There has already been one deal in the NHL today that saw the Blues and Devils hook up. While there was only one roster player on the move, there could be plenty more that will switch zip codes over the next week and a half, leading up to the April 3rd trade deadline. Let’s get caught up with the latest rumors from around the league.
Starting with the Philadelphia Flyers who have surprised many by their poor play this season. Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen that he is not looking to add players for a playoff run, rather focus on the future.
“We’re fairly far back right now,” Holmgren said. “If there is something there that will help us now and in the future I’d probably do that, but I’m not looking for anything.”
Sounds like maybe Holmgren has been drinking the same Kool-Aid that netminder Ilya Bryzgalov has been sipping when they all but say there is no way the club will make the playoffs this year.
Meanwhile, John Boruk of CSNPhilly.com says that the Flyers should look to move defenseman Andrej Meszaros. The 27-year old blue liner has one year left on his contract that will see him earn $4 million next season and with the market seeing a huge demand for top-four d-men, the Flyers might be able to cash in. Of course it would make little sense for the Flyers to part ways with Meszaros if you consider the rumors that they themselves are trying to add a top-four defenseman and have been linked to Jay Bouwmeester of the Flames.
The Dallas Stars have some tough decisions to make over the next eleven days according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. Very much in the playoff hunt, the Stars have three impact players that are set to become unrestricted free agents this summer in Derek Roy, Brendan Morrow and the ageless Jaromir Jagr.
LeBrun says that Roy and Morrow could seek a huge return for the Stars should they chose to move either player by the deadline. The hockey expert also believes that the Stars won’t be able to re-sign Roy based on how the market has shaped up thanks to the Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry deals recently. He also adds that it’s doubtful that Morrow will return to Dallas next season and will test the free-agent market. Both players would be tremendous additions for a playoff bound club, providing they are willing to part ways with a young roster player and likely a first and second round pick (according to LeBrun that’ll be the asking price for Derek Roy).
Jagr on the other hand could be had for a lower-price and according to Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News, the Stars need to move the 41-year old while his value is high. Boston and Philadelphia are two clubs that are said to be interested in the veteran who brings plenty of playoff experience and leadership.
The Minnesota Wild are finally playing like the team that everyone thought they would be after last summer’s raiding of the free-agent market. Currently in first place in the Northwest division, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has no plans on acquiring a rental player this year according to LeBrun.
Fletcher says if a deal makes sense for the organization both short and long-term then he’ll consider it but won’t trade for a UFA that will only play in 12-13 games for the Wild (plus playoffs).
Canes’ GM Jim Rutherford told Rosen that he would like to add a defenseman to his club and admits that his discussions with other GM’s has picked up, although nothing appears to be close.
Rosen also notes that Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman and Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini have admitted that they’d like to add players to their roster by April 3rd. It’s no surprise to also read that Rosen lists fifteen other teams that have confirmed they’ll be in the buying mode at this year’s deadline given how tight the playoff races are in both conferences.
For the teams that are selling they’ll be able to ask a king’s ransom for their most coveted assets and the crazy part is they just might get it with so many clubs looking to upgrade.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a busy week and a half before the trade deadline.