Could the Flames shop for a replacement for Miikka Kiprusoff? What’s the latest on Roberto Luongo and Ryan O’Reilly. Are the Senators in the trade market? What about the Sabres? Read on to find out.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports the lower body injury suffered by Miikka Kiprusoff during the Flames 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings could force them to seek a short-term replacement. They were already seeking goaltending depth after dealing away Henrik Karlsson a few weeks ago and currently have no North American-based goalies under contract.
Francis doubts the Flames would rely on current backup Leland Irving if Kiprusoff is sidelined longer than a week or two. He suggests the Ottawa Senators as an obvious trade target, as it’s believed Ben Bishop is available, but Francis doubts the Flames are willing to part with the asking price of a second round pick. He also dismisses any suggestion the Flames could get into the bidding for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Kiprusoff is out for longer than two weeks, it could be the death blow to their playoff hopes. They could have little choice but make a pitch for Bishop. The Senators were in the market for blueline depth, so perhaps the Flames could offer up Anton Babchuk or Chris Butler. Speaking of the Senators….
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray has been checking out the NHL trade market to see what’s available but so far hasn’t found much to his liking. Garrioch cites sources claiming it could take another week before the trade market loosens up as the gap between playoff contenders and pretenders widens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The automatic assumption is Murray would seek a short-term replacement for the injured Jason Spezza, but if Kyle Turris and other centers in their lineup adjust, there could be no need to fill that gap. Murray could still have an eye open for an affordable blueline pickup.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Bruce Dowbiggin lists the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers as possible destinations for Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. He also acknowledged the possibility Luongo might not be dealt this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals GM George McPhee recently dismissed rumors linking him to Luongo, claiming he can’t take on the goalie’s contract. Offense has been a bigger issue for the struggling Panthers. The Leafs are getting good goaltending from James Reimer of late, and their pressing need is for another scoring forward, preferably a center. Ilya Bryzgalov is among the few bright spots for the Flyers so far this season, so there’s no need for them to chase Luongo now. As with Florida and Toronto, scoring is a bigger issue for the Flyers.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman offered up his take on Stephen Weiss’ status with the Florida Panthers…He suggests the Canucks and Roberto Luongo could have a change of plans over the latter’s trade status, but believes GM Mike Gillis can’t change the plan now unless both sides (including Cory Schneider) are 100 percent comfortable in doing so…The Buffalo Sabres carry eight defenseman and there are teams seeking blueliners, but Sabres GM Darcy Regier isn’t in any hurry to move one of them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Dale Tallon has dismissed trade rumors about Weiss, stating the intent is to re-sign him…Luongo may be playing well but I don’t believe that changes his trade status. Schneider is younger, more affordable and makes more sense for the future. Luongo might not be moved this season, but he could certainly be shopped this summer…Regier can’t move any blueliners right now due to injuries, but given how his club is struggling offensively and in the face 0ff circle, he may have to consider that option if things don’t improve in a few weeks.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Ryan O’Reilly’s agents spoke with Colorado Avalanche management yesterday. So far, however, there’s no sense of progress in the chilly negotiations between the two sides.