Now that the NHL season is roughly twenty percent over, some teams are starting to explore the options that may be available to upgrade their roster or fill holes that have become evident from injuries or poor play. The trade rumors are blowing steady across the league and while Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun says it’ll be another week or two before teams really start looking to deal, there are plenty of names being thrown around.
Starting in Buffalo, Elliotte Friedman of CBC’s Hockey Night is hearing that the Sabres are getting serious about moving a defenseman. With multiple clubs in need of help on the blue line the Sabres are one of only a few teams that have a stockpile of back end players. Two names that will surely garner the most attention are veterans Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr, both of whom are set to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Wisely Buffalo will try and receive something for them rather than losing them for nothing.
The Edmonton Oilers are without their top two centerman in Eric Belanger and most recently Shawn Horcoff who is said to be out a month with a broken knuckle. Given the Oilers struggles to score even strength goals, the club is said to be looking to add some help up the middle.
They could look to the free-agent market where Jason Arnott has been cleared to play after having a scope on his injured knee according to Mark Spector via Twitter. Daymond Langkow, Brendan Morrison, Dominic Moore and Blair Betts are a few other names mentioned by the Edmonton Journal as possible fits for the Oilers.
Ryan O’Reilly who is the middle of a nasty contract dispute would be a perfect fit for the Oilers but given his ransom demand of $5 million per season and the fact the Colorado Avalanche are a division opponent, it’s unlikely they’d let him go to Edmonton.
Despite Florida Panthers GM, Dale Tallon calling any trade rumors involving Stephen Weiss “ridiculous” the skilled center’s name continues to surface as available. Weiss is set to become a free agent this summer and there are reports that the Panthers won’t have the cash to re-sign him, forcing the club to trade him and get something in return.
Jimmy Murphy of ESPNBoston.com says he continues to hear that Weiss is available despite what Tallon is saying via Twitter.
Finally, in Pittsburgh the Penguins are said to be seeking a skilled winger to play alongside Evgeni Malkin reports TheFourthPeriod.com. One name that has come up is Nikolai Kulemin of the Maple Leafs who was of interest to the Penguins last season before Brian Burke reportedly turned down a first-round pick according to TheFourthPeriod.com.
Malkin and Kulemin played together in the KHL during the lockout and were said to have some chemistry together.
Stay tuned, the trade rumors are only heating up and as the season progresses, the chatter will intensify.
Tags: Blair Betts Brendan Morrison Buffalo Sabres David Steckel Daymond Langkow Edmonton Oilers Eric Belanger Evgeni Malkin Florida Panthers Jason Arnott Jordan Leopold Nikolai Kulemin Pittsburgh Penguins Robyn Regehr Shawn Horcoff Stephen Weiss Toronto Maple Leafs