Twelve more days until the NHL trade deadline, and the chatter is heating up.
In today’s rumour roundup, we take a look at the future of power-play presence Mikkel Boedker and the latest rumblings around the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.
Pressure on Maloney to make the right move
Coyotes GM Don Maloney aced his mid-term test a year ago at this time, trading impending UFA Antoine Vermette to Chicago for a first-round pick (plus prospect Klas Dahlbeck) when other rentals were fetching second- or third-rounders.
That Vermette got his Cup ring and Maloney was able to bring him back to the desert as a free agent only wrapped the move up with a tidy bow.
Tough to repeat, but Maloney again holds one of the most tantalizing rental forwards in 200-pound, net-crashing Mikkel Boedker.
Now 26 years old, the Coyotes’ first-round pick in 2008 is looking to cash in on July 1. He’s putting up career numbers offensively, but his minus-26 rating could be concerning to GMs who put stock into that statistic. Boedker holds the worst plus/minus on the Coyotes by a mile. Heck of power-play asset, though—roughly half of his 37 points have come with the man-advantage.
Maloney appeared on Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 Wednesday and said he’s weighing all three options with his power forward: sign him, trade him on Feb. 29, or keep him for the playoff push.
The GM should discard that third option. Though promising, Arizona is not a true contender this season. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector suggests the Anaheim Ducks as a good rental fit for Boedker, but it’s difficult to see him moving within the division. Boedker does not hold any trade protection.
Perhaps Maloney gives his ol’ pal Stan Bowman a ring. Chicago’s need for a winger only increases with Marian Hossa injured. Pittsburgh is also in win-now mode, but the Penguins have a more depleted farm system and no 2016 first-round pick to offer.
Blackhawks clearing space for title defence?
When Chicago placed recently acquired 37-year-old defenceman Rob Scuderi on waivers Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune wondered if the purpose of the demotion was to clear cap space to take on a rental player.
The belief is that Bowman will take a stab at trading for a left wing and/or a more trustworthy defenceman this month.
Chicago is on target to have $2.6 million in cap space on deadline day, according to General Fanager.
Predators still not satisfied
Despite landing arguably the most dynamic young centre available this season in Ryan Johansen, Nashville GM David Poile is not quite pleased with his club’s offensive performance.
“I would have thought our record would be better. He’s doing his part, but we aren’t getting secondary scoring at all,” Poile told Michael Traikos of the Toronto Sun.
“If you compare our offensive statistics from last year to this year, almost every player is down. There’s not too many guys that are having better seasons. So collectively, it doesn’t bode well for winning.”
It’s not only scoring that’s become an issue in Music City.
Imagine. We’re actually having a “Should the Preds start Carter Hutton?” conversation.
Oilers wanting to pluck from Ducks’ D?
Anaheim blue-line depth is the envy of the league, perhaps no more so than in Edmonton.
With the lottery-bound Oilers apparently willing to part with a young forward (one not named Jordan Eberle, reports Elliotte Friedman) in order balance out their lopsided roster, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal takes a look at a possible intra-division swap between the Ducks and Oilers. The needs match.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau spoke on his young defenders.
“We’re young right now, and [Shea] Theodore is the next in line. Our power-play was at 30 per cent when he was up here. He gets the puck through. He’s not one of these guys who gets shots blocked every two seconds,” Boudreau told Matheson.
“[Brandon] Montour looks good, we had him at camp and he skates well… he’s a little reckless right now but he’s 21 years old, that’s what you’d expect. He competes, though, and he’s good on the power-play. We think he’s a good candidate to make the NHL.
“We’re set for a while with young defencemen and we drafted another one [Jacob] Larsson who’s playing for the Elite team in Sweden. He’s supposed a real good player.”
Stop bragging, Bruce, and just let Oilers fans know if they’re going to get one of these guys.
“That’s not my department,” Boudreau said with a laugh.