Updates on Rick Nash, Jeff Carter and Jame Wisniewski, the Capitals may be buyers at the deadline, the Flyers still need to address their defense, and updates on Ales Hemsky and Nikolai Khabibulin.
YAHOO.CA: Greg Wyshynski has a roundup of the latest Rick Nash trade rumors, as Renaud Lavoie of RDS reports an NHL GM told him the Blue Jackets are shopping winger Rick Nash, while Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has declined comment on the rumors. The New York Rangers are rumored to be one destination, though as Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News observed, the return to acquire Nash could potentially ruin the Blueshirts team chemistry.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact Howson won’t comment on the rumors is merely adding fuel to the fire. It’s possible he’s been gauging Nash’s value in the trade market, but he’s not going to just give him away for picks and prospects. The Blue Jackets, in my opinion, are beyond that now. They’re going to want at least a couple of good, established young players who can improve the team now. While the Rangers would probably love to have Nash in their lineup (hell, who wouldn’t?), it would be madness on their part to blow up their successful team chemistry by parting with one or two quality players to get him. That’s not tinkering, that’s a friggin’ overhaul. Sure, it’s possible Nash could be dealt, but moving a player of his caliber usually occurs in the off-season, not the trade deadline. It would be very surprising if they traded their franchise player now, and no offense to the Rangers, but a return of Dubinsky, a promising college player and a first round pick (as suggested by the Ottawa Sun) in my opinion isn’t enough to get him.
CALGARY HERALD: George Johnson addresses the rumors of the Flames acquiring Jeff Carter, believing Carter isn’t a good fit with the Flames, especially with that big contract. He also points out the return to land him would hurt the Flames depth, plus there would be concerns over his attitude.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Shawn Mitchell reports defenseman James Wisniewski wants to remain with the Blue Jackets and help them rebuild.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter’s lengthy contract is the biggest stumbling block. There are teams which would like to have him, but they’re leery of that contract. As for Wisniewski, I don’t see the Jackets shopping him.
WASHINGTON POST: John Feinstein reports Capitals GM George McPhee could make a move or two by the trade deadline, but that could be determined by the return of Mike Green, the health of Nicklas Backstrom, and if Alexander Ovechkin elevates his play. Katie Carrrera meanwhile reports Capitals owner Ted Leonsis gave the impression the team will be busy leading up to the deadline.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz reports Capitals forward Mike Knuble shot down rumors he could be dealt to the San Jose Sharks, calling them pure speculation and without merit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE:Hat tip to GJ Berg for the CSN Bay Area link. McPhee hasn’t been afraid to make moves leading up to the trade deadline and I daresay he’ll do so this year, but it’s going to depend on how the team is performing over the next couple of weeks, how Mike Green fits back into the lineup, and of course how long Backstrom could remain sidelined.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers might look to add a defenseman at the trade deadline.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli suggests it might be better for the Flyers to become sellers, rather than buyers, at the trade market, believing there’s nothing currently available in the trade market which could significantly improve the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli makes a good point, but they’re likely to look at making an affordable addition by the deadline.
EDMONTON SUN: Robert Tychowski reports Ales Hemky and his agent are talking contract with the Oilers, but his future remains up in the air with less than two weeks to go before the trade deadline.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson suggests it might not be a bad idea for the Oilers to shop Nikolai Khabibulin at the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Hemsky’s willing to accept a one-year extension for less than the $4.1 million cap hit he’s currently earning, he’ll either be traded or allow this summer to walk away as a free agent. I’ve been suggesting for some time now it might be best for the Oilers to shop Khabibulin and see if they can net a decent return. He’s only got one year left on his contract, is coming to the end of his career, and the Oilers need to determine if Devan Dubnyk has what it takes to be a starter, or if they’ll need to shop for one this summer.