Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Rumblings: GM meetings firing up rumors
By Pierre LeBrun
TORONTO -- The NHL’s 30 general managers gather here Wednesday, exactly two weeks before the trade deadline.
It’s a chance to push along some conversations that need to go to the next level.
The signing of Corey Perry by the Anaheim Ducks certainly sent shock waves through the league in the sense that many teams figured he would hit the open market in July and therefore potentially be in play before April 3.
Not so, which means contenders who had their eye on Perry as a possibility must now scratch him off their short list.
The Boston Bruins were one of those teams that were going to inquire about Perry had he been put on the market. Another name believed to be on Boston’s list, as I reported last month, is Daniel Alfredsson, but with the Ottawa Senators' miraculous refusal to fall out of the playoff race despite injuries to almost all their top players, the B’s are likely going to have to scratch his name off the list -- unless Ottawa has a dramatic downfall in the next two weeks, which seems unlikely.
So, now what for Boston? Jarome Iginla is a possibility, depending on the price.
The Bruins aren’t going to overpay before April 3 just to say they did something.
Jaromir Jagr and Brenden Morrow are possibilities as well, depending on what the Dallas Stars decide to do with both UFAs-to-be. At this point, I would suggest there’s a stronger chance Morrow moves than Jagr; the Stars, I hear, are undecided yet on what to do with No. 68 and lot will depend on the offers they get and where they are in the standings come April 3.
The Bruins have been tracking Morrow, a hard-nosed, character player who, while slowed down by age, is still a terrific add-on for a contender.
The Stars will tread carefully here with Morrow, the respected team captain who has played his heart out for them. Morrow has a no-trade clause, and this will be about seeing what he wants to do in the end, seeing if he wants to go join an elite contender or not.
In the end, I think the Bruins are content to do nothing if there isn’t anything that makes sense for them. They like their team a lot, although adding a blueliner is also on the list of things to do.
More scuttlebutt from around the league:
• Speaking of the Stars, Derek Roy is another name to watch. Like Jagr and Morrow, he’s UFA after the season. Contract talks between Roy and the Stars haven’t gone anywhere at this point, so he’s a possibility to move. Again, Dallas will need to weigh where it is in the standings before being willing to do that.
Crazy thought from one NHL team executive Tuesday: Would the Flyers make a pitch to bring Jagr back to Philadelphia to play with Claude Giroux? Seems odd for the Flyers -- who aren’t in a playoff spot -- to make a play for a rental player. But Jagr was such a good fit for Giroux last season ... Stranger things have happened.
• With Perry signed, the Ducks can focus on adding a player before April 3. Anaheim, I’m told, is sniffing around for a No. 2 center. The Ducks would have been in the mix on Stephen Weiss had he not needed season-ending wrist surgery. Derek Roy is on Anaheim’s radar, but it’s not clear whether both Western Conference rivals would find the right match in a deal.
And you can forget those Bobby Ryan trade rumors that surfaced as soon as Perry signed Monday night. I’m told the Ducks have no intention of shopping Ryan and feel just fine carrying his $5.1 million salary into next season along with the new deals signed by Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
• The New York Rangers have been on the lookout for a top-four, right-handed defenseman and a source told me Tuesday that the Blueshirts have interest in veteran Dan Boyle from the Sharks. There’s an obvious connection there, with Rangers head coach John Tortorella having coached Boyle in Tampa Bay when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
• My TSN colleague Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday night during our Insider Trading segment on TSN in Canada that he believes the ball is now rolling on the Iginla trade discussion front, at least in terms of the team and the player communicating the possibility of moving him. Boston, Pittsburgh, L.A. and Detroit, to me, are the teams that make the most sense and are clubs I know that have interest in Iginla. But can the Flames find a fit that makes sense both for them as an organization and for Iginla to feel comfortable enough to waive his no-trade clause? We shall see. A Flames front office source declined comment even off-the-record Tuesday night, which tells you what a delicate situation this is.
• Word on the street is the Calgary Flames will move Jay Bouwmeester (who has one more year on his deal) only if they get blown away by a really strong offer. St. Louis and Detroit are among several teams with interest in Bouwmeester, but it doesn’t appear like he’s going to move unless a team really spends high.
• The Ottawa Senators had given thought to dealing Sergei Gonchar before the April 3 trade deadline because he’s a UFA after the season and they thought they might be out of the running with all the injuries. Instead, the Sens have stuck around in the playoff race and Gonchar has played well, enough that Ottawa, I’m told, is thinking it might keep him around.