As predicted earlier this week, it didn't take long for last summer's Marian Gaborik-for-Dan Boyle rumor to be resurrected.
ESPN.com's Katie Strang cited a source confirming the New York Rangers had interest San Jose’s smooth-skating defenseman.
Boyle has one year at $6.6 million left on his contract, but Strang reported the Rangers would be willing to add a player carrying salary beyond this season if he's a good fit on the roster. She believes if the Rangers are willing to take on Boyle’s salary, the Sharks would have to take some money back, and suggested Gaborik as “the obvious candidate”.
However, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reported Boyle wants to stay in San Jose. “This is where I want to be. I don't want to be anywhere else,” he told Kurz, adding it wasn't fun hearing his name mentioned in trade rumors.
The 36-year-old blueliner also has a limited no-trade clause, which allows him to select eight teams to which he cannot be dealt. If the Rangers are on that list, forget about him being Broadway bound.
With the Sharks struggling to hang onto a playoff berth in the tight Western Conference standings, moving Boyle could do more harm than good.
Despite his age, Boyle remains their best puck-moving defenseman and leads the team in ice time (23:17). He's also invaluable to their power play, with 10 of his 13 points coming with the man-advantage. There's currently no one in the Sharks lineup capable of replacing him.
If the Sharks were well out of playoff contention and preparing to rebuild, a Boyle trade would make sense, but as long as they remain in the post-season hunt, retaining him is the sensible choice.
Speaking of the Rangers, Larry Brooks of the New York Post noted GM Glen Sather is in the market for a right-handed defenseman, as well as some bulk and scoring punch up front.
Brooks believes young blueliner Michael Del Zotto is the Rangers’ most marketable asset and considered Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and prospect Chris Kreider off-limits.
He also noted Del Zotto is the Blueshirts’ best puck-moving defenseman and given their already thin blueline, they cannot afford to move him.
The Rangers are currently battling with Carolina, New Jersey and Winnipeg for one of the final two playoff berths in the East. Despite their obvious roster needs, it would be foolhardy to move Del Zotto in a quick-fix deal.
Questions about the futures of pending free agents Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr continue to dog the Dallas Stars.
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reported there's no news on a contract extension for Roy and suggested the 29-year-old center would be dealt if there's no progress by the trade deadline.
As for Jagr, there's some media chatter in Philadelphia about a possible return to the Flyers. He played well for them last season and only signed with Dallas last summer after contract talks with Flyers management fell through.
Their fates will likely depend on where the Stars are in the standings by the end of March. Currently, they're just one point out of eighth, but have won only four of their past 10 games. A slide in the standings could result in Jagr and Roy being moved by deadline day.
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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