The latest from the Ottawa Sun, New York Post and Boston Herald.

Are the Habs willing to shop Erik Cole?

Are the Habs willing to shop Erik Cole?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes if the Calgary Flames shop Jarome Iginla before the trade deadline, his declining production could adversely affect his trade value. Garrioch claims many “league types” wonder if Iginla could be successful playing elsewhere after 17 seasons in Calgary. The other issue is if the Flames would pay Iginla, who currently earns $7 million, what he wants to stay?…Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey could be available at the deadline.  He’s a UFA this summer and Garrioch claims there’s lots of interest in him. The asking price could be a second round pick in this year’s draft…The Montreal Canadiens are believed willing to shop winger Erik Cole if they could find any takers for his $4.5 million per season salary. Garrioch suggests contacting Cole’s former team, the Carolina Hurricanes…The Maple Leafs, Sabres, Bruins, Senators and Red Wings could pursue Corey Perry if he tests this summer’s UFA market… The Washington Capitals are believed shopping forwards Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward and Jason Chimera to clear cap space…The Avalanche could move holdout center Ryan O’Reilly soon. The Rangers, Flyers, Leafs and Hurricanes are among the clubs thought to have interest in O’Reilly…The Flyers are shopping for a blueliner. The San Jose Sharks could be a fit as they have depth to spare.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Never underestimate the ability of NHL GMs to succumb to bidding fever on NHL trade deadline day. Iginla’s reputation alone is enough to net the Flames a solid return, as there will be GMs believing the shortened season (Iginla is a notoriously slow starter) and lack of depth on the Flames are the reasons for his poor showing this season…Hainsey would certainly have value as a playoff rental player if the Jets are out of the race by the deadline…Cole is having a slow start to this season, but of late he seems to have picked up his game. I’d be surprised if GM Marc Bergevin gave up on him this early…Lots of teams will have interest in Perry if he becomes a UFA, but don’t dismiss the possibility of the Ducks re-signing him…The Capitals of late are showing signs of life (three wins in their last five games). If they do decide to dump salary, it’ll be closer to the trade deadline, and only if they’re out of the playoff chase by then…Latest word out of Denver is the Avs could take their time shopping O’Reilly. Guess we’ll find out soon enough if they’ve changed their minds…If the Flyers contact the Sharks for a blueliner, it’ll cost ’em a left winger.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks speculates the NY Rangers might use their remaining amnesty (compliance) buyout to ditch the contract of struggling center Brad Richards,  which runs to 2020-21. Brooks observes the Rangers have about $10 million in cap space next season and must re-sign RFAs Ryan McDonagh, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan.  He doubts they’d buy out Marian Gaborik, as he’s the Blueshirts top goal-scorer….Brooks claims the Sharks are seeking a premium return for 36-year-old defenseman Dan Boyle, who has two years at $6.67 million per remaining on his contract. He believes Boyle could be an amnesty buyout this summer…Brooks also expects NY Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro will be bought out this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers miss the playoffs, big changes could be coming. Gaborik only has one season left on his contract, so it would make no sense to buy him out. Richards contract, on the other hand, is a potential problem, one GM Glen Sather might have to move…Boyle may be ageing, but he’s the Sharks best defenseman right now. They probably won’t shop him now, but I wouldn’t rule it out next season if they’re struggling by that time, plus they can also buy him out next year if they decide not to do so this summer…DiPietro will be an amnesty buyout, and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s signed by another club as a backup.

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy offered up his thoughts on potential trade targets for the Bruins later this season, listing Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, Dallas’ Michael Ryder, Calgary’s Jarome Iginla and Detroit’s Valterri Filppula as possibilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators won’t trade Alfredsson unless he requests a trade, and I don’t see him doing that, while the bottom would have to drop out of the Red Wings’ season for Filppula to hit the trade block. Iginla and Ryder are better possibilities, and the latter would probably be best as the asking price wouldn’t be as steep as it would be for Iginla.