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EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers put Ryan Whitney back in the lineup for their Tuesday game against the St. Louis Blues, one of the clubs rumored to have interest in the pending UFA blueliner. The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes are also believed seeking blueline depth. David Staples, meanwhile, reports Sportsnet’s panel discussed the possibility of the Oilers shopping winger Ales Hemsky, wondering if there’s much of a market for him.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggarty wondered if Whitney could be a good fit for the Bruins. He also listed the Islanders Mark Streit, Coyotes’ Keith Yandle, Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester and San Jose’s Dan Boyle, but noted the Isles hope to re-sign Streit, the high cost of prying Yandle away from the Coyotes, and the remaining, expensive year on the contracts of Bouwmeester and Boyle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still anticipate Whitney will get dealt, believing the Oilers will wait until deadline day in hopes of getting a stronger return. Hemsky’s name has kicked around the rumor mill for years now, so I’m no longer taking any speculation seriously about him. With my luck, this’ll be the year they finally trade him, but I doubt it.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports Flyers management’s recent scouting trip to Minnesota to watch the San Jose Sharks in their game against the Wild wasn’t to scout Dan Boyle, but to “get a close look” at Sharks blueliner-turned-forward Brent Burns, though it remains to be seen if Burns is Holmgren’s true target.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson has hit the “reset button” with his trade of Douglas Murray to the Penguins, rather than going for a full rebuild.
CSN BAY AREA: Wilson claimed his club’s goal remains making the playoffs this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the latter link. Taking Wilson at his word, it means Dan Boyle won’t be shopped at the deadline. They need him if the goal is to reach the playoffs. If they fail to do so, however, don’t be surprised if Wilson edges more toward “rebuild” than “reset”, and it could mean shopping Boyle and/or Burns in the off-season.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun wonders what the Phoenix Coyotes might do with goalie Mike Smith if he remains unsigned by the trade deadline…While there’s been no contract talks between David Clarkson and the New Jersey Devils, but GM Lou Lamoriello has no intention of trading the pending UFA. Scott Burnside, meanwhile, reports it remains to be seen if the Dallas Stars are buyers or sellers as the deadline nears.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes fading playoff hopes rest with Smith…Lamoriello never re-signs his pending UFAs during the season. He certainly won’t shop Clarkson.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports the Senators could receive some calls about their goaltenders leading up to the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until starter Craig Anderson has returned to action, the Senators won’t move Ben Bishop or Robin Lehner.