The latest on Ales Hemsky, Josh Harding, Jaromir Jagr, Hal Gill, Wojtek Wolski, Steve Mason, and more.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports former NHL GM and Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean believes Oilers winger Ales Hemsky will “most definitely be traded at the deadline.” MacLean listed Ottawa, Washington, Vancouver, Detroit and San Jose as potential destinations for Hemsky, while fellow analyst Nick Kypreos listed Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit. MacLean doesn’t believe Hemsky will fetch a big return for the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because of his injury history and poor numbers this season. Still, I agree with MacLean that Hemsky will be moved by the trade deadline. It’s just a question of where.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding isn’t oblivious to his name being floated in the trade rumor mill. It’s rumored he could be shopped for a top-six forward. He’s also an unrestricted free agent this summer.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr has enjoyed this season with the club, and hopes to re-sign a one-year extension. There’s been some discussion between Jagr’s agent and Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, but Jagr doesn’t want to negotiate during the season to avoid it becoming a distraction. Panaccio points out the Flyers current have over $58 million committed to next season’s payroll, which could make it a tight squeeze to fit a new contract for Jagr under the salary cap.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holmgren has proven capable of doing a nifty job of juggling cap numbers to fit in contracts for players he wants to retain.If there’s a way to get it done, without the loss of another quality player, he will.
LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin speculated how much longer defenseman Hal Gill will be with the Canadiens as their season slowly slips away. Godin noted the Flyers, Blackhawks and Sharks are believed in the market for blueline depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs shouldn’t have too much difficulty moving Gill if they go into “sell” mode in the coming weeks.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater, responding to a reader’s query, dismissed the notion of the Colorado Avalanche bringing back forward Wojtek Wolski, who’s currently on the outs with the NY Rangers.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline, in a recent live chat, suggested goalie Steve Mason’s days with the Blue Jackets may be drawing to a close, either via trade or waivers.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns reports the Blackhawks are in the market for a defenseman and veteran center. He listed the Ducks, Oilers and Blue Jackets as the only sellers in the Western Conference at this time, while Buffalo, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Carolina, NY Islanders and possibly the Winnipeg Jets could be Eastern Conference sellers. GM Stan Bowman is willing to part with draft picks, prospects or minor leaguers, but wouldn’t rule out moving a depth player.