Flyers and Blue Jackets talking about Rick Nash?…Blue could stand pat at deadline…Trade rumor roundup from the Ottawa Sun and CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports sources say the Flyers are listening to the Columbus Blue Jackets regarding winger Rick Nash, noting Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and advisor Craig Patrick were on hand for today’s Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins game. Panaccio speculated if Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk or goalie Sergei Bobrovsky might be of interest to the Flyers, though he also questioned if Nash is the right fit for the Flyers, given their problems on defense, in goal and on the penalty kill.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If GM Paul Holmgren acquires Nash, it will be a bad move, unless he pulls off some side deals which address their defensive issues as well, like those he made last June to land Ilya Bryzgalov, though that deal doesn’t seem worthwhile at this point.
STLTODAY.COM: Dan O’Neill reports the Blues could stand pat at the trade deadline as injured players, like Andy McDonald, Alex Steen and Matt D’Agostini, return to the lineup.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch lists the potential buyers, sellers and fence sitters, as well as which players could be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just to make this easy, I don’t believe Teemu Selanne or Bobby Ryan will be available as the Ducks have close significant ground in pursuit of a playoff spot. Capitals GM George McPhee said he’s not shopping Mike Knuble. I doubt there’ll be serious interest in Senators blueliners Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar.I don’t believe the Maple Leafs will trade Mikhail Grabovski. The Canucks might move Mason Raymond, but not Cory Schneider. The Lightning are reportedly keen to retain Ryan Malone. Can’t see the Sabres moving Ryan Miller.
As for those who could move, I agree Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky and Nikolai Khabibulin are in that category, as well as Minnesota’s Josh Harding. I wouldn’t rule out the Sabres moving Derek Roy. Rick Nash and Jeff Carter could be moved, but I still believe that won’t happen until the off-season.
CBC.CA: On tonight’s Hotstove segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman reported the Vancouver Canucks aren’t in the Rick Nash sweepstakes, nor are the Boston Bruins (won’t move Tuukka Rask), while the NY Rangers won’t part with Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh. Eric Francis reported he’s spoken with several NHL GMs who doubt Nash gets moved by the deadline, noting the Blue Jackets are seeking an impact player, two top prospects and a first round pick. Friedman said the Blue Jackets were trying to push Nash upon the Flyers, and would prefer to move Jeff Carter to the LA Kings, but Francis pointed out the Flyers recent moves indicates they’re more interested in shoring up their defense. Regarding Patrick Kane, Francis said his agent said he’s happy with the Blackhawks, and the feeling is mutual from management. He’s not available. Francis also reported the Flames haven’t opened contract talks with Olli Jokinen but he won’t be moved. Ditto Oilers center Sam Gagner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted throughout the past several days, here and on my THN.com column, there doesn’t appear to be much enthusiasm for Nash at the present time. Doesn’t mean he can’t be moved, but given his salary and the huge asking price, I still feel it could take the off-season for a deal to be done. Hard to believe, but the Blue Jackets might find it easier to move Carter at the deadline than Nash. Talk of the Blackhawks shopping Kane was downright silly. The Flames are obviously waiting until season’s end before opening talks with Jokinen. Even if they were to miss the playoffs, I still believe they can re-sign him, and will. I also believe the Oilers will re-sign Gagner.