Are the general managers of the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings actively shopping in the NHL trade market? Read on to find out.
SUNTIMES.COM: Adam L. Jahns reports Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s recent demotion of winger Rostislav Olesz and his $3 million cap hit to the minors gives Bowman between $6-$7 million of available cap space, if needed. Bowman admitted he’s monitoring players who might become available, but said teams aren’t giving up on their seasons yet, and despite recent rumors, he has no deals in the works. Jahns believes the Blackhawks won’t hesitate to make moves later in the season, but currently have no need to do so.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt they’ll stock up as the trade deadline nears, but for now there’s not much available in the trade market, and no reason to shake things up.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika interviewed Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk regarding his plans for the team now that it has a new owner, acknowledging a possible higher budget in the future could open up trade and free agent opportunities which haven’t been available to him in recent seasons. Nieuwendyk acknowledged he’s already had “good discussions” with pending free agents like Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski (RFAs) and Nicklas Grossman (UFA), but it appears no deals are imminent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nieuwendyk will need to meet with new owner Tom Gaglardi to discuss roster needs, their free agents, and budget for the remainder of the season. I wouldn’t expect any sweeping changes this season by the Stars, though if Gaglardi is willing to spend a little more for the rest of the season, it could allow Nieuwendyk to be active in the trade market later this season if he feels he needs to bolster his lineup.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t planning a roster makeover despite his club’s up-and-down performance thus far, saying he isn’t talking trades.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland won’t panic just because of an inconsistent start, but if by, say, January, the Wings are struggling along and perhaps in danger of missing the playoffs, that could force him into the trade market for help.