On teams that could be buyers before the NHL trade deadline
Rory Boylen of Sportsnet: Looking at teams who could be buying before the February 26th NHL trade deadline.
St. Louis Blues: Don’t have a lot of salary cap space. They could use some scoring depth up front. GM Doug Armstrong said on Hockey Central at Noon that he’s not looking for a rental. That would mean no Evander Kane. The Blues have been linked to Mike Hoffman.
Pittsburgh Penguins: GM Jim Rutherford said last month that he hasn’t ruled out a “major trade.” There has been speculation that the Penguins could move defenseman Kris Letang, but reports from inside the Penguins have been that they have no intentions of trading him.
Toronto Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs could use some help on the blue line. They are likely looking for a right-handed, defensive-oriented defenseman. Would they consider trading one of their pending UFAs – James van Riemsdyk or Tyler Bozak – for an upgrade on defense?
Tampa Bay Lightning: They have about $1.9 million in salary cap space. GM Steve Yzerman could go big and look at wingers Evander Kane and Mike Hoffman.
Columbus Blue Jackets: GM Jarmo Kekalainen will be looking to add some offense, preferably a top-six center. He has around $4.3 million in cap space to work with. They have been linked to Senators Derick Brassard who was drafted by the Blue Jackets.
Nashville Predators: The Predators have $2.89 million in salary cap space and could do some fine tuning to their roster. They could look to add some depth skill players.
Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet: Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa said the Bruins will be looking for top-six right winger. Shinzawa adds that the Bruins are hoping to add a defenseman that can log big minutes. Cam Neely told the Globe:
“We’ve talked about if we could ever find a guy that could eat up some minutes, move the puck well, skate well, but not necessarily have to be that offensive defenceman.”
Jonas Siegel of The Athletic: Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello when asked if he thinks the Leafs can contend for the Stanley Cup with current their blue line or do they need an upgrade?
“First of all, you never think about contending. What you think about is being the best you possibly can and letting the end result take care of itself. And right now that’s our focus. We’re not thinking about anything other than continuing to play the best we possibly can, continuing to evaluate who we are and if we can get better we will. And the end result takes care of itself. Once you start thinking about something that’s intangible at this point you get in trouble.”
Lamoriello when asked if they will use their cap space before the trade deadline?
“If it’ll make us better. Sometimes you can acquire (players) — add (them) and then subtract (from your team). Remember, you don’t just make a transaction. There’s two parties involved when that happens and sometimes there’s three. But whatever transaction you make it has to be where you feel you can be better. But having the cap space is a value and we’ll constantly and collectively monitor that.”