The latest on Corey Perry, Jarome Iginla, Shawn Horcoff, Kris Versteeg, Tyler Bozak, Shawn Matthias and many more.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman examined the advantages and disadvantages for the Anaheim Ducks if they either re-sign Corey Perry or move him by the trade deadline…Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster is keeping mum on potential moves by his club, but did acknowledge it is an “organizational decision” not to tear down the current roster and rebuild. They will try to address their lack of size and skill at center…Friedman wonders if Jarome Iginla could be traded, then return to the Flames this summer as a free agent…Freidman believes the Oilers will trade Ryan Whitney for sure, but is surprised there hasn’t been much conversation between management and pending UFA blueliner Ladislav Smid…Teams might covet Oilers center Shawn Horcoff. Expect Ales Hemsky’s name to resurface in the rumor mill…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If I were Ducks GM Bob Murray, I’d retain Perry in hopes of going deep in this year’s playoffs, try to re-sign him after the season, and if he’s unwilling to do so, try to move his rights before the July 5th free agency deadline…The Flames front office is deluding itself if it doesn’t see its roster needs a significant overhaul…I wouldn’t fully rule out Iginla returning to the Flames as a UFA if he were dealt to a Stanley Cup winner this season, but it would have to be for a considerably cheaper contract…Whitney will be moved, but the Oilers won’t get much for him. As for Smid, maybe they’re waiting until their season ends in late-April to start contract talks with him. Smid’s among the league leaders in blocked shots and hits this season, so he’s worth re-signing…Horcoff’s production has declined over the past couple of years, plus he’s got two more seasons at a cap hit of $5.5 million per left on his contract. Unless the Oilers wish to absorb part of his salary, I don’t expect they’ll get much interest in him.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson expects it’ll cost the Red Wing plenty to re-sign pending UFA goalie Jimmy Howard, suggesting he’ll get between $2.25 – $5 million per season. David Staples commented on speculation the Oilers could move center Sam Gagner, suggesting if Gagner (a restricted free agent this summer) seeks more than $5 million per season, the Oilers could shop him. Staples also believes until more is known about the long-term health and productivity of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, it would be wise to keep Gagner and instead shop a winger like Ales Hemsky.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur regarding Howard and Gagner. The Wings really don’t have anyone in their system to step up and replace Howard if they let him walk via free agency this summer, and there’s not much available via free agency or trade. $5 million per season seems likely for Howard. As for Gagner, they’re under no rush to make a decision on him right now, as they can wait until the summer. If his salary demands are reasonable, the Oilers should keep him. If they do shop him, it won’t be until this summer.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis isn’t in any hurry to shop pending UFAs Tyler Bozak and Clark MacArthur. Zeisberger also reports Nonis won’t shop promising defenseman Jake Gardiner for a playoff rental player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve been amused by recent trade rumors regarding Bozak and MacArthur. The Leafs are in the thick of playoff contention. They’re not going to dump pending UFA players now. And it’s silly to think they’d trade Gardiner for a quick-fix. If they trade anyone, I expect it’ll be Mike Komisarek or John-Michael Liles, though their respective contracts won’t be easy to move.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma speculates the struggling Canucks could do some shopping before the trade deadline, wondering if they’ll “kick the tires” on Florida Panthers center (and pending RFA) Shawn Matthias. Possible pending UFAs to target include Buffalo’s Jochen Hecht, NY Islanders’ Marty Reasoner, and Tampa Bay’s Nate Thompson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of these, Matthias would be the best of the bunch, followed by Thompson, Hecht and Reasoner. Matthias has been among the few bright spots this season for the Panthers, so they might prefer to retain him.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports the Boston Bruins have been following the Dallas Stars over the past two games, as have “Pittsburgh, Toronto, Columbus, Minnesota and the New York Rangers.” Stars scouts also attended Monday’s Bruins-Senators game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars captain Brenden Morrow has popped up of late in the trade rumor mill, and the Bruins are seeking a third line left wing. They’re also rumored following San Jose’s Ryane Clowe.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Florida Panthers will listen to offers for forwards Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann. Versteeg has three more years left on his contract ($4.4 million per season cap hit) while Fleischmann has two years at $4.5 million per season, with a modified “no-trade” clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There could be more interest in Fleischmann than Versteeg, as the former has been healthier this season and has a more affordable contract.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon has his list of potential candidates for trade deadline moves. Corey Perry, Roberto Luongo, Mike Ribeiro, Jarome Iginla, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryane Clowe, Kris Versteeg, Clarke MacArthur, Jack Johnson, Brian Campbell, Jay Bouwmeester, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Komisarek, Tyler Bozak, and Keith Ballard.