- Craig Custance of ESPN: Jets forward/defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been receiving a lot criticism of late. Can a team win with Byfuglien as a major part of their core? Heading into yesterday he had three points in four games at forward under new coach Paul Maurice. Byfuglien prefers to play defense. He has two years left on his deal at $5.2 million per season. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has to look at the possibility of trading Byfuglien. One executive: “I think they have to,” he said. We may see more “hockey trades” this year compared to “rentals” due to so many teams close to the salary cap ceiling. Evander Kane would bring more back for the Jets, but they are still looking at the long-term picture and trading a 22-year old goal scorer doesn’t make sense. One fit for Byfuglien that was mentioned was the Bruins, who are looking for a top-four defenseman. The Jets may prefer to get roster players in a deal. If they are willing to trade for futures, it may make Byfuglien more attractive. He can submit a list of five teams that he won’t accept a trade too. One executive thinks he could bring the Jets a 1st round pick and an A-level prospect.
“In my time, he’s the best power forward I’ve seen,” Versteeg said. “On the flip side, he’s one of the biggest, mobile, best defenseman I’ve seen, too.”
- Arthur Staple of Newsday: Thomas Vanek understands the Islanders situation of wanting to know in the next week or two if he’d re-sign with the team. He also knows that if he doesn’t have an answer for them, he could be dealt. Vanek did say that even if he’s dealt, he’d consider returning on July 1st.
“I know Garth gave up a lot to get me here, so if they feel they need to get something back (by the deadline), I understand,” Vanek told Newsday. “He’s been great, the team has been great. No one has put any pressure on me.
“I know that we’re getting close [to the deadline] and that they want to know what I’m going to do. It’s a big decision that obviously isn’t just about me, it’s a big decision for my family, where we’re going to be.”
There hasn’t been substantive talks between the two sides.
“Even if they traded me, sure,” Vanek said. “I like it here, it’s a good group of guys. This would be a place I’d consider if it gets to July 1.”
- Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic: There are not a lot of options at the moment, but the Coyotes are looking for a forward
“I don’t want to trade a forward for another forward,” he said. “You’re always looking to upgrade, but we’re looking to add instead of give a forward to get a forward.”
- Mike Wise of the Washington Post: Wise wonders if it’s time for the Capitals to trade defenseman Mike Green. They only have three players who are not under contract for next season. Green might be their only player that would bring them a good return, including a possible defensive defenseman. GM George McPhee is in the last year of his contract and may be looking to make a move to help save his job. Martin Erat still wants to be traded.