During Saturday's 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet's Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman provided the latest updates:
Conversations around Jets forward Andrew Copp intensifying
"Hearding the conversations around Andrew Copp are intensifying," Friedman said. "Versatile forward would be very valuable. Boston, Rangers and Colorado, especially, have been teams interested in him."
Copp is a big, versatile forward who can slot on the wing or at centre, kill penalties and contribute offensively – in the last two seasons, he’s produced 71 points in 109 games. The Jets had a scare when he left last week’s game against the Blues, but he appears not to have suffered a concussion. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe notes the Bruins as front-runners, the Avalanche as a stealth option and the Rangers, Lightning and Panthers as “in the mix.”
Oilers shopping around for a defenceman
"Quick note on the Edmonton Oilers as well," Marek said. "I don't think we should expect anything big from the Edmonton Oilers, no juggernaut trade or anything like that. We know they've investigated the goaltending market a couple of different times this season and that hasn't borne fruit. They're happy with their forward group right now. It sounds as if there's one move here for the Oilers, probably a left-shot defenceman."
This weekend is make-or-break for Canucks
Canucks management is waiting to see how their team fares this weekend in games Saturday against the Flames and Sunday against the Sabres before deciding what to do ahead of Monday's deadline.
"So here's the thing with Vancouver," Marek said. "Sounds like this weekend is going to dictate what Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin do. ... If things go sideways for the Vancouver Canucks, there is some speculation that come Monday, they will be open for business. The two names we hear most, of course, Conor Garland Brock Boeser. I don't get the sense they have any inclination to trade J.T. Miller."
Miller, 28, wouldn't be a rental, as he still has another full season on his contract with a cap hit of $5.25 million, which means potentially two playoff runs.
That’s likely why the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs have inquired about the forward.
Senators, Nick Paul very close to a deal, but ...
"In Ottawa, the biggest storyline has been Nick Paul who was out of the lineup for second straight night as the Senators both see if they can sign him or trade him," Friedman said. "I've done a lot of work on this one and I don't think anyone here is too far apart. The problem is as it stands right now, both sides are kind of dug in. The biggest question is going to be, is anyone here willing to move? I think there's a deal to be made here, but there has to be a willingness to move. And as we sit here on Saturday night, there isn't. I think he wants to stay, I think they want to keep him, they just don't have an agreement on the amount of money at this point in time."
As Sportsnet's Wayne Scanlan wrote, "A consistent 20-point producer, Paul has a career-high 11 goals this season. Goals are not really the bread and butter of this versatile, two-way centre/wing who is big and works hard. An excellent penalty killer, Paul is the ultimate “team guy.” The Senators have said they would like to keep Paul, but unless there is a breakthrough in negotiations by the weekend, Paul is likely gone. As a potential top-10 trade board target, Paul could generate a decent return (a prospect and a pick?), depending on the market temperature by Monday."