UFA Tracker

Rumor Roundup: Can Jaromir Jagr keep it up?

Looking at trade rumors from around the league, including Jagr, Matt Moulson, Michael Del Zotto and Wayne Simmonds.

The New Jersey Devils can thank 41-year-old winger Jaromir Jagr for keeping them in playoff contention this season. He leads the Devils in goals (13), assists (21), points (34) and game-winning goals (4).

NJ.com’s Rich Chere wondered if Jagr would stay productive over the remainder of the season and if he could be traded to a playoff contender at the March trade deadline. Despite his age, Jagr could certainly attract interest from playoff contenders seeking his level of skill and experience.

Jagr said he hoped to have a better second half and wouldn’t seek a trade “if everything stays the same,” adding how much he liked playing for the Devils.

Jagr is on a one-year, bonus-laden contract and doesn’t have a no-trade clause. If the Devils are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, GM Lou Lamoriello could move the veteran winger for a decent return, especially if he’s still playing well.

Over the next couple of months the Buffalo Sabres should expect plenty of enquiries about winger Matt Moulson.

Acquired from the New York Islanders earlier this season, Moulson is on pace for 27 goals and 54 points. The 30-year-old is also eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and it’s expected the Sabres will ship him to the highest bidder by the trade deadline.

CBC’s Tim Wharnsby reported Moulson has so far enjoyed his experience with the Sabres and sees considerable improvement since Ted Nolan was hired as interim coach in mid-November. However, there haven’t been serious talks with the Sabres regarding a contract extension.

Wharnsby suggested the possibility of the Sabres moving Moulson by the March trade deadline and re-signing him in the summer as a free agent. That could be an expensive move. Moulson is coming off a three-year deal worth $3.13 million per season. Wharnsby noted only 11 players have outscored Moulson since 2009-10 and that he could command up to $6 million per season on the open market in July.

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The New York Rangers made struggling defenseman Michael Del Zotto a healthy scratch during their recent game against the Florida Panthers. It marked the eighth time this season he’s been banished to the press box.

Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reported Rangers GM Glen Sather is continuing to shop Del Zotto, but hasn’t found any takers. The 23-year-old defenseman is earning $2.55 million and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. Sather’s rumored asking price of a top-four defenseman remains the major stumbling block

The Toronto Maple Leafs were among several clubs with interest in Del Zotto, but their acquisition of Tim Gleason from Carolina takes them out of the bidding. The Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks are also thought to have some interest in him.

Earlier this season the Philadelphia Flyers were desperate to overcome one of their worst starts in franchise history. That sparked a rumor in November linking Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds to the Edmonton Oilers.

Since then the Flyers performance has significantly improved, as they’ve moved to within playoff contention in the Metropolitan Division. Simmonds is a key reason behind their improvement, his 27 points tie him with Jakub Voracek for second in team scoring. He’s been hot of late, collecting 10 points in his past six games.

The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson doubted Flyers GM Paul Holmgren would part with Simmonds, calling the 25-year-old winger Holmgren’s favorite player. With Simmonds on pace for a career-high 54 points, it’s a safe bet he won’t be going anywhere.