The Capitals open the season with three trade requests, Bruins GM not yet ready to trade for a defenseman and the latest on Steve Mason’s contract talks with the Flyers.
WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Capitals GM George McPhee declined to comment on the growing number of players who have requested a trade this season. Michal Neuvirth joined Martin Erat and Dmitry Orlov in requesting a trade via their agents. Erat’s seen more ice time since his trade request on November 25 but nothing has changed from his perspective. Orlov’s situation seems to have improved, having seen regular playing time since his agent requested a trade in late-November. The trio’s discontent hasn’t affect the rest of the roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Erat’s declining stats, $4.5 million cap hit and his second trade request in a year hurts his market value. The Capitals may be stuck with him until season’s end and then buy out the remainder of his contract. Orlov seems to have reconsidered his request as he’s now seeing over 20 minutes per game. The Capitals don’t have to trade Neuvirth as they could demote Philipp Grubauer (waiver-exempt) but given how well he’s playing that doesn’t seem like an option. It could take some time to move Neuvirth, who’s only played in seven games this season.
BOSTON HERALD: Stephen Harris reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli wasn’t impressed with his club’s undisciplined defense play in their recent losses to Ottawa and the NY Islanders. Chiarelli insists he’ll look to within to replace sidelined defenseman Dennis Seidenberg before considering a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are riding high in the Eastern Conference standings so Chiarelli isn’t under pressure to make a move right away. He’ll assess the club between now and the February Olympic trade freeze to determine if a trade is needed.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said he’s had some contract talks with Steve Mason’s agent but “nothing in-depth” nor anything he’d prefer discussing through the media. Holmgren acknowledged, however, it could take some time to get Mason, a restricted free agent at season’s end, under contract. Mason signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal and his performance this season means he’ll earned considerably more after this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have the luxury of time, especially as it’ll give them the rest of this season to fully evaluate Mason’s performance. If Mason plays as well in the second half as he did in the first half, he’ll be in line to more than double his money.