The Edmonton Oilers shook up their goaltending Wednesday, shipping former starter Devan Dubnyk to the Nashville Predators for checking forward Matt Hendricks, then dealing a third-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for netminder Ben Scrivens.
With the Oilers mired in the Western Conference basement and all but assured of missing the playoffs for an eighth straight season, GM Craig MacTavish is expected to have more moves in store leading up to the March 5 trade deadline.
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector claims word around the league is the Oilers are over-valuing their players. He suggests they shouldn’t expect more than a third-round pick for winger Ales Hemsky. He also believes Sam Gagner could be a tough sell, as he’s considered a small center who struggles with faceoffs. Scouts question if he’s a second- or third-line center, plus his $4.8-million annual cap hit is an issue.
The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan believes the Senators have an eye on Hemsky, as he would be a more affordable trade option than Buffalo’s Matt Moulson. One NHL executive claims the asking price for Moulson is a first-round pick (this year or next) and a top young player. Brennan suggests the Sens put together a package offer for David Perron. There’s no indication out of Edmonton Perron is available.
BRIERE A FIT IN NEW JERSEY?
NJ.com’s Randy Miller believes the New Jersey Devils should try to land Montreal Canadiens winger Daniel Briere. Despite Briere’s injury history and $4 million annual cap hit, Miller feels the 36-year-old would address the Devils’ scoring needs.
Miller also cites Briere’s recent unhappiness over his limited playing time with the Canadiens, plus a move to New Jersey would put him closer to his three sons. He feels the Devils could off-set Briere’s salary by offering up gritty defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who carries a $4.3-million cap hit through 2015-16.
Volchenkov, however, carries a no-trade clause and his long injury history hurts his trade value. As for Briere’s unhappiness, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Habs GM Marc Bergevin recently reassured him over his role with the club. He’s also improved since returning from a recent benching. LeBrun believes a recent injury to Alex Galchenyuk will ensure Briere gets more ice time over the next six weeks.
SHARKS NEED WINGS?
Could the San Jose Sharks be in the market for a scoring winger? Responding to a reader’s question, csnbayarea.com’s Kevin Kurz believes they are, but doesn’t expect anything to happen until closer to the March 5 trade deadline.
Kurz doubts they’ll pursue a big-name winger, as such a move would break up their close-knit roster. Instead, he expects they’ll shop a second-round pick (of which they have two in this year’s draft) to address their needs.
As for the futures of pending unrestricted free agents Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos believes the pair will be re-signed to three- or four-year deals close to their current salaries. Thornton’s current annual cap hit is $7 million, Marleau’s $6.9 million.
No update yet on Dan Boyle’s contract talks, but it’s believed he’s also seeking a three-year extension.
HILLER’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE
Ignore any trade rumors regarding Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller, as GM Bob Murray emphatically declared he’s not available.
Murray told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun there’s “not a chance in hell” he’s moving Hiller, claiming he’s grown tired of the rumors about the Swiss netminder.
Hiller’s a UFA this summer, but he’s playing well and the Ducks are riding high in the standings, so there’s no reason to make a goaltending change. Murray could’ve nipped these rumors in the bud sooner, but better late than never.
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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