Ryane Clowe has only six points, and no goals, in 20 games this season. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Boston Bruins’ search for a physical, scoring third-line winger continues.
CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty reported the Bruins line of Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley and the recently waived Chris Bourque lacked the size and strength to be effective in the offensive zone.
Haggerty noted the Bruins scouts spent the past two weeks following the San Jose Sharks and that they could be watching Ryane Clowe. Other trade targets include Calgary's Jarome Iginla, Dallas' Brenden Morrow, Edmonton's Ryan Smyth and Columbus' Vaclav Prospal.
Clowe, Morrow and Smyth are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, which could open them up as rental players by the trade deadline. Their availability, however, depends on their respective clubs' position in the standings.
Prospal can play either wing, but he's not physical. Iginla is a top-line right winger, meaning the Bruins would have to drop one of their current top-sixers to the third line to accommodate him.
Iginla must also agree to a trade and the Flames’ asking price would be expensive, whereas the others would be more affordable options.
Despite last summer's well-publicized additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Minnesota Wild find themselves jockeying with 11 clubs for six playoff positions in the Western Conference.
As a result, GM Chuck Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he hasn't opened contract talks with his pending free agents and preferred to see how things shake out in the standings by month's end.
Veterans Niklas Backstrom, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer, while Cal Clutterbuck, Jared Spurgeon and Justin Falk are up for restricted free agency.
If they are out of playoff contention, the assumption is Backstrom, Cullen and Bouchard will be shopped, but Fletcher didn't rule out retaining them to provide experience and leadership to his younger players. Cullen, who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006, hinted his preference was to remain with the Wild.
Much will depend on where those veterans envision their futures, as well as the level of interest in their services by the trade deadline.
The Detroit Red Wings are among a number of clubs still undecided over what they’ll do prior to the April 3 trade deadline.
Mlive.com's Ansar Khan believes the next two to three weeks will determine GM Ken Holland's course of action.
The Wings expect to get injured defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo back soon, which would give them nine blueliners. Ian White, who's been a healthy scratch since Feb. 27, could become a trade candidate.
Valtteri Filppula, Mikael Samuelsson and Darren Helm are also due to return later this month and will provide some much-needed depth up front.
If Holland decides to go shopping, Khan believes he'd seek either a top-four defenseman or a top-six forward. The overall health of Holland’s lineup and the club's performance throughout March will determine if he becomes a buyer or seller.
Injuries to Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek and Guillaume Latendresse have hampered the Ottawa Senators’ offensive game, but don't expect GM Bryan Murray to trade for a scorer any time soon.
Murray told Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen there are “no scorers available around the league,” unless, of course, he's willing to part with one of his top-end players for a short-term acquisition.
Rather than make a trade, Murray is awaiting the return of some of his injured players. Michalek recently returned from a knee injury and Spezza should be back within the next two to three weeks.
That doesn't mean Murray won't remain on the lookout for a scoring forward as the trade deadline nears, but he'll remain patient and hope that more affordable options become available.
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.).
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