As the trade deadline nears, the Boston Bruisn continue to search for a first-line right wing. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers may be in the market for a short-term backup for Cam Talbot and the Senators are exploring options for Chris Neil.
The Boston Bruins are still in the market for a first-line right wing. Fluto Shinzawa of The Boston Globe reports the Bruins tried twice to acquire Buffalo Sabres winger Chris Stewart and they could still make another pitch before the trade deadline.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos believes the Bruins are the closest to acquiring the 27-year-old Stewart, but what the Sabres want in return remains a sticking point. Kypreos claims Bruins prospect Ryan Spooner could be in play, but Sabres GM Tim Murray wants another piece in the deal.
It’s been rumored for months Murray wants a top prospect and a draft pick, preferably a high one, for Stewart. While Stewart’s production has improved in recent weeks, Murray’s asking price remains a deal breaker.
Given the Bruins improvement in 2015, there’s not as much pressure to add a scoring right wing compared to earlier in the season. Given the expensive price tag for Stewart, they could be content to wait for better options to emerge in the trade market.
ESPN.com’s Joe McDonald also notes the Bruins ongoing search for a first-line right wing. In addition to Stewart, MacDonald lists Sabres winger Drew Stafford along with Coyotes forwards Antoine Vermette and Martin Erat as options. Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle would be a great fit but McDonald doubts the Bruins can pry him away from the Oilers.
Sportsnet’s Mike Johnston includes the Bruins in his list of possible trade destinations for Winnipeg Jets left winger Evander Kane. If the Bruins do pursue Kane it won’t be until the off-season, as he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Saturday and can’t help them this season. The Bruins also carry Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand on left wing and have limited cap space for next season. Unless they’re planning on moving one of them, there’s no room for Kane.
RANGERS LOOKING FOR SHORT-TERM HELP
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist suffered a vascular injury after being struck in the throat by a puck during a recent game.. He is sidelined for at least a month, prompting suggestions Rangers GM Glen Sather could hit the trade market in search of a short-term backup for Cam Talbot, who’s filling in for the sidelined Lundqvist.
NBC Sports Mike Halford lists Detroit’s Jonas Gustavsson, Anaheim’s Jason LaBarbera and Chicago’s Michael Leighton as trade options. The trio carry affordable one-year deals and can be easily returned to the minors once Lundqvist returns.
The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington speculates Sather might pursue Sabres goalies Jhonas Enroth or Michal Neuvirth. Both are unrestricted free agents in July and it’s believed one of them will be re-signed and the other cut loose this summer.
Another option could be Edmonton Oilers netminder Viktor Fasth, who’s also eligible for UFA status at season’s end. While his performance has improved in recent games, the Oilers could try to move him at the trade deadline.
OTTAWA MAKING NEIL DEAL?
Long-time Ottawa Senators tough guy Chris Neil could be on the move by the March trade deadline. Though the 35-year-old Neil reportedly told Senators GM Bryan Murray his first choice is to remain in Ottawa, he could still be dealt in the coming weeks.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports Neil submitted a 15-team no-trade list at the start of the season. Garrioch claims the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets are among six to eight teams with interest in the gritty winger. If any of those teams aren’t on Neil’s no-trade list, Murray can move him without his permission.
Neil has a year remaining on his contract at an affordable $1.5 million, but he’ll still be a tight fit for the Blackhawks and Blues, who have limited cap space this season and next. The Predators could be an interesting fit, as Neil could rejoin his former Senators teammate Mike Fisher.
Garrioch also reports the Winnipeg Jets inquired about Neil, but apparently they’re on his no-trade list. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa believes under normal circumstances the Bruins could puruse Neil, but their limited cap space means that’s unlikely to happen.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly 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.).
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