The NHL GMs meeting in Toronto on Tuesday is an opportunity for teams to start talking about trades.
NHL GMs are holding their annual meeting in Toronto on Tuesday. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch speculates it could provide an opportunity for several GMs to engage in trade discussions.
With the 20-game mark of the season quickly approaching, Garrioch believes this is the period when GMs determine if they've got sufficient roster depth to contend for the post-season. He cites a league executive saying it's also a time when some of them will start feeling the heat.
Though it's still early in this season, clubs currently near the bottom of the standings are in the most danger of falling behind in the playoff race. The Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks fall into that category.
Garrioch reports Flames GM Brad Treliving is working the phones “big time.” He claims defenseman Deryk Engelland and left winger Lance Bouma are trade candidates but there's not much interest in either.
Over the weekend, there was talk the Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins were “kicking tires” on Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The Calgary Sun's Wes Gilbertson reports the 23-year-old rearguard acknowledges hearing the rumors but otherwise isn't paying much attention to them. Given Hamilton's inconsistent play and $5.75-million cap hit, he could prove difficult to move.
Canucks GM Jim Benning's been shopping for a 20-goal scorer to bolster his anemic offense for several weeks. Unless Benning's willing to part with defenseman Chris Tanev, center Bo Horvat or a top prospect, he'll have a tough time addressing that issue.
The Islanders need some scoring help and perhaps some depth for their injury depleted defense. A couple of weeks ago, GM Garth Snow let it be known around the league that starting goalie Jaroslav Halak is available, but he's yet to find any takers.
With starting goalie Mike Smith sidelined and his defense struggling, Coyotes GM John Chayka could be shopping around. Veteran center Martin Hanzal is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, sparking recent speculation over his future.
Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy was recently speculated to be a trade candidate. The Avalanche haven't popped up much in recent trade chatter. Given their current woes, however, it's only a matter of time.
Several current playoff contenders could be watching those struggling clubs closely. Earlier this month, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was rumored to be seeking a defenseman. Bergevin has a history of swinging November deals.
With 17 points in 16 games, the St. Louis Blues are among the league's lowest-scoring teams. Pending UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has been a fixture in the rumor mill since last spring.
The Ottawa Senators are off to a good start, with 19 points in 15 games. Like the Blues, however, they're among the league's lowest goal producers. GM Pierre Dorion could be looking around for a little more scoring punch.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask's return from injury vaulted the Boston Bruins up the Eastern Conference standings. However, it's well known they're seeking blueline depth.
The addition of Taylor Hall over the summer gave the New Jersey Devils a top-line scorer, but they're still near the bottom of the league in offense. With Mike Cammalleri out of the lineup for personal reasons and the Devils carrying lot of cap space, GM Ray Shero could be looking for another scorer.
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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