The latest on Jarome Iginla, Stephen Weiss, Jose Theodore, Ales Hemsky, John-Michael Liles and Viktor Stalberg.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio wondered if Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster might finally put team captain Jarome Iginla on the trade block, speculating the Flyers and Bruins might have interest in the Flames winger. Panaccio feels the bidding could soon start for Iginla if the Flames fail to gain ground in the standings in the coming weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision could come by mid-March. As long as the Flames remain in striking distance of a playoff berth (they’re currently only two points out of eighth overall), Iginla won’t be going anywhere unless he requests a trade.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports trade rumors are swirling over the struggling Florida Panthers. He suggests perhaps a change of scenery (Detroit? Ottawa?) might be good for pending UFA center Stephen Weiss, whose sub-par performance this season is confounding the club’s higher-ups.
The Panthers calling up Jacob Markstrom leaves Jose Theodore and his expiring contract as a possible trade candidate. Fialkov noted the Boston Bruins aren’t deep in goal beyond Tuukka Rask. He also speculates Panthers GM Dale Tallon is growing frustrated with his defense, especially the play of Filip Kuba and Brian Campbell.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are running out of time to turn things around. If they haven’t improved in another couple of weeks, expect the sell-off of veterans to begin, and that could include Weiss if Tallon gets a good offer for him.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples concurred with a recent fan poll suggesting the Oilers trade winger Ales Hemsky. He feels Hemsky, despite his $5 million per season contract and leaky defensive play, could be of interest to clubs seeking offensive depth. Staples points out the Oilers are in need of a tough, two-way center or winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky’s poor defensive play could also work against him on the trade market, and with the salary cap declining for next season, there might not be much of a market for his salary. It’s still possible he could be traded, just saying it won’t be easy, and they might not get a great return.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports Maple Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles isn’t complaining about being a healthy scratch, nor does he want a trade. Liles acknowledged the difficulty of not playing, but said he had to deal with it “like a pro”.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reports Blackhawks winger Viktor Stalberg acknowledged the uncertainty his UFA status brings to his future, but maintains his focus is on the present and winning with the Blackhawks. GM Stan Bowman said he’s currently not in negotiations with Stalberg or his other free agents, but admitted he’s pleased with Stalberg’s performance.