Could New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise test this summer’s UFA market? Could the Senators trade a defenseman? Antoine Vermette to the Hurricanes? Islanders seeking a center? Read on for the latest.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils captain Zach Parise, who is eligible for UFA status this summer, wants to win a Stanley Cup, and will have to decide if he can win it with the Devils. Chere writes, “Although the Devils say they’d like to sign (Parise) to a long-term deal, it is likely he will test the market.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will likely provide further fodder for the rumormongers claiming the Devils will trade Parise, but we shouldn’t be too hasty about this. Parise has repeatedly said he’d prefer to remain with the Devils. Both sides avoided arbitration last summer by agreeing to a one-year contract, allowing them more time to negotiate a new contract. If Parise were to “test” the market, that doesn’t automatically mean he’ll sign with another team, but rather could allow the Devils to match the best offer. Yes, it’s possible he could be dealt if the Devils are unable to re-sign him, but I wouldn’t leap to the conclusion it’s an inevitability.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray isn’t planning to make any trades at this time with his team in the thick of the playoff race, but has depth on defense he could use if the need arises later in the season to address needs elsewhere on the roster.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reported “there’s talk” of the Columbus Blue Jackets shipping winger Antoine Vermette to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Bryan Allen…Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard is a healthy scratch and available but his $3.25 million per season cap hit makes him too expensive…The NY Islanders are said to be seeking a second line center and could shop winger Kyle Okposo…Matheson wondered what the Oilers could get from the Blackhawks if the latter were interested in Sam Gagner to play second line center with Patrick Kane…The Hurricanes are shopping defenseman Tomas Kaberle, but his $4 million per season salary isn’t attracting interest…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vermette does have some trade value, but he also has a cap hit of $3.75 million per season. Not sure if the budget-conscious Hurricanes would have interest in that…Brassard seems untradeable at this time…Not sure if the Isles would shop Okposo, but he’s definitely slumping big time this season, and the struggling Isles need to shake things up…Dunno why the Blackhawks would want Gagner as a second line center, when Kane is playing so well (14 points in his last 11 games) in that role…Good luck moving Kaberle, whose stock has fallen off significantly over the past year.