Latest on Ryan Kesler, Martin Brodeur, Ryan Callahan, Chris Phillips, Christian Ehrhoff and more.
BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports a source claiming the Bruins contacted the Ottawa Senators about defenseman Chris Phillips, who’s in contract talks with the Senators but could be moved if the talks fall through. Conroy also suggests Philadelphia’s Andrej Meszaros, Buffalo’s Henrik Tallinder and Carolina’s Ron Hainsey as options if Phillips isn’t available. The Bruins aren’t considered having much interest in NY Islanders blueliner Andrew MacDonald because of the Islanders’ high asking price.
ESPN.COM: Joe MacDonald also reports the Bruins are making inquiries about Senators defenseman Chris Phillips.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports a source claiming there’s been no trade discussions between the Bruins and Senators about Phillips.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some confusion out of Boston regarding the Bruins and Phillips. There’s no doubt Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is shopping for a defenseman and I expect him to make a move by the deadline. It remains to be seen if it’s Phillips or someone else.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan suggests the Senators blowout loss to Detroit earlier this week may have turned them into sellers. Scanlan doesn’t see the sense in parting with assets for a rental player at this point. He believes the loss to the Wings reveals the Senators as a young team not quite ready to contend. Pending UFAs Chris Phillips, Milan Michalek and Joe Corvo could be moved if management opts to sell by the deadline.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Phillips is engaging in contract talks with Senators management but has nothing new to report. Garrioch also reports a possible trade target was taken off the table when Chris Stewart was shipped to Buffalo in last night’s Ryan Miller deal. He claims the Senators still have interest in Stewart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are now five points out of a wild card berth. I suspect their performance in their remaining games leading up to the trade deadline will determine management’s course of action. In the wake of last night’s blockbuster deal between the Sabres and Blues there was some talk of the Sabres “flipping” Stewart to the Senators. Time will tell if that’s the case.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti wonders if this afternoon’s game between the New Jersey Devils and NY Islanders could mark the last time Martin Brodeur will be in the Devils’ net. Brodeur claims he hasn’t spoken with GM Lou Lamoriello about his future or asked for a trade.
MLIVE.COM; Ansar Khan believes Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler would be a good fit with the Red Wings but fears the asking price would be too high. He believes the Canucks “would want a good, young player who could help them right away in addition to a top prospect and high pick.” Khan claims Red Wings GM Ken Holland would prefer to land a defenseman, suggesting Kesler’s teammate Alexander Edler would be a better fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wings make a move to bolster their defense I doubt they’ll land Edler as the Canucks will also want a decent return for him. I don’t see the Wings parting with any of their promising young players. They’ll likely stick with what they’ve got unless they can land a rental which only costs a draft pick.
NEW YORK POST: Having re-signed Dan Girardi, Larry Brooks claims the focus of Rangers management now shifts to getting Ryan Callahan re-signed. If unable to re-sign him the Rangers could trade Callahan. Brooks suggests shipping him to Tampa Bay for Lightning star Martin St. Louis provided the Rangers add a “sweetener” to the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll have to be one helluva sweetener to convince Steve Yzerman to part with St. Louis. Despite the reportedly strained relationship between Yzerman and St. Louis, the Lightning are among the Eastern Conference’s top teams, are poised to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in three years and will soon welcome back Steven Stamkos from a broken leg. Unless St. Louis is forcing the issue, Yzerman has no reason to trade him now.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports the Sabres have requested defenseman Christian Ehrhoff present a list of eight teams to which he won’t accept a trade. Vogl notes a potential stumbling block in moving Ehrhoff is the salary cap recapture plan. “Should Ehrhoff retire before his deal expires in 2020-21 (when he’d be 38), that “advantage” will be “recaptured” and added to the Sabres’ salary cap. The penalty, spread over the remaining years of his deal, would range from $3 million to the full $10 million, depending on his retirement date”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To see what those penalties could be, check out CapGeek.com’s handy NHL Cap Benefit Recapture Calculator. Oh, the fun you’ll have…
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey doesn’t expect any significant moves by the Canadiens before the trade deadline. “Bergevin isn’t going to part with any of the team’s young assets and there’s no market for the players he would be willing to deal”, writes Hickey.