The St. Louis Blues won six of their first nine games, but currently sit with a 14-9-4 record. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
A rash of injuries to key forwards and a recent losing skid has St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong exploring the trade market.
Veteran center Andy McDonald recently joined T.J. Oshie and David Perron on the sidelines and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford reported Armstrong was already considering trade options prior to McDonald’s injury.
Rutherford noted several obstacles stand in Armstrong’s path, including the difficulty of making significant trades at this time of year under a salary cap, a lack of surplus forwards due to injuries and the team’s financial uncertainty as ownership seeks a new investor.
Armstrong could deal from his blueline depth, but rival clubs might only be interested in young defensemen like Erik Johnson or Alex Pietrangelo, rather than veterans Eric Brewer or Barret Jackman.
Dan O’Neill – also of the Post-Dispatch – dismissed the possibility of the Blues pursuing expensive stars like Calgary’s Jarome Iginla, Dallas’ Brad Richards or Washington’s Alexander Semin, suggesting more affordable targets such as New Jersey’s Travis Zajac, Florida’s Stephen Weiss or the Islanders’ Matt Moulson.
Given the offensive woes of the Devils and Panthers, they’re unlikely to move Zajac or Weiss. Moulson might be available should the floundering Islanders decide to clean house.
SENATORS SEARCHING FOR WING HELP
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported Senators GM Bryan Murray continues to find slim pickings in his search for a scoring winger.
Rangers left winger Alex Frolov might be considered an option after he made comments to a Russian paper complaining about his ice time, but Garrioch claims Rangers GM Glen Sather isn’t shopping Frolov.
Garrioch listed Tampa Bay’s Simon Gagne and Boston’s Marco Sturm as possibilities, though Murray’s salary cap constraints would mean he’d have to get creative to add either player.
With approximately $900,000 in available cap space, Murray simply cannot add Gagne ($5.25 million) or Sturm ($3.5 million) without first clearing significant cap space via trades and/or demotions.
A possible trade candidate is 37-year-old right winger Alex Kovalev, who reportedly isn't happy with his reduced ice time and demotion to the fourth line, though he and his agent insist they're not seeking a trade.
Murray likely wouldn’t find much interest in the aging, inconsistent winger, who's earning $5 million this season and on pace for 38 points, which would be the third-lowest total of his NHL career.
STURM WATCH BEGINS AGAIN
Left winger Marco Sturm remains with the Boston Bruins, but possibly not for much longer.
On Wednesday – less than a week after a deal that would’ve sent him to the Los Angeles Kings fell through – ESPNBoston.com’s James Murphy claimed not only that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was still shopping Sturm, but also that a deal with the Kings might still happen, possibly by the end of this week.
The original deal supposedly had the Kings sending a conditional draft pick to the Bruins for Sturm as Boston cannot afford to take cap space back, but a recent injury to Mark Stuart has sparked rumors Chiarelli might also be in the market for an affordable blueliner.
BERGERON STILL SEARCHING FOR NEW NHL HOME
Free agent defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron has reportedly received what his agent called variable interest from five different teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Agent Paul Corbeil told RDS.ca there are offers on the table, but things aren’t progressing as quickly as hoped, though he anticipates Bergeron will be signed with a new club before Christmas.
Corbeil said the Bergeron camp was seeking a two-year contract, but with him coming off knee surgery they’re not going to get that and they will have to accept a one-year, prorated deal.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.