Updates on Zach Parise and Derek Roy, plus the latest on the Blue Jackets, Jets, Oilers, and Penguins.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils winger Zach Parise admits money will be an important consideration as to where he signs this summer, but said playing for a Stanley Cup contender will be the overriding factor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s likely to ramp up more Parise trade rumors in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but as I’ve noted before, as long as the Devils remain in playoff contention, they won’t trade Parise, even if he’s still unsigned by the trade deadline. GM Lou Lamoriello has done this many times before with pending UFAs (Bobby Holik, Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Brian Rafalski) and I see no reason why he won’t follow the same ploy with Parise, regardless of the rumors of the club teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres center Derek Roy is brushing aside recent trade rumors about him, claiming he remains focused on improving his play and that of his team. Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray is believed to have scouted Roy and winger Drew Stafford back in late-November.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres GM Darcy Regier is probably listening to offers for Roy and Stafford, but he’s not going to just give them away. Right now, he’s seeking a deal that will improve the Sabres playoff hopes, meaning he’s seeking a “hockey trade”, that being a swap of comparable players. I don’t see that happening with the Ducks.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen speculates there will be some roster moves coming for the Blue Jackets in the wake of management firing Scott Arniel as head coach. Allen noted GM Scott Howson denied having any desire to trade team captain Rick Nash. The team has several potential UFAs, including Vinny Prospal, Samuel Pahlsson, and Kristian Huselius.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ignore the Nash trade rumors, he’s not going anywhere. The players I expect will be dealt will be Prospal and young center Derick Brassard.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Tim Campbell reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue to evaluate his roster, but isn’t in a hurry to make a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Jets make a move, it’ll be closer to the trade deadline, depending on where they are in the standings. I suspect if they’re in playoff contention, the Jets will be buyers, but Cheveldayoff will tweak, rather than make a major move.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson responded to a reader’s question about the possibility of the Oilers shipping Nikolai Khabibulin and Sam Gagner to the Chicago Blackhawks, claiming there’s no chance such a move occurs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have been through the Khabibulin experience before, and don’t wish to repeat it. Given the injuries currently piling up for the Oilers, I think Gagner will stay put.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance speculated on the possibility of the injury-ravaged Pittsburgh Penguins making a move to shore up their depth, listing Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu and Anaheim’s Niklas Hagman and Jason Blake as options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ray Shero tends to be patient and waits for the right moment to make a move. He’ll continue to evaluate his lineup over the next couple of weeks to see how well they perform despite the loss of key players to injuries, and will likely wait until February to make his moves. Affordability will be key, both in salary and in what he’d have to part with for a return.