The Dallas Stars’ recent acquisition of right winger Erik Cole from the Montreal Canadiens prompted Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw to speculate over the future of Stars captain Brenden Morrow.
Cowlishaw noted both players are the same age (34) and play a similar style, but Cole is under contract for two more seasons while Morrow is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
He wondered if Cole’s acquisition meant Morrow might be on his way out.
Trading away the captain isn’t something a team battling for a playoff berth usually does. Then again, swapping a reliable scorer like Ryder (14 points in 19 games) for a struggling one like Cole merely for contract reasons isn’t usually done at this point in the season.
If the Stars decide to move Morrow, they’ll first have to convince him to waive his no-trade clause before the deadline.
KESLER INJURY REOPENS LUONGO TRADE TALK
Oft-injured Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will miss four to six weeks to a broken bone in his right foot, which could force GM Mike Gillis to shop for a replacement.
Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province believes trading Roberto Luongo could fetch at least a center in return.
Some Vancouver pundits have been stumping for months for a Luongo trade, in part over concern his presence could create a rift between him and heir apparent Cory Schneider. That rift never materialized, but there’s concern Schneider’s play is suffering because of the unresolved situation in net, especially with Luongo playing well.
Gillis, however, didn’t rush to move Luongo when Kesler missed the opening month of the season, so don’t expect him to hit the panic button now. He’ll move Luongo when he’s ready – and on his terms.
'SHOCKING' LACK OF INTEREST IN WHITNEY
Sportsnet hockey analyst Doug MacLean recently expressed “shock” the Edmonton Oilers weren’t receiving offers for defenseman Ryan Whitney, who was a healthy scratch through most of their February schedule.
The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples jokingly suggested MacLean’s shock might be a good thing, as perhaps word hasn’t gotten around the league yet over Whitney’s poor play this season.
A team desperate for blueline depth (hello there, Philadelphia Flyers) could take a chance on Whitney as the trade deadline approaches. For now, however, there doesn’t appear to be a market for his services.
BIG MOVE WITH BISHOP LOOMS
Ottawa Senators backup Ben Bishop has been stellar in relief of the injured Craig Anderson, backstopping the injury-ravaged club to three straight victories.
His performance could also bolster his trade value.
SI.com’s Allan Muir believes Bishop, despite his strong play, remains the odd man out in the Senators crease. Anderson is their undisputed starter and the Senators must give more playing time to promising Robin Lehner, who has one year remaining on his entry-level contract.
Muir doubts Lehner would fetch much on the trade market, whereas Bishop could haul in a decent return in draft picks. He cited as an example the return Anders Lindback fetched for the Nashville Predators (including two second round picks and a third) when they shipped him to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
For now, as Muir observed, the Senators aren’t in any hurry to move Bishop. If Anderson shows no lingering effects from his recent ankle injury, they could field offers as the deadline nears.
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.).