- Todd Cordell via twitter: TSN’s Bob McKenzie said last night that it’s more likely that Jarome Iginla gets traded at the deadline than at any time in the past. Darren Dreger said Maple Leafs Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin could be available if the right deal comes along. Dreger added that Alex Burmistrov could be trade bait for the Jets.
- Aaron Portzline via twitter: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on trade rumors involving defenseman Jack Johnson and the Penguins: ”It’s silly. I don’t usually repond to this kind of stuff, but this is just silly. I went to watch a game. (Pens GM) Ray Shero is a friend of mine.”
- Will DePaoli via twitter: Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy is in the last year of his two year, $4 million contract, and the next couple of weeks will be crucial regarding his future. There have been internal discussions about his current and future role with the team.
- The Fourth Period: As the trade deadline approaches, Capitals center Mike Ribeiro could become a target of several teams. The 33-year old will be a UFA at the end of the season. With Panthers Stephen Weiss out for the season, Ribeiro may get more interest. Teams that are interested in adding a top two center include: Ducks, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Senators, Red Wings and Canucks.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: (mailbag) If the Oilers are out of the playoff race by the trade deadline, they’ll look to move out people. Ryan Whitney is the most likely to be traded. The Blues could be looking at him with the feeling that he’d be better right now than Ian Cole and Wade Redden. Nikolai Khabibulin could be the next guy after Whitney to be moved, if his groin can hold up. It appears as of now that they want to re-sign Ladislav Smid and Ryan Jones, both who would be UFAs at the end of the season. Teams are interested in Smid. Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky could be in play, but more likely in the summer if they decide they’d like to get bigger.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman:
“I always find that I’m usually the guy that’s more interested in making moves earlier and most of my counterparts are more interested in waiting it out, so it’s not that unusual for me,” Bowman said with a chuckle Tuesday on the line from Chicago.
A lot of teams in still waiting to see if they are buyers or sellers.
“The standings dictate how much movement there is, separation or lack thereof,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “You look at the West, from third to 11th this morning, there’s just three points separating those teams.”
“Ultimately, the next two to three weeks will determine certainly my thinking for the Detroit Red Wings,” Holland said.
Teams are still trying to figure out what they have with their own team.
“It’s hard to evaluate, you get the injuries everyone is dealing with, it’s though,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “For sure you don’t want to do anything that hurts anything long term.”
Chicago Blackhawks: They don’t have many holes, but could look to add some depth up the middle.
“We’ve identified players that we think would help us,” Bowman told ESPN.com. “I’ve called to let those teams know: ‘This is a player we’re interested in, you may not be interested in moving him now or ever, but …’ they take note of it. Nobody I’ve talked to yet has wanted to talk further about it, they filed it away. So it’s a waiting game.”
“I’m probably more looking up front, depth maybe at center,” Bowman said. “Not high-end but more a role-playing type center.”
“We’ve got young guys knocking at the door,” he said. “But I guess most of our depth is young guys, so if we add a forward, it’ll be a more experienced guy.”
Red Wings: The Red Wings have been hit with a lot of injuries this season.
“If we can get all our guys back, that’s almost like a deadline addition or two,” Holland said.
LeBrun doesn’t think the Wings are interested in adding a depth defenseman, but if Holland adds one, it could be a top-four guy, which aren’t easy to come by.
Flyers: Never shy on making a big move, but not wanting to trade their top young talent.
“We’re probably like a lot of teams, looking around for something that makes sense for now and the long term,” Holmgren said. “But we think we have a good group of young players that we prefer not to mess with.”
If the Flyers make a move, they could look at adding someone who would be able to play with them into next season. They could use a puck-moving, top-four defenseman.
Wild: The Wild could use a veteran defenseman, but GM Chuck Fletcher does not want to give up any of his high-end futures.
“We’re not looking to trade our top prospects at this time,” the Wild GM said. “If there’s something we can do to help our team over the next month, we’ll look at it but we’re not looking to make wholesale changes, that’s for sure.”
Fletcher has little interest in trading Matt Cullen.