- The Fourth Period: Ducks GM Bob Murray is going to have some tough decisions on whether or not to trade right winger Corey Perry. Signs are pointing to Perry testing the free agent market this summer.
“Bob Murray and the Anaheim Ducks cannot afford to allow Corey Perry to walk into free agency for nothing,” Dreger said, suggesting a trade could go down.
- The Fourth Period: If the Flames are out of the playoff race, there is a good chance that GM Jay Feaster makes some big moves, and the players know it.
“They’ve been talking about it for three years,” Flames forward Alex Tanguay told the newspaper. “Yeah, it’s on the back of your mind, but I want to make the playoffs here. I haven’t made the playoffs for three years.
“I was fortunate enough in my first nine years of my career, I took it for granted. I never missed the playoffs, thought it was easy to get there. We feel we can get there.”
Defenseman who could be available are Jay Bouwmeester, Cory Sarich and Anton Babchuk. Forwards that could be available are Mike Cammalleri, Curtis Glencross, Alex Tanguay, Lee Stempniak, Matt Stajan and Jarome Iginla. Iginla would need to approve the trade. Teams that are interested in Iginla are the Penguins, Bruins, Kings and Red Wings.
- Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: If Wild pending UFAs Matt Cullen, Niklas Backstrom and Pierre-Marc Bouchard remain unsigned, they would be the type of players contending teams may target as rentals. Cal Clutterbuck, Jared Spurgeon and Justin Falk will be RFAs. GM Chuck Fletcher said that he hasn’t talked to any of his free agents yet.
“That’s not to say we won’t do something in the next few weeks, but right now we’re trying to get a sense of where everybody fits,” Fletcher said. “I’m curious to see how we play the next month.”
- Damien Cox via twitter: At last year’s draft the Canucks could have had Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and a pick for Roberto Luongo, but they got greedy. The Canucks were looking for something like Jake Gardiner, Matt Frattin, a 1st round pick and another piece. They felt they could demand that from the weak Maple Leafs.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Part II of LeBruns trade rumblings.
“You’re talking to teams, obviously, and you say, ‘If you have interest in moving Pierre LeBrun, let us know.’ That’s the stage it’s at now. That’s what I’ve found anyway,” Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero told ESPN.com Tuesday.
“Everyone has played from 20 to 24 games so far; you’ve got to adjust your thinking to making a quicker assessment,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told ESPN.com. “We’re used to making our assessments over a longer period of time. And this year it’s different. Therefore, for me it’s a little funky right now to know we’re that close to making deals.”
Some teams will be looking to re-sign their pending UFAs, decreasing the number of rental players available.
“What’s happened the last five or six years is teams realizing that even if they’re a seller, they realize it’s not like the old days where you trade [a UFA to be] for a draft pick and easily replace them [in the offseason],” Kings GM Dean Lombardi told ESPN.com. “Even midrange players, many teams are now deciding to keep them and try to sign them versus giving them away for a second- or third-round pick. That’s something that’s changed in this business since I got in it; very different. Some teams are looking at that No. 4 or No. 5 defenseman and saying, ‘I’m not replacing him this summer, I need to keep him and sign him.’”
Boston Bruins: The Bruins can add a big named player or two.
“Just because we have cap space doesn’t mean we’ll make a blockbuster trade,” Chiarelli said Tuesday.
LeBrun thinks that the Bruins could go after Daniel Alfredsson if the Senators drop out of the playoff race. Jarome Iginla is another player the Bruins could go after. They may also check with Anaheim to see what’s going with Corey Perry.
Los Angeles Kings: Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell could be back.
“He’s making progress,” Lombardi said Tuesday of Mitchell. “We’re getting some encouraging news. There’s a chance he’ll play [this season]. I certainly can’t go to the marketplace and trade for a Willie Mitchell.”
GM Dean Lombardi isn’t sure yet if he’ll need to add a depth defenseman or not. Jake Muzzin and recently acquired Keaton Ellerby have played well. Lombardi didn’t talk about Jonathan Bernier, but LeBrun notes that Bernier will be a RFA after the season and it wouldn’t make sense to carry a more expensive backup for Jonthan Quick next year. It’s not clear if they would trade Bernier at the deadline or wait until the offseason.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins have some young defenseman that are getting interest. The Penguins are believed to be interested in Jarome Iginla. GM Ray Shero hasn’t been shy to make a deadline deal, but it would have to be for a sensible price if he was to do something big.
Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens will continue to look to add size upfront. They would love to add someone of the Ryane Clowe mold. The Canadiens have three 2nd round picks this year and two 3rd rounders. LeBrun doesn’t see them trading top prospects or high draft picks on a rental player. They may look at making a traditional hockey deal that will help them in future years. LeBrun thinks they will hold onto Lars Eller.
Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers aren’t sure if they are buyers or sellers yet. It could be at the deadline or in the summer, but the Oilers would like to add a power forward that could play in their top-six. The Oilers would also like to add a No. 2 defenseman, but that may not be doable before the deadline. Ryan Whitney and Nikolai Khabibulin could be used as trade bait. Ladislav Smid is a UFA and could be a candidate to be moved.
Ottawa Senators: If the Senators can hang on with all their injuries, they could be in the market to add a forward and a defenseman. They are having problems scoring. Jason Spezza is on track to return to the lineup around the trade deadline, so a Dman may be a bigger need. GM Bryan Murray won’t do anything short-term that will change their long-term plan. The Senators have depth in goal, with Ben Bishop being a possible candidate to be moved. They could hang on to him and decide in the offseason what to do with the Bishop, Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner logjam. If they drop out of the playoffs, Daniel Alfredsson will have to decide if he wants to be traded or not. Sergei Gonchar would be trade bait if they fall out of the race.