Updates on the Ottawa Senators, plus the latest on Ryan Whitney, Ryan O’Reilly and Jaromir Jagr.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray is working the phones in search of a reasonably priced defenseman who can help the club make the playoffs following the season-ending injury to Erik Karlsson. Murray isn’t willing to part with a first-round pick or top prospect, but that’s the asking price from the teams he’s contacted. Garrioch considers the Islanders Mark Streit as one who could help the Senators PP, but the Isles remain in the playoff chase. He doesn’t consider Hurricanes blueliner Joe Corvo a good fit, as “they’ve been down that road before”. He noted Montreal’s Tomas Kaberle is no longer an effective regular player and contributor. Phoenix’s Keith Yandle would be “a long shot at best”, plus the asking price would be expensive. He also include Edmonton’s Ryan Whitney on the list of available blueliners. Garrioch also reports Murray dismissed speculation he would shop goaltender Craig Anderson for a quality defenseman and call up Robin Lehner. Don Brennan, meanwhile, wondered if Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky might be a good option, given his reluctance to join the Isles.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes it’s possible Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini may have called Murray on Ryan Whitney. He wonders if the Oilers would be willing to give up Whitney right now, suggesting they might get a better return if they shop him by the trade deadline. Matheson listed Montreal’s Tomas Kaberle, Toronto’s Mike Komisarek, Washington’s Roman Hamrlik, Tampa Bay’s Marc-Andre Bergeron and Nashville’s Jonathan Blum as blueliners who could be available in the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray isn’t dealing from a position of strength, so he might be forced to wait until the market improves. Obviously he wasn’t going to trade away Anderson, that’s just crazy talk. Brennan’s suggestion of Lubomir Visnovsky isn’t a bad one, but of course that depends on how well he’s fitting in with the Islanders and their willingness to move him.Forget about Streit and Yandle. Kaberle and Hamrlik are past it, Komisarek’s not an offensive blueliner, Bergeron’s sole strength is his shot, and Blum is an uncertainty. Whitney might be the best bet, but his mobility issues this season are a concern.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes as his top trade destinations for Colorado Avalanche holdout center Ryan O’Reilly.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NY Rangers have “checked in” on O’Reilly, but are “very unlikely” to deal for the holdout center. Brooks claims the Rangers have a policy of signing RFAs lacking salary arbitration rights to two-year “bridge deals” (O’Reilly is believed seeking a five-year deal). The Blueshirts also have Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin to re-sign this summer, plus they also currently have around $5.22 million in available cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers, if they wanted, could move some salary via trade for O’Reilly, plus as Brooks noted, they still have an amnesty buyout remaining after this season. Still, given their policy regarding RFAs without arbitration rights and O’Reilly’s salary demands, it does appear as though the Rangers aren’t a fit. As for those destinations listed by Custance, TSN’s Darren Dreger claimed the Avs were talking to Eastern Conference teams regarding O’Reilly, so that would rule out – for now, anyway – the Flames and Coyotes.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika believes Jaromir Jagr has been worth every penny of his one-year, $4.55 million contract for the Dallas Stars, but he doubts they could re-sign him given they’re in the process of “transitioning forward”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps, but then again, no one expected the Stars to sign Jagr last summer, or that he’d be willing to go to a club in transition.