The Leafs pressing need, possible moves by the Senators, Wild not dealing from a position of strength, and Flyers Jakub Voracek in line for a significant raise.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Buffery reports the Maple Leafs lack of size is hurting them, and called upon GM Brian Burke to address this sooner rather than later.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s what Burke’s been doing in recent weeks, but so far there isn’t much out there to suitably address his needs. That being said, Burke is renowned for his major trades well before the deadline, so I daresay he’ll pull the trigger within the next two-three weeks.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan interviewed Senators GM Bryan Murray, who expressed his happiness with his club’s performance this season, but hinted at perhaps adding ” a substantial piece” in the coming weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He could look at adding another top six forward or perhaps a second-pairing defenseman. Also, I have to admit that I was wrong in my criticism of the Senators retaining Murray as their general manager to rebuild their roster. While it was Murray’s questionable trades and free agent signings which contributed to the Senators demise between 2007 and 2011, it’s also been his savvy moves since the middle of last season which has made the Senators a much-improved club this season. That deserves acknowledgement, and for the sake of the Senators and their fans, here’s hoping he’s learned his lesson and sticks with the current rebuilding plan.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is desperate to make a trade which can improve his sinking club’s performance, but he’s not dealing from a position of strength, and rival GMs know this and are trying to exploit it. “The Anaheim Ducks have dangled top forward Bobby Ryan, whom Fletcher played a part in drafting. The Buffalo Sabres, having struggles similar to the Wild’s, are shopping Drew Stafford, Derek Roy and Brad Boyes. The Rangers are offering Wojtek Wolski and Erik Christensen. In terms of rentals available now, Columbus is willing to trade Vaclav Prospal, Edmonton Ales Hemsky and Carolina Tuomo Ruutu”, reports Russo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Ducks part with Ryan, but if they’re willing to, the asking price would be too expensive for the Wild. The Sabres are believed seeking equal value for those forwards. Wolski and Christensen won’t help the Wild, while Hemsky’s injury history and declining performance makes him a “buyer beware” acquisition. Prospal and Ruutu would be the best bets to help the Wild, but the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes undoubtedly want a quality prospect and/or high draft pick as part of the return.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Jakub Voracek’s performance this season puts the restricted free agent in line for a significant raise.