- Dan Rosen of NHL.com: (mailbag) The Islanders may not need to acquire someone at the deadline, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were active. GM Garth Snow isn’t afraid to improve his team, and has the assets in picks and prospects to do so. They could look for a left winger to play with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Snow might look for depth, third-pairing defenseman.
Rosen isn’t sure if the Wild will go after a goalie. Niklas Backstrom has a $3.4 million cap hit and is not trabeable.
Rosen thinks that Ryan O’Reilly could get traded as they may not want to pay him $6.2 million next year, a $6 million cap hit. It may not happen in-season. A lot of teams could use a top-six center/winger. The Devils would be a perfect fit and they have some young defenseman that might appeal to the Avs. The Senators could be another match, but would they want to pay him $6 million? At the start of the season a O’Reilly for Mike Green and a mid-round pick might have worked for both teams, but likely not anymore as Green may be too important to the Caps.
The Hurricanes should be looking to trade their pending UFAs for draft picks and prospects.If GM Ron Francis wants to make a big move, he could consider trading Eric Staal. Trading Cam Ward could be hard, but is something they should explore.
- Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: (chat) The Blue Jackets should not look to trade any of their depth defenseman (Cody Goloubef or Jordan Leopold) for draft picks right now, especially with Murray still out. Only if they are out of it at the deadline should they then look to make a move on that front.
- The Fourth Period: Leafs GM Dave Nonis has been exploring the trade market for a top-six winger and a top-two defenseman. A rival club personnel said the Leafs are still willing to trade Joffrey Lupul, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner and others. A team source said they won’t be trading Dion Phaneuf or Phil Kessel. The Leafs are wanting to trade for players who will strengthen Kessel’s on ice play. The Leafs have quietly checked on Eric Staal’s availability. Staal has one-year left on his deal and a no-trade clause. Nonis is thought to be eyeing Avs Ryan O’Reilly. Contract talks between the Leafs and Cody Franson haven’t picked up yet.
- Nichols on Hockey: Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 960 on the Wild.
“I reported on the weekend that they denied – both teams – that there was any talk of Jhonas Enroth in Buffalo. I saw Mike Russo reported today that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Wild were looking at Cam Ward out of Carolina, and to this point I haven’t gotten anybody denying that one on me.
“The one thing about Chuck Fletcher is I know he does not want to deal futures for short-term. He’s not a guy who’s looking to give up his first round pick… He really likes their young players, so I think he’s kind of in a tough spot because you know these teams like Buffalo and Carolina, they’re going to want futures as much as they’re going to want anything for these guys.”