The Buffalo Sabres woeful season has generated plenty of speculation over which players they’ll trade by the deadline or in the off-season.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson claimed Tyler Myers' name was “certainly out there for trade,” though the six years remaining on the 23-year-old's contract, with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million, makes him a “financially risky pickup.”
Myers' Calder Trophy performance in 2010 prompted the Sabres to sign him to a seven-year extension in September of 2011. Big things were expected of the 6-foot-8, 227-pound defenseman, but he's struggled to regain his Calder-winning form.
Yahoo! Sports' Greg Wyshynski doubts ownership would allow Darcy Regier, a possible lame-duck GM, to shop Myers.
Despite Myers' struggles, the Sabres still consider him a key piece of their future.
Veteran stars Ryan Miller (32), Jason Pominville (30) and Thomas Vanek (29) become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2014 and could decide their chances for a Stanley Cup lie elsewhere, which would justify shopping them before their deals run out.
Myers, on the other hand, is young, signed through 2019 and has room for improvement. He’ll have to play a significant role in the anticipated Sabres rebuild.
WHICH TEAMS ARE ON IGINLA’S LIST?
One week from the April 3 trade deadline and there are conflicting reports over the number of teams believed to be on Jarome Iginla's trade “wish list.”
The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins were originally reported as the only clubs on the list, but the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks are also rumored to be on it.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS.ca, however, claims any reports of additional teams on Iginla's list are false.
It was assumed the Penguins’ recent acquisitions of Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray would take them out of the Iginla sweepstakes, but ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun cited a source claiming they remain interested in the Flames captain.
They could face a stiff challenge from the Bruins, whom TSN's Bob McKenzie considers “the most motivated team to get Iginla.” However, the Bruins are also considering other options, including San Jose's Ryane Clowe and Dallas' Jaromir Jagr.
Reports out of Chicago suggest the Blackhawks are a long shot to land Iginla, as GM Stan Bowman's preference is to bolster his depth at center.
As for the Kings, George Johnson of the Calgary Herald doubted the ageing Flames star is a good fit on their roster.
Johnson also raised the possibility the Flames’ steep asking price could scuttle their hopes of moving their captain.
Iginla's reported aversion to being a rental player could also make him difficult to move, but it certainly won't keep his name out of the rumor mill leading up to deadline day.
WASHINGTON’S RIBEIRO CONUNDRUM
Washington Capitals pending free agent Mike Ribeiro is willing to re-sign, but is seeking a long-term contract in the range of four-to-six years.
The Capitals, however, have limited cap space heading into next season, with just under $49 million invested in 15 players. If Ribeiro agrees to an extension at his current salary ($5 million), the team would face a significant cap squeeze.
Management faces a difficult decision. They can retain Ribeiro and risk losing him for nothing to free agency, or move him at the deadline and put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.
If they opt for the latter, the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks are potential suitors.
DOES TAMPA HAVE ANY INTRIGUING ASSETS FOR TRADE?
As the Tampa Bay Lightning plummet in the standings, speculation persists over Martin St-Louis’ future with the club.
The Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson doesn't expect St-Louis will ask to be dealt. He believes the winger will complete the final two seasons of his contract with the Lightning and retire, possibly into a front office job if he wants it.
Erlendsson also doubts the Lightning have many tradable assets. He dismissed the possibility of blueliners Eric Brewer and Sami Salo being shopped and noted that winger Ryan Malone is sidelined by a shoulder injury.
The Lightning obviously won't shop superstar Steven Stamkos, nor are they interested in peddling defenseman Victor Hedman or forwards Teddy Purcell and Cory Conacher.
As for Vincent Lecavalier, even if he wasn't sidelined with a foot injury, his no-movement clause and the $45 million remaining on his contract ensures he'll be with the Lightning for a long time. Unless, of course, GM Steve Yzerman decides to go the compliance buyout route this summer.
A lack of trade assets could be one reason behind Yzerman's decision earlier this week to replace Guy Boucher as head coach with Jon Cooper, who was coaching their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
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.).