I get it. You're tired of hearing about deals like
I'm not sure that's a rumor with real legs as much as it is media speculation emanating out of Boston. Not that it's completely unthinkable, at least given the way I read Bruins GM
I get the thinking, but it seems counterproductive. Though he hasn't exactly lit it up in his first season-and-a-half, Kessel is widely regarded as having the potential to become a 30-goal, first-line winger. That's an impact player, so unless you get an impact player in return -- something along the lines of Nashville's
A gifted two-way backliner, Campbell could become one of the most sought-after UFAs at the end of the season. While he said he didn't want the contract talks to create a distraction, that comes off as a fan-friendly way of saying that he wants to keep his options open. And who can blame him? Someone out there is likely to pay him considerably more than the Sabres.
That has to be incredibly frustrating for Buffalo's fans. This team looks nothing like the club that emerged as a legitimate Cup contender two years ago, primarily because of Regier's inability to take care of his core players. He apparently learned nothing about timely negotiating from losing Briere and Drury last summer, so now he's left with two options: roll the dice and hope to take care of Campbell after the playoffs, or return some value on an asset that might walk away in July.
Buffalo looks like a good bet to make the postseason, but will be hard-pressed to win a round, with or without Campbell. With
The key to salvaging Buffalo's mess may be a quick strike. There's little doubt that the Lightning will want to move Dan Boyle soon after he returns in the next couple of weeks from wrist surgery that has cost him virtually the entire season. There's no telling what kind of shape he'll be in, but adding him to the field of rentals that already includes
Don't get your hopes up, Tim. Finding a legitimate replacement -- even as a rental -- for the team's second-leading scorer is going to cost way more in assets than makes sense. Everyone understands how important it is for the franchise to make the playoffs this year, but even if by some miracle they could fill that hole by coughing up picks and prospects, is short-term success worth putting a dent in more serious long-range plans? I don't think so. That doesn't mean help won't be airlifted in. Just don't expect a guy who is capable of running the power play and centering a legitimate secondary scoring line.
That means I think the Caps will look internally over the short term. Seems like
The reinforcements may have to arrive from the minors.
And, really, that should be the focus now. The Caps don't get to beat up on the Senators every night, so points will only get harder to come by for this depleted squad. Unless GM
I think a trade is imminent, Carla. The Preds have eight NHL-caliber blueliners, and none of them can be safely moved to the AHL. Something has to give, and with the increased demand for defenders at this time of year, the Preds shouldn't have any trouble finding a dance partner. Keep an eye on the Sharks, Rangers and Hurricanes.
Nashville is in dire need of some reliable scoring help on the wings, especially with
After seeing him in a couple of camps and limited NHL action earlier this season, Niskanen looked to me like a
The in-box was groaning from the weight of emails complaining about favorite players overlooked for the big shinny game in Atlanta. Most of you made decent arguments for your heroes, but the system is the way it is -- the league tries to represent every team, and that means some worthy players will be left out.
No need to don the sackcloth and grab a handful of ashes just yet, though. Two players already have dropped out and been replaced, and it wouldn't surprise me to see another three or four suffer injuries or discover their wives are giving birth in six months or whatever.
If a spot opens up in the East, Malkin seems like an obvious choice, but don't assume he'll get the call. A staffer on another club suggested to me the other day that perhaps Malkin was bypassed as a result of his somnambulant performance in last year's YoungStars Game. Just speculation, but there's no denying that group of players embarrassed the league, so there might be something to it.
While we're talking about overlooked players, the one with the biggest beef might be Minnesota's