In today’s NHL rumors rundown, could the Florida Panthers be in the market for another defenseman after learning Aaron Ekblad is going to be out for the remainder of the season? Meanwhile, there’s pushback on rumors the St. Louis Blues might be interested in Taylor Hall and could the Tampa Bay Lightning try and clear a little cap space for defenseman David Savard? Are the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings talking trade and are the Philadelphia Flyers gearing up for a trade?
Panthers To Go Shopping For a Defenseman?
NHL.com’s Dan Rosen wonders if the Panthers will head directly to the trade market to try and replace some of what Ekblad offered before it was revealed the defenseman would be out 12 weeks with a fractured leg. Options could include the Buffalo Sabres’ Brandon Montour, Columbus Blue Jackets’ David Savard, New Jersey Devils’ Sami Vatanen and New York Rangers Tony DeAngelo.
There have been rumblings that general manager Bill Zito was already scouting for a top-four defenseman before Ekblad was sidelined so we’ll see if there’s anything to this. The reality is, no one on the trade market will be able to replace Ekblad’s production.
Lightning and Savard a Good Fit?
Joe Smith and Aaron Portzline of The Athletic have looked at Savard as the right fit for a cap-strapped Lightning organization. Suggesting if the team were to try and make room for a player, the big and often gritty blueliner would make the most sense. They write:
“I believe Tampa Bay is in the market to bolster their blue line depth, and I would imagine watching the past two games without Erik Cernak and Ryan McDonagh has only reinforced the belief they could use some help. Losing two top-four defensemen for a week during the regular season led to the team’s first two-game losing streak in a month.source – ‘Why Blue Jackets’ defenseman David Savard could be perfect fit for Lightning at deadline’ – Joe Smith and Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 03/30/2021
They acknowledge the GM Julie BriseBois has said the team did all their shopping last season and don’t have room to do more. Still, they believe if the Lightning are willing to offer up a first-round pick and a prospect, the Blue Jackets would be delighted and might be willing to retain some salary in the deal.
Blues Push Back Against Hall Trade Talk
On Monday, during his 31 Thoughts article, Elliotte Friedman updated readers on speculation that the Blues might be looking at Hall as a top line option since they’d been having trouble scoring of late. Friedman writes, “Adams was believed to be discussing something with struggling St. Louis. I wondered if it would be Taylor Hall, but received pushback on that idea, so we’ll see where it goes.”
He adds, “There are a ton of teams calling to see what he’s willing to do, and what it will take.” Hall is still one of the top targets on the trade market despite a poor season.
Flyers Trying to Clear Cap Space for a Trade?
While it’s unlikely the decision to place defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers will result in another team picking him up, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Philadelphia is trying to free up some cap room to make a major trade.
Gostisbehere’s $4.5 million contract will keep a number of teams from even looking at him, but there are plenty of teams in desperate need of defensive help. The Flyers might be hoping one of those teams sees the player as a gamble that could pay off in a new environment. Gostisbehere has been slightly better this year with five goals and 11 points in 25 games.
One thing to note, Gostisbehre is only drawing $3.25 million in salary. At 27 years old, for a team that doesn’t have a lot of money, — like Ottawa, Buffalo, Detroit and the Los Angeles Kings — they have the cap space to bring in a player like him and could swing a deal with the Flyers, adding a sweetener if unclaimed.
Oilers and Red Wings Linked in Trade Talks
Friedman reports that he believes Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening is “very much on Edmonton’s radar” but that the Oilers may be outbid by another team if they don’t move quickly on a deal. Friedman writes:
I heard that his Detroit teammates jokingly compared Glendening — when in the face-off circle — to a dog eying a ball. His eyes never leave the puck in a linesman’s hand. He’s completely focused on it and ignores all else. Guess that’s why he’s at 64 per cent.
This is exactly the type of player the Oilers are looking for and there’s an obvious connection between the Red Wings and GM Ken Holland. Still, the Oilers are playing well, don’t have much cap space and can’t be willing to overpay.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”