The Globe and Mail reported Monday the GMs of the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to make some significant player moves this month.
David Shoalts wrote that Sabres GM Darcy Regier stated last week he could ship out some veterans by the Feb. 28 trade deadline. Shoalts suggested forwards Tim Connolly, Rob Niedermayer and Mike Grier along with defensemen Craig Rivet and Steve Montador are the likely trade candidates.
Senators GM Bryan Murray, meanwhile, would be willing to shop everyone on his roster except defenseman Erik Karlsson, center Jason Spezza and captain Daniel Alfredsson.
Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is expected to meet with Tomas Kaberle’s agent this week to determine if the long-time Leaf is willing to waive his no-trade clause. Shoalts wrote if Kaberle were to agree to a move it would only be to two or three Eastern Conference clubs, which shoots down rumors of Burke shipping the defenseman to San Jose for right winger Devin Setoguchi
It was reported the Leafs still had a list of teams Kaberle would accept a trade to, but his agent denied this. “To end any speculation, there isn’t a list of teams,” agent Rick Curran told Michael Traikos of The National Post. “And there will not be.”
Shoalts considered Francois Beauchemin a more likely trade candidate for the Leafs, noting he had a limited no-trade clause, plus Burke was believed to have a list of 12 clubs where Beauchemin would accept a trade.
The Sharks are a possible destination, as are the Anaheim Ducks, for whom Beauchemin played until departing for Toronto in July of 2009 via unrestricted free agency.
Anaheim GM Bob Murray is believed to be seeking blueline depth, so perhaps he’ll entertain the notion of bringing Beauchemin back.
BRUINS LOOKING TO DEAL IN WAKE OF SAVARD INJURY
The recent injury to Boston Bruins center Marc Savard with another concussion has given rise to speculation over moves the club will make if Savard goes back to long-term injury status.
It’s believed the Bruins will bring in another veteran center to replace Savard or perhaps add more mobility to the blueline.
Even with Savard’s salary possibly coming off the books, the Bruins will need to ship out another salaried player to make it work. That’s led to talk defensive blueliner Mark Stuart will become trade bait.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty recently reported on sources who claimed there was “strong interest” in Stuart on the trade front.
Stuart’s role has been taken over by Adam McQuaid, who represents a younger, cheaper alternative. Stuart is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer and will seek a raise over the $1.7 million he’s earning this season. He’ll certainly be of interest to teams seeking an affordable physical defenseman down the stretch and into the playoffs.
WILL MONTREAL IMPROVE OFFENSE OR DEFENSE?
As the Montreal Canadiens prepare for the playoff stretch run, some observers wonder what moves, if any, GM Pierre Gauthier will consider.
Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette reported Gauthier will have around $3.5 million in additional cap space due to the season-ending injuries to defensemen Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges and, if the GM holds true to form, he may swing a trade well before the deadline.
The big question according to Hickey is whether Gauthier uses the cap space to bolster his blueline or his offense, noting recent rumors linking the Habs with New Jersey’s Jason Arnott, Florida’s Stephen Weiss and Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr.
However, Arnott is 36, has a lengthy injury history and a no-movement clause he could use to block a move to Montreal. Weiss is talented, but lacks size and the Canadiens already have too many smallish forwards.
As for Regehr, he’s not only got a no-movement clause, but is part of what Flames GM Jay Feaster called the team’s core – a collection of players he stated he won’t trade. As long as Calgary remains in the playoff chase, Feaster isn’t likely to move Regehr or any other core Flames.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.