Should the Jets trade Dustin Byfuglien? Will the Oilers move Sam Gagner? Are the Capitals any closer to dealing a goaltender? Read on for the latest.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes the Jets should trade defenseman Dustin Byfuglien for the best possible return. Lawless acknowledged Bufuglien’s offensive skills but noted the big blueliner is unwilling to improve his defensive play, which is proving costly for the Jets. He doubts the 28-year-old will ever improve defensively and could soon lose his trade value. “What could Cheveldayoff expect to get for Byfuglien?, asked Lawless. “If we’re talking futures, maybe a first-round pick and a Grade A prospect. A roster player? Maybe a second or third pairing defenceman and a third-round pick. Or a top six forward and a late pick.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Byfuglien would be an attractive target target, most NHL teams this season lack the cap space to take on a high-salaried player. Players like Byfuglien usually get dealt in the off-season when teams have more cap space and more willingness to spend. He also has a modified no-trade list. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won’t take advice from local pundits, but if the Jets miss the playoffs again, he could be forced to shake things up, which could mean moving a notable player like Byfuglien.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports “there is no question” the Edmonton Oilers would consider trading Sam Gagner. “The expected rate of return would be a top-six forward, a top-four defenceman or a starting goalie”, reports Dreger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner on his own could fetch those returns. Package him with their 2014 first round pick (which could be first overall) and the Oilers could get a top-line forward, top-two defenseman or a star goaltender.
WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports the Capitals continue to juggle goaltenders Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth as the need arises.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Neuvirth is expected to be moved, but the Capitals could also demote Grubauer as he’s exempt from waivers. Given how well he’s playing, they’re obviously in no hurry to consider that option. They won’t trade Holtby.