Rentals aren't only
players up for grabs
With the trade deadline looming, we could see a few "hockey trades" go down
over the next week.
-- The NHL trade deadline is one week away and we're already starting
to see some activity, thanks to the tanking rebuilding Toronto Maple
With Shawn Matthias, Roman Polak and Nick Spaling now gone from the
bottom of the standings, the Leafs are looking towards trades
involving several other roster players.
Pending free agents P-A Parenteau, James Reimer, Brad Boyes, Michael
Grabner and Mark Arcobello are all on the block, and while a number of
teams in selling mode have rentals up for grabs, there are players
with term on their deal who are also being dangled -- good ones, too.
First, in Toronto, Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello is ridiculously active. In
the two media conference calls he's had in a 19-hour span, he refused
to say how active he is when it comes to the rest of his roster.
The Leafs are in a full rebuild, and everyone knew these deals were
coming and that their AHL squad would soon be plucked to fill the
holes left on the big kids roster.
I'm told there are roughly four to five legitimate offers on Parenteau,
so there's a good chance he becomes the next Leaf on the move.
Aside from the UFAs-to-be, the Leafs are also shopping winger Joffrey
Lupul, who would have solid value if he could ever stay healthy.
Lamoriello isn't shying away from calls for the likes of centers Tyler
Bozak and Nazem Kadri, or defensemen Jake Gardiner and Matt Hunwick.
These types of trades are typically larger in nature and could help
the Leafs retool for next season, and beyond.
Away from Toronto, the usual suspects are who they are: Loui Eriksson,
Eric Staal, Mikkel Boedker, Andrew Ladd, Dan Hamhuis, Jiri Hudler,
Kris Russell, Radim Vrbata, and a bunch of other
guys we've listed.
Whether some of these players sign extensions with their current clubs
or not remains to be seen, but for now, they're all fair game.
What I'm starting to find interesting is the amount of chatter
involving good players with term left on their contracts. Bozak and
Kadri aren't alone; there are quite a few names being tossed around,
and that could simply mean team executives are trying to stir the
pot/poking the bear, or clubs are laying some groundwork for deals
more likely to occur in the off-season and around the NHL Draft in
The Carolina Hurricanes are going to be just as active as the Leafs.
With GM Ron Francis now taking calls on his captain, several other
players are available for the right price.
In addition to Eric Staal, goalie Cam Ward is in play, as are forwards
Kris Versteeg, Nathan Gerbe and Riley Nash, and defensemen Ryan Murphy
and John-Michael Liles... and depending on who you talk to, Jordan
Staal and Jeff Skinner could also be in the mix.
Jordan Staal's contract is significant, and that plays a big role in
possibly moving him. Skinner's deal comes with a very similar salary
cap hit, and has a few less years on it, but a few teams are believed
to be keeping a close eye on him.
The Buffalo Sabres, for example, are another team out of playoff
contention -- and that's not to say the Hurricanes are at that point
right now, but considering the 'for sale' signs, you can be sure
Francis' priority is on the long-term success of the franchise -- and
have shown interest in Skinner. The Sabres dispatched two scouts to
Carolina's 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Friday, adding a little
fuel to the fire.
Teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes,
Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens are primarily focused on
next season and aren't against making a significant trade now as
opposed to draft time, though waiting seems more likely.
These clubs will continue to receive calls on their younger stars,
like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jacob Trouba and Nathan Beaulieu, but if any
deal comes to fruition, it'll be a talent-for-talent swap.
The Los Angeles Kings, as we've reported a number of teams, are
all-in. Kings GM Dean Lombardi is looking to solidify his roster by
the trade deadline and could add firepower at either end of the rink.
The Kings were very much in on Dustin Byfuglien, and many believe they
would have be close to acquiring him had he not signed a five-year
extension with the Jets.
Now, the Kings are evaluating all of their options, which include
Ladd, Boedker, Hamhuis, Hudler, Russell, Parenteau, Eriksson and Jamie
An interesting note as it relates to the Kings: they do not own a
first-round draft pick in this summer's draft, which means Lombardi
has to be creative in how he upgrades his roster. Once thought to be
unavailable, young stud left wing Adrian Kempe could be had, we're
told, if the right deal presented itself. Granted, it would take a lot
of convincing, but it is something the Kings' management brass is
Another guy to look out for: Tanner Pearson.
NO NEW JERSEY
Don't expect New Jersey GM Ray Shero to ask career-Devil Patrik Elias
to waive his no-movement clause.
While the team is expected to take calls on some of their pending UFAs,
Elias won't be one of them, according to a source close to the team.
Elias, who is battling knee trouble and has only played 13 games this
season, is expected to return to action shortly after the trade
DROUIN TRADE EXPECTED
The banter surrounding Jonathan Drouin has certainly quieted down
lately, but word on the street is a trade is expected to be made "in
the next seven days," a league source told me this morning.
Several teams have been in on Drouin, and that hasn't really changed.
Before he left the Lightning's AHL affiliate in Syracuse, I had been
told a trade was very close to being completed. Some believe that deal
was with the St. Louis Blues. Turns out, Drouin and his camp thought a
deal was close too.
The Blues are still interested in Drouin, along with the Canadiens,
Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames,
Jets and Nashville Predators. Expect to hear his name popping up a
little more often this week.
TEAMMATES, MEET BUS
During the All-Star festivities, we asked a bunch of players a series
of fun, not-so-serious questions, which we released last week. Enjoy: