In today’s NHL rumors, there is news the Winnipeg Jets are actively trying to move one of their forwards. There is also buzz around a potential change in attitude by the St. Louis Blues as they approach the trade deadline. Finally, the Florida Panthers moves this week have something to do with going after a much bigger fish.
Panthers Want Panarin
Bob McKenzie said on Friday afternoon when he appeared on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, he believes the trade between the Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins, which saw Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann head to the Penguins in exchange for pending unrestricted free agents Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, along with three draft picks, is the precursor to something bigger.
“As for the Panthers, it’s pretty elementary,” noted McKenzie. “They got rid of contracts and they freed up cap space for next year – more than $4 million worth at this point. McKenzie believes Florida will flip what they acquired for more prospects and draft picks and explained:
“We think the reason they want to clear the financial decks a little bit is because Florida would be interested in both Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky in unrestricted free agency. And in fact, they may try to use Brassard and some of the other things they’ve got in their cupboard to see if possibly they could entice Columbus to part with Panarin before the deadline, and maybe Florida can get a leg up on trying to sell Artemi Panarin on signing long term with the Panthers.”
It sounds like the Panthers want both Panarin and Bobrovsky but that Panarin is their primary target. That means fans should expect Derrick Brassard will be moved again right away.
Jets Looking to Move Nic Petan
Jason Bell and Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press are reporting that according to their agents, the Winnipeg Jets are trying to trade forward Nic Petan. Petan has not played and the report writes, “Joe Oliver of KO Sports said Cheveldayoff told him the 23-year-old centre — a healthy scratch for 15 straight games and 25 of the Winnipeg’s last 27 — is being shopped in advance of the league’s Feb. 25 deadline.”
It appears the Jets are unwilling to lose him for nothing which is why he’s yet to be placed on waivers but coach Paul Maurice has already said that the only way he gets into the lineup is by necessity like an injury to another player.
Blues May Not Be Sellers, But Swappers
The St. Louis Blues are still very much in the thick of things in the Western Conference playoff hunt. As such, they may not be designated as obvious sellers anymore. Instead, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicated that GM Doug Armstrong’s preference at this time is to make more of a player for player swap.
If this is accurate, there may be a lot less action coming out of St. Louis than originally expected. If the Blues fall out of contention in the next two weeks, it’s certainly possible they go back to selling off pieces, otherwise they’ll be busy closer to the draft.
This means St. Louis needs to decide what to do with potential rentals like Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, and Patrick Maroon who aren’t likely to return next season.
The Stars Are Looking for Scoring
With the Dallas Stars currently in a playoff spot team owner Tom Gaglardi told Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he expects GM Jim Nill to bring in some scoring depth over the next three weeks.
The Stars rank 29th in the league in scoring ahead of only Anaheim and Los Angeles and it’s a major area of weakness for the organization.