The latest on Nazem Kadri, Cam Ward, Daniel Briere, Martin Erat and more.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen lists seven teams which could be sellers by the March 5 NHL trade deadline and the players they could move. Among them: Buffalo (Matt Moulson), Calgary (Mike Cammalleri), Edmonton (Ales Hemsky), Islanders (Thomas Vanek) and Jets (Dustin Byfuglien).
NHL LIVE (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): TSN’s Darren Dreger speculates the Oilers might pursue Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward in the off-season. Dreger doesn’t believe the Hurricanes are actively shopping Ward but they could be intrigued by the possibility, though it could take a significant offer to convince them to move him…He also says it sounds like Michal Neuvirth could be odd man out in Washington but Capitals GM George McPhee isn’t calling around trying to move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford last month said he wasn’t shopping Ward. While I don’t doubt he’d listen to offers it’ll take a lot to convince him to move Ward, who’s currently sidelined. I don’t believe Rutherford deals away his most experienced goaltender during the season and put his hopes in the inexperienced duo of Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters. If Rutherford lands a quality goaltender in the off-season via trade or free agency he could try to trade Ward, though that would take convincing the netminder to waive his no-trade clause. With the Hurricanes still in the hunt for a playoff berth, they won’t move Ward.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle recently reports Toronto Maple Leafs president Tim Leiweke promises Leafs fans his club won’t engage in knee-jerk moves. “We will not give away our good kids, we’re not going to give away all of our draft picks. This is a long-term vision. And what we’re not going to do is panic and do a bad deal. This organization in the past has had a bad track record of knee-jerking and doing deals that were bad deals and using good young assets. We won’t do that anymore.”
Mirtle subsequently tweeted the following from TSN’s Darren Dreger: “Dreger says on TSN that if the Leafs are going to trade Kadri – and there’s a chance – they need a centre coming back.”
SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox also reports Kadri has repeatedly come up in trade speculation. Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle acknowledged the chemistry Kadri had last season with Joffrey Lupul has evaporated this season. Loiselle also acknowledged his club is looking toward the Western Conference, as the tight race for playoff berths in the Eastern Conference makes it difficult to make moves with clubs you’re competing with for a playoff spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: OK, breathe, Leafs fans. Breathe. While Kadri’s name is floating around the rumor mill, if the Leafs trade him they’ll want a good return, not draft picks and prospects. GM Dave Nonis has repeatedly said he’s not shopping Kadri or Jake Gardiner, but if he did trade either player he’d want a blue-chip player of a similar age (23) in return. That’s not an easy fit.
TVASPORTS’ L.A. Lariviere reports via Twitter: according to one source here tonight,no truth to Habs GM Bergevin and Lamoriello discussing a trade involving Brière. “Pure speculation”.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports Martin Erat said his agent and Capitals GM George McPhee are “still talking” but he hasn’t changed his desire to be traded.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis noted the Oilers lack a second and a third round pick in this year’s draft, having dealt them to St. Louis and Los Angeles respectively. Willis expects they’ll try to add second and third round picks by the trade deadline.