Rumor Roundup: Red Wings ‘D’ hunting; Reimer stuck with Maple Leafs?

#34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs stands by the net during a break in action in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 29, 2013 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

After striking out in their efforts to land a right-handed defenseman via free agency, the Detroit Red Wings could turn to the trade market to address their need.

Wings GM Ken Holland told Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News his club needs “another defenseman, maybe two,” adding he’ll see what the summer brings. Kulfan speculates Buffalo’s Tyler Myers, Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien and Edmonton’s Jeff Petry could be available.

Ansar Khan of mlive.com also believes the Wings could try to bolster their blueline via the trade market. In addition to Myers, Byfuglien and Petry, Khan lists Washington’s Mike Green and Toronto’s Cody Franson among the right-handed options, along with left-handed shots like Arizona’s Keith Yandle and Vancouver’s Alexander Edler.

The asking price for most of the aforementioned would be expensive, costing the Wings one of their promising young forwards as part of the return. The Wings won’t part with Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar, but clubs could seek Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco or Anthony Mantha. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson believes if Petry’s available the Oilers must get a young center for him.

The Wings could put in a call to the Boston Bruins. CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins have nine NHL-caliber defensemen on their roster and could move one of them this summer. GM Peter Chiarelli said he’s in no hurry but acknowledged he cannot go into the season carrying nine defenders.

Haggerty noted Johnny Boychuk was often mentioned in trade rumors for weeks. He carries a $3.36- million cap hit for 2014-15 and will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa also mentions Boychuk as a trade option, perhaps for a top-nine forward, preferably a winger with a right-handed shot.

Haggerty notes, however, the Bruins decision not to re-sign Jarome Iginla lessens the need to shed Boychuk’s salary. Chiarelli spoke of the 30-year-old as one of the players he prefers to re-sign. Other trade options could include rugged but oft-injured Adam McQuaid, who carries a $1.56- million cap hit for 2014-15. Like Boychuk, he’s eligible for UFA status in July 2015.

IS REIMER STUCK IN TORONTO?
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer recently requested a trade, but it’s possible he could be returning with the club this fall. The Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby reports Leafs GM Dave Nonis said if the right deal cannot be found for Reimer, he will expect to see the 26-year-old netminder in training camp.

As much as Reimer wants out of Toronto, there simply aren’t many destinations available. The Manitoba native was linked to the Winnipeg Jets, but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is sticking with Ondrej Pavelec as his starter. Cheveldayoff also recently inked the promising Michael Hutchinson, who starred with their American League affiliate, to a two-year contract.

An additional twist to Reimer’s situation is his filing for salary arbitration. Interested clubs could prefer to await the outcome of Reimer’s arbitration hearing and what the Leafs could do once the arbiter’s decision is reached.

If the Leafs cannot find a trade partner this summer, Reimer will have to return and hope a destination opens up at some point during 2014-15.

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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