The latest from the Ottawa Sun, Hockey Night in Canada, The Hockey News and the Sun-Sentinel. Enjoy!
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch speculates on the futures of the current head coaches in Calgary, Carolina, Colorado and Washington as those clubs continue to struggle…League executives expect Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster to start tearing apart his roster by the trade deadline. Garrioch believes the option of trading team captain Jarome Iginla, once considered unthinkable, is going to have to be considered…The Columbus Blue Jackets are still trying to move forwards Antoine Vermette, Derick Brassard and goalie Steve Mason. There’s considerable interest in Vermette…Garrioch wonders when Leafs GM Brian Burke will make a move to improve his goaltending. He writes he was told Jonathan Bernier (Kings), Scott Clemmensen (Florida), Chris Mason (Winnipeg) and Anders Lindback (Nashville) are available, and that the Leafs are expected to offer goalie Jonas Gustavsson in a deal they make for any goalie…Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman is looking for depth at center and could be interested in Edmonton’s Sam Gagner…The Flyers could be “inching” toward moving defenseman Matt Carle, who’s eligible for UFA status next summer. The Canucks and Oilers need help on their defense…The Ducks are believed seeking a third-line forward…No change on the Kyle Turris front, though a league executive believes Turris will re-sign on December 1st and then be traded.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the four cities Garrioch noted regarding possible coaching changes, Carolina appears the most likely. There’s no trade coming to turn this team around, leaving no other option but to replace head coach Paul Maurice…I don’t see the Flames shopping Iginla this season, unless “Iggy” wants out. That being said, if they were to consider moving him, it’ll likely happen in the off-season, when teams have more available cap space and more willingness to take on expensive salaries. Notice, however, the key word, “if”, for there’s no guarantee Jay Feaster would consider moving Iginla…Vermette does have the most trade value of those three Blue Jackets but it remains to be seen if any club actually wants him…I don’t doubt the Leafs are shopping around for help in goal, but Burke recently denied in a Toronto Star interview he would trade Gustavsson. As for those goalies Garrioch claimed were available, I don’t see the Kings shopping Bernier or the Predators moving Lindback during this season, because they’ll want to hang onto those guys in case they’re needed in the playoffs. I also have my doubts the Jets would move Mason at this point in the season, though they might do so near the trade deadline if they’re out of the post-season chase by then…Bowman recently said he’s not planning any trades at this time, so while he might have an eye on Gagner or other players, I don’t expect him to make any moves for a while. With his team among the top clubs in the Western Conference, he’s in no hurry to shake things up…I also have my doubts the Flyers would move Matt Carle during this season. With Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen getting up in age, they need to keep a younger blueliner like Carle around this season…Coyotes GM Don Maloney said under no circumstances would he trade Kyle Turris, and that includes a “sign-and-trade” on December 1st, or trading him days after re-signing him.
CBC.CA: During Saturday’s “Hotstove” intermission segment, Elliotte Friedman reported the Nashville Predators remain hopeful of re-signing Ryan Suter and Shea Weber and still remain a cap team, while Glenn Healy pointed out they wouldn’t be able to afford to bring in an expensive forward like Zach Parise…Friedman also reported hearing Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson had interest in Boston Bruins backup Tuukka Rask, but Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he’s not moving Rask, considering him the Bruins goalie of the future. Friedman wondered if Howson might have interest in Kings backup Jonathan Bernier. Howson has also rejected offers for rookie forward Ryan Johansen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve said before that if the Predators re-sign Weber and Suter, their combined salaries along with goalie Pekka Rinne’s could eat up a considerable chunk of their payroll, leaving no room to pursue a top scoring forward…No surprise the Bruins won’t trade Rask, or that the Blue Jackets are unwilling to move Johansen, who’s been among the few bright spots in their dismal season. Bottom line for the Blue Jackets is they’re dealing from a position of weakness, and to bring in a decent goalie, they’ll have to part with a good player. Otherwise, it’s stick with Mason and call-ups and ride it out.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau recently responded to a reader’s e-mail asking if it were possible Shane Doan signed with the Winnipeg Jets next summer as a UFA, but Proteau expects Doan to remain with the Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doan and the Coyotes opened contract talks last summer, and it’s expected that, once their ownership situation is sorted out, if the Coyotes remain in Phoenix, he’ll re-sign. If it appears the club could move, the potential destination could be a factor, but for now, it’s still believed he’ll stick with them.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might be interested in Panthers backup Scott Clemmensen.