It's been a while since Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's name appeared in trade rumors, but it resurfaced when the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch claimed there was talk the Flames were willing to move him.
Garrioch wondered if any club was willing to take on Bouwmeester's $6.7 million cap hit for next season. Another factor is his no-trade clause, which he'd have to waive to be dealt.
Having only one year after this left on his contract will make him attractive for clubs with cap space that are in need of skilled blueline depth.
Bouwmeester was also linked last summer to the Detroit Red Wings, who lack an experienced puck-moving defenseman and could afford his salary this season.
Next season, however, could be a problem. With the salary cap dropping to $64.3 million and more than $45.8 million invested in 16 players, taking on Bouwmeester's salary would make it difficult to re-sign Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary, Damien Brunner and Ian White.
If the Flames shop Bouwmeester, however, the earliest timetable would be close to the trade deadline and only if they're out of playoff contention.
Even then, the apparent reluctance of Flames management to rebuild by shopping veterans Bouwmeester, Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff suggests it's a slim possibility any of them will be moved this season.
STREIT TO THE POINT
Recent speculation suggesting the New York Islanders would trade defenseman Mark Streit before the trade deadline appears to be premature.
Newsday's Arthur Staple reported Streit's agents and Islanders GM Garth Snow held preliminary discussions regarding a contract extension. The 35-year-old blueliner is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, but is interested in staying with the Islanders.
Streit's salary demands (he's making $4.1 million this season) could also be a factor. Staple reported the Isles are keen to re-sign him to a short-term deal, but didn't indicate for how much.
Staple acknowledged Snow could shop Streit and fellow defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky if the Isles are out of the playoff race by the April 3 trade deadline. The Islanders' lack of experienced blueline depth, however, still makes Streit valuable to them.
Of the duo, Visnovsky appears the likely trade candidate. He tried to have his trade from the Anaheim Ducks to the Islanders overturned last summer and was reluctant to join them following the NHL lockout.
BRUINS SEARCH FOR THIRD-LINER
The Boston Bruins’ addition of Jay Pandolfo hasn't stopped their search for more depth at left wing.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reported the Bruins are in the hunt for a scoring left winger for their third line. Chris Bourque is currently in that position, but hasn't been a consistent offensive presence.
Shinzawa suggested former Bruin and current Dallas Stars right winger Michael Ryder – slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer – could be available near the trade deadline if the Stars are out of the playoff chase. He believes the Bruins would have to shop some prospects to land a player like Ryder.
Other left wingers who would likely interest the Bruins include Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars, Dustin Penner and Simon Gagne of the LA Kings and Vinny Prospal of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Like Ryder, all are due to become unrestricted free agents in July.
Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).