Could the Carolina Hurricanes consider moving Joni Pitkanen?…Would Daniel Alfredsson consider “the Ray Bourque option”?…Are the Columbus Blue Jackets planning a trade?


A luxury no longer worth keeping?

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock wonders if the Carolina Hurricanes can afford to retain defenseman Joni Pitkanen. They re-signed Pitkanen to a three-year, $13.5 million contract this summer, but DeCock wondered if they might’ve done the same thing if they knew Tomas Kaberle, who signed with them later in the summer for the same price, would be available to them? He pointed out the Hurricanes are carrying nine defensemen, and Pitkanen may now be a luxury they cannot afford, especially given the club’s need for another top-six forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Hurricanes should pursue a top-six forward later in the season, Pitkanen may be the best trade bait to land one. I don’t expect the Hurricanes to make such a move this early in the season, but the longer they go still lacking scoring depth at forward, the greater that need will be to be filled, and the more attractive Pitkanen will be around the league. I doubt Kaberle will have the same kind of trade value, and don’t believe he still has the value he did two years ago. This could certainly be worth watching as the season goes on.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Yvon Pednault wonders if Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, his career winding down on a rebuilding team and with no Stanley Cup on his resume, might consider the “Ray Bourque option” and seek a trade to a Cup contender later this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen what this season brings. Alfredsson has spent his entire career as a Senator and loves playing in Ottawa, plus he’ll likely have a front office job with the club when he retires, which could happen either at the end of this season (depending on his performance) or after next, when his current contract ends. Alfredsson said he wants to remain with the Senators, but it’s a good bet his name could pop up in the rumor mill by next February, especially if it’s apparent the Senators are out of the playoff race by that point. Whether or not he seeks a trade to a Cup contender remains to be seen.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace noted there were 27 scouts in attendance at last night’s Blue Jackets-Colorado Avalanche game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big reason the Blue Jackets are winless in their first four games is the absence of puck-moving defenseman James Wisniewski, who is in the midst of an eight-game suspension to open the season, but there may be more than that to the Jackets season-opening stumble. Beyond their first line, they’re getting no offense, as RJ Umberger, Derrick Brassard and Antoine Vermette remain scoreless. Their power play is a woeful zero for twenty in those four games.  Concerns persist over starter Steve Mason. The problems is more than just the absence of Wisniewski, which could explain the unusually high number of scouts in attendance for that game. They all weren’t there just to scout the Jackets or Avalanche for future games.