort of informal conversation between the two sides.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The asking price for Gagner could be a top-two defenseman, especially if the Oilers package him package with their 2014 first round pick (which could be first overall) and perhaps a prospect…Del Zotto will be traded once the Rangers lower their asking price.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes the Maple Leafs recent acquisition of Tim Gleason will be their last until the March trade deadline. He also dismissed recent trade rumors about Nazem Kadri, claiming he’s no more available now than he was at the start of this season.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Leafs have expressed interested in Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto but noted Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson (who’d been mentioned as potential parts of a swap for Del Zotto) played poorly against the Rangers on Saturday and “do not excite the Rangeers as return in a potential trade.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt the Leafs kicked the tires on Del Zotto but after acquiring Tim Gleason I believe their focus will be more on their scoring now. Gardiner or Franson for Del Zotto would be a sideways move for the Leafs.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero won’t be looking for a rental player if he goes shopping for help before this year’s trade deadline. Rossi noted rumors the Winnipeg Jets could part with Evander Kane but there’s been no talks between Shero and Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff about Kane. Shero isn’t actively looking to trade Olli Maatta but the promising blueliner is the player the Penguins GM expects most willing trade partners could ask for.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe Shero parts with Maatta. As for Shero’s rumored interested in the Jets, maybe his interest is in Blake Wheeler or Andrew Ladd, though I doubt the Jets part with either guy. Landing more than a mere rental player will be expensive for Shero.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater wonders about center Ryan O’Reilly’s future with the Colorado Avalanche, pointing out it could take a qualifying offer of $6.5 million to retain his services beyond this season. Dater noted the contract squabbles between the O’Reilly camp last season before they matched the Flames offer sheet plus the fact they can trade him on February 28th, which would be the one year anniversary when they matched that offer. He wonders if the Avs will retain O’Reilly and try to re-sign him or move him. Dater also noted the NY Rangers scouted the recent Avalache-Sharks games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Dater observed, it would be foolish for the Avalanche to move O’Reilly anytime soon. Yes, it’ll be expensive to re-sign him and they’ll be paying for the sins of the previous management but I believe they’ll do it simply because he’s too valuable to lose.
NEWSDAY/BOSTON GLOBE: Arthur Staple and Fluto Shinzawa speculated over the future of NY Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and is enjoying a strong performance this season. He’s seventh in the league in average ice time (25:58) and leads the league in blocked shots (143).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacDonald doesn’t get much attention playing for the moribund Islanders but he’ll be among this summer’s most pursued defensemen. He’s 27, plays well at both ends of the ice and would make an excellent second-pairing defenseman on a strong team. The Islanders have surprised their critics in the recent past by re-signing key players believed destined for free agency. Expect them to push hard to retain their top defenseman.