As the American Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the NHL trade market has slowly returned to life. The past two weeks saw the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens swing a couple of deals, including one in which the Stars shipped defensemen Sergei Gonchar to the Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Factor in last week's meeting of NHL GMs in Toronto and there's growing speculation more deals are on the horizon.
A recent six-game losing skid has the Edmonton Oilers the hot topic of trade chatter. Pascal Dupuis' blood-clot diagnosis could add urgency to the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a scoring winger, while the San Jose Sharks recent slump has generated talk of a possible roster shakeup.
The Oilers and Sharks should consider giving Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall a call. According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, Hextall is ready to make changes to his roster but needs a willing trade partner. He's apparently seeking a defenseman and a winger. Hextall tried to trade veteran center Vincent Lecavalier last summer and Garrioch believes he's still available.
Lecavalier, however, isn't the star he once was. After missing seven games earlier in the season to a lower-body injury, the 34-year-old center currently has only six points in 13 games, half of which he collected before his injury. Factor in his $4.5-million annual cap hit running through 2017-18 with a full no-movement clause, and it's doubtful the Flyers will find any takers for the former Richard Trophy winner.
TSN's Bob McKenzie notes winger Brayden Schenn and blueliner Braydon Coburn are repeatedly mentioned as trade candidates, often linked to the Oilers. The Sharks could try to move winger Tyler Kennedy and there's talk goalie Antti Niemi might be available.
The Boston Bruins could also get into the mix. They still haven't found a suitable replacement for departed first-line right winger Jarome Iginla. They've got over $6 million in projected cap space and depth in young defensemen to offer as bait, though first they'll likely wait until injured blueliners Zdeno Chara, Adam McQuaid and David Warsofsky return to action.
With defenseman Dan Hamhuis on injured reserve with a groin injury, the Vancouver Canucks might be in the market for a defenseman. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman wonders if they could have interest in Arizona Coyotes blueliner David Schlemko. The Coyotes have been frequently mentioned as possible “sellers” but Friedman claims the word out of last week's GM meeting is they're not in sell mode yet.
TSN's Matthew Sekeres suggests the Canucks should inquire further about the availability of Buffalo Sabres blueliner Tyler Myers as a short- and long-term option. The asking price, however, will be expensive. When the Detroit Red Wings earlier this year asked about Myers, the Sabres requested one of their top prospects (Anthony Mantha or Dylan Larkin) as part of the return. The Canucks lack sufficient prospect depth to make a serious pitch.
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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