The Bruins sit seventh in the NHL, but hold Toronto's first round pick which, at this point, sits at No. 5 overall. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Boston Bruins center Marc Savard's recent concussion has sidelined him for the rest of the season, leaving GM Peter Chiarelli considering his options as the trade deadline approaches.
Chiarelli said they'd take a look at rookie Zach Hamill as a potential fill-in at center for now, but acknowledged he’d have to consider taking a look at what's available in the trade market.
The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont believes now is the time for Chiarelli to make a big move, suggesting Dallas Stars center Brad Richards as a trade target.
Dupont acknowledged the unlikelihood of the Stars moving Richards now, even with the risk of losing him to free agency this summer for nothing.
Still, that didn't prevent Dupont from dreaming up possible trade scenarios involving the Bruins offering up either their own first round pick or the Maple Leafs' (which they got as part of the Phil Kessel trade last season), plus right winger Blake Wheeler and blueliner Mark Stuart to the Stars. He noted their combined salaries, along with the cap relief from Savard's placement on LTIR, would match Richards' $7.8 million cap hit almost to the penny.
It's an interesting scenario if the Stars were willing to deal, but they're not. Bruins fans shouldn't waste their time anticipating a Richards move to Boston by the trade deadline.
Chiarelli is, however, willing to consider shopping Toronto’s first round pick if it would help address his team’s needs, while CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty reported the Bruins were “actively discussing at least one game-changing trade” involving that pick.
Although Chiarelli is willing to entertain that option, it doesn't necessarily mean he will go through with it, especially for a playoff rental. But he might move it for a quality player he can retain beyond this season.
BLACKHAWKS NEED TO ADJUST VIA TRADE
The defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks have been floundering of late, losing four of their past five games heading into Wednesday’s matchup in Edmonton, and have fallen three points out of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Local pundits are increasing calls for GM Stan Bowman to shake things up with a minor trade, but that’s easier said than done.
Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald wondered if a rival team would have interest in low-paid forwards such as Jack Skille, Tomas Kopecky and Viktor Stalberg or perhaps defenseman Nick Boynton, noting Chicago’s limited cap space means they can't take on salary by offering up draft picks or prospects.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc tweeted the Blackhawks were having difficulty finding trade partners due to the high number of teams that are still in playoff contention.
A minor trade probably won't cure what ails the Blackhawks, though. They're still feeling the after-effects of last summer's salary-dumping moves that cut deeply into their roster depth.
That doesn’t mean Bowman won’t attempt a minor deal or two by deadline day, but if the Blackhawks hope to make the playoffs this season it's going to take the combined efforts of those currently on the roster - especially stars Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and team captain Jonathan Toews - to get it done.
STALE SHARKS TRADE TALK
The San Jose Sharks might not be active by the trade deadline after all.
Since mid-January the Sharks have made significant improvement and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games following Tuesday's shutout win over the Washington Capitals.
The San Jose Mercury-News reported GM Doug Wilson didn't sound like he was about to wheel and deal, noting he'd already made a couple of minor moves by trading for gritty left winger Ben Eager and plucking center Kyle Wellwood off waivers.
Wilson may yet make a more significant move, but his team's recent improvement means he's under less pressure to deal than he was a month ago. This may very well rule out the Sharks as a potential destination for Ottawa's Chris Phillips.
WOULD FORSBERG COME BACK TO BE TRADED?
Not even a week has passed since Peter Forsberg signed with the Avalanche and already there's talk of trading him.
The Denver Post's Adrian Dater observed Forsberg has a no-trade, no-movement clause in his one-year contract, but wondered if the 37-year-old would be willing to rescind it if the Avs fall out of playoff contention by the trade deadline.
Dater wrote that the scenario seemed unlikely, but he wouldn't find it shocking if Forsberg agreed to be traded to a playoff contender if the Avalanche fell out of the hunt by Feb. 28.
SLOW SOURAY STUCK IN MINORS
Sheldon Souray's potential return to the NHL has hit a snag.
Last week it was reported the New York Rangers, in need of a strong point shot on the power play, were scouting Souray, which gave rise to the possibility they’d be interested in claiming the puck-moving defenseman off re-entry waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.
Sportsnet.ca's Mark Spector, however, reported Souray's lack of speed didn't impress the Rangers scouts, who worried he would be an even strength liability even at the AHL level.
Spector claimed the Rangers would look elsewhere for a hard-shooting defenseman and added that if other teams see the same thing in Souray as New York’s scouts, he can forget about returning to the NHL.
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.