With only 5 weeks before the February 27 NHL trade deadline, rumors are swirling all over the Internet, and especially on Twitter, as fake insiders try to get the attention of hockey fans by spreading out false trade rumors. I will try to dissect some of the hottest rumors and tell you which players are likely available.
Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz, who has been a healthy scratch in 14 of the last 16 games is offered around the league. Schultz is in the second year of a four-year, $11-million contract worth $2.75 million per campaign. Several teams in dire need of defensive depth could be interested such as the Blackhawks, the Flyers and the Lightning.
After trading Michael Cammalleri and a 5th round pick to the Flames in exchange for Rene Bourque, prospect Patrick Holland and a 2nd round pick, the Montreal Canadiens will likely stand pat until the All-Star break as they want to see if they become sellers or buyers this season. They are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference with 42 points, 8 points out of a playoff spot. The only player they have offered around the league, is blue liner Chris Campoli who’s slated to become an UFA at season’s end.
The Ducks are looking to trade impending UFAs Jason Blake and Niklas Hagman albeit they are not drawing much interest because of their lack of production and their high salary.
The Sabres are trying to move Derek Roy as I mentioned last week in my article Buffalo Sabres actively shopping Derek Roy. The team is also trying to unload overpaid veterans Jochen Hecht and Brad Boyes, who are both slated to become UFAs, at season’s end. The Sabres will not trade Ryan Miller during the season, but they might feel the trade market this summer.
Following the acquisition of Cammalleri, the Flames will not trade All-Star winger Jarome Iginla this season as they are trying to make the playoffs. Veterans like Lee Stempniak and Brendan Morrison, both impending UFAs, could be traded for the right price. GM Jay Feaster would also like to get rid of veteran Corey Sarich and his $3,600,000 contract, but he has a full no-movement clause in his contract, so he’s likely to stay put unless Sarich decides to waive it.
The Hurricanes have made available impending free agents Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen, Tuomo Ruutu and Alex Ponikarovsky. Gleason (Flyers, Devils, Blackhawks) and Ruutu (Penguins, Blackhawks, Red Wings) are likely to garner the most interest and fetch the best return for GM Jim Rutherford.
The Avalanche are gauging the league’s interest in center Paul Stastny as the team’s highest paid player by far at $6,600,000 is underperforming this season with only 25 points in 44 contests.
After turning things around with 9 points (4G+5A) in his last 12 games, pivot Derrick Brassard is not on the trade market anymore. However, the Blue Jackets will try to unload impending UFAs Vaclav Prospal, Samuel Pahlsson and Radek Martinek.
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