• Canadiens, Senators kick tires on Duchene
• Oilers in the market for rental player
• Landeskog could be a fit with Bruins
Bruins GM Don Sweeney is public enemy No. 1 in Boston at the moment after firing Claude Julien this past week. Making a big splash ahead of the trade deadline could be one way to appease the fan base.
“The Bruins have liked the hard-nosed forward for a while,” Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe writes.
Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, along with several members of his staff, attended the Bruins’ 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens Sunday, fuelling speculation that something is brewing between the two clubs.
Sakic would’ve killed two birds with one stone by attending the Habs-Bruins contest as Montreal has also been linked to rumours involving Matt Duchene.
Hurricanes, Predators in on Duchene sweepstakes too?
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported over the weekend that the Penguins could be in the mix for the 26-year-old’s services, but they’re far from the only team. Kypreos also mentioned the Carolina Hurricanes could be involved. According to Bruce Garioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Avs are “going to want 20-year-old defenceman Noah Hanifin as part of any package” involving Duchene.
Garioch added: “The Predators will make a serious push while the Habs and Senators are among several teams that have kicked tires there but the asking price is outrageous.”
Ducks situation on defence worth monitoring
Anaheim is going to be one of the most interesting teams to follow as March 1 approaches.
Bob Murray has done an incredible job of drafting and developing defencemen. The Ducks general manager has a surplus of young talent on the blue line and he told Ducks beat reporter Eric Stephens “the phone has started to ring.”
Kevin Bieksa is the only defenceman on the Ducks with a no-movement clause, which complicates matters heading into the expansion draft. Murray could feel pressured to trade one of Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler or Sami Vatanen if he can’t get Bieksa to waive his NMC. Otherwise he’d almost certainly lose one of them to the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Ducks sit comfortably in second place in the Pacific Division so they’re dealing from a position of strength, unlike Colorado or Arizona where vulture GMs are swirling above.
“Any young player deal would be a hockey deal, not a rental,” Murray said.
Murray doesn’t have much cap space to work with so if he acquires any player he’ll likely have to send some salary back the other way to balance the books. Anaheim has struggled at times on the offensive side of the equation, averaging 2.61 goals per game which ranks 19th in the league so adding a forward is on their wish list.
Are Coyotes asking too much for Hanzal?
In terms of pure rental players, Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes might be the best forward available, which likely contributed to the fact there were double-digit scouts at the Coyotes-Penguins game Saturday.
Hanzal had a monster game that night, scoring two goals and helping shut down Sidney Crosby in a 4-3 overtime victory. He’ll have to keep playing well this month, otherwise the rumoured asking price of nothing less than a first-round pick might be too high for most teams expressing interest.
Coyotes GM John Chayka was recently seen scouting the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild. Former NHL player, agent and GM Brian Lawton suggested Monday morning on Sportsnet 590 The Fan that Hanzal could be the type of piece that would put the Washington Capitals, the class of the Eastern Conference, over the top heading into the post-season.
Oilers interested in Boyle?
With the Edmonton Oilers in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since their Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2006, they might be in the market for a rental player or two. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has his eye on Lightning forward Brian Boyle. According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, the pending UFA has also garnered interest from the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets.
Canucks should expect calls on Hansen
The Vancouver Canucks should be making long-term moves opposed to seeking short-term fixes but since they’re firmly in the playoff hunt it’s unclear if they’re going to be buyers or sellers. If they do sell off some assets, Jannik Hansen could be one forward on the move.
“Several teams like him because he has a reasonable contract, decent speed and he can play with several lines,” Garrioch writes.
Hansen has a limited no-trade clause which could complicate a potential deal.