The latest from the Ottawa Sun and ESPN.com, plus the latest on Flames defenseman Cory Sarich.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports not to be surprised if the Detroit Red Wings add a veteran forward at the trade deadline, as they’ve got the cap space to make such a move, suggesting perhaps Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu could be a good target…He also wondered if the Jets might fire head coach Claude Noel to make room for Randy Carlyle…The Dallas Stars contacted the Calgary Flames about Jarome Iginla but were told he’s not available…The Vancouver Canucks haven’t given up hope of landing Kyle Turris from the Phoenix Coyotes, as it’s believed he won’t finish the season in Phoenix and Vancouver would be a good fit…With Mark Giordano sidelined indefinitely by a leg injury, expect Flames GM Jay Feaster “to at least make a call” to the Senators about Filip Kuba, who is out with an upper body injury at the moment…Garrioch claims there’s talk around the league the Canucks “have dangled” goalie Roberto Luongo but can’t find any takers for his $5.3 million per season cap hit which runs through 2021-22. He believes Cory Schneider will be dealt at some point…Several teams, including the Kings, Canadiens, Senators, Coyotes, Panthers, Lightning and Rangers, are “looking at” Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard. His $3.2 million per season salary is a stumbling block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ruutu? Didn’t Garrioch get the memo the Wings will try to land Alexander Semin at the deadline? Actually, I agree with Garrioch that the Wings could target a good veteran forward at the deadline, and someone like Ruutu would fit the bill. Not saying they’ll land Ruutu, but if not him, someone who plays a similar style…The Jets won’t fire Noel, nor is it worth considering to get a coach like Carlyle…The less said about Iginla’s trade status, the better…I’m not among those who believe Turris won’t finish the season in Phoenix….Is it me, or does Garrioch list Kuba as a possible trade candidate nearly every Sunday? …Whether or not you believe Luongo was being shopped , his contract is a show-stopper. Schneider will indeed be moved at some point, but unless the Canucks collapse between now and the February trade deadline, it won’t be during this season…I don’t doubt teams have looked at Brassard, but his salary aside, they probably haven’t seen much to impress them. His contract is more than a “stumbling block”, it’s a deal-breaker.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently answered a reader’s question over which defenseman the Chicago Blackhawks might pursue at the trade deadline, dismissing the possibility of Nashville’s defensive stars (Shea Weber and Ryan Suter) as unrealistic, but listing Carolina as a possibility, noting Tim Gleason will be a pending UFA and currently carries an affordable ($2.75 million) salary…Custance also answered a reader’s question about what the San Jose Sharks could get for returning goalie Antero Niittymaki, suggesting to look at what the Lighting sent to the Islanders (minor leaguer Ty Wishart) to land Dwayne Roloson last season…He also dismissed the possibility of the Bruins trading Tuukka Rask, as he’s considered Tim Thomas’ successor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about the Blackhawks going after a big name defenseman at the deadline, but instead someone like Gleason, a good, experienced blueliner who would provide value depth to the Chicago defense corps…I also concur with Custance’s assessment of what the Sharks could get if they trade Niittymaki… The Bruins have no reason to move Rask, who is definitely Thomas’ successor, and is getting his fair share of playing time this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reports go on to say Sarich, frustrated over his lack of playing time this season, discussed his options with GM Jay Feaster. A trade could be one of them in the future, though with his salary, movement clause, and lack of speed, he would be tough to move, even at the trade deadline. Still, there could be some interest in him come late-February, when most of his $3.6 million salary has been paid out by the Flames. For now, however, I’d say a trade is remote. This is Sarich’s final season in Calgary, as he’ll be a UFA next summer and I don’t see him fitting into their future plans.