- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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Can the Ducks really trade their best player when they're sitting second in the Western Conference? I believe they will strongly consider it if the pending unrestricted free agent doesn't sign a contract extension before April 3. The Ducks are still licking their wounds from losing Justin Schultz to free agency last summer, and I think it would be mighty hard for them to watch Perry walk out the door July 5 without getting anything in return for him. And the return would be much bigger from a contender before the trade deadline than it would be at the draft from a team willing to give up picks in return for having his rights for a few weeks. And keep in mind, Ducks GM Bob Murray has held conversations with Predators GM David Poile about Nashville's drama with Ryan Suter last year. Perry is represented by Newport Sports, which in the past few years has had Brad Richards and Zach Parise in this exact position, and both stars went to free agency. That's another factor the Ducks are aware of. Going to be an awfully interesting month in Anaheim, especially after the re-signing of Ryan Getzlaf. If the Ducks do put him up for auction, you can count on almost all the playoff-bound teams in the East making a call. For sure.
I just can't fathom "Alfie" wearing another uniform. Then again, I couldn't picture it with Ray Bourque, either. And there's only one scenario in which this could ever happen: The injury-riddled Senators fall out of the playoff race, the Boston Bruins come calling with old Ottawa buddy Zdeno Chara leading the way and Alfredsson ponders trying to win his first Stanley Cup before returning to Ottawa next season either to play one final season or to work with the team. If the Sens hang in the playoff race, it's obviously a moot point. But if they don't, Alfredsson, 40, has a heck of a decision to make. And it's only his decision. The Senators would never ask him to do anything. It's all on him, either way.
The Flames should have turned the page here two years ago, so any return they get now for an aging, UFA-to-be will pale in comparison to what they could have netted even a year ago. The classy Iginla would still be a valuable addition to a contender both on and off the ice. I also think he'd be re-energized in a new environment. The question is, will the Flames finally decide to move him and will Iginla be agreeable to waiving his no-trade clause? How Calgary fares over the next two weeks should answer that question.
There are just no takers right now for one of the league's top netminders because it's a contract that still scares teams: nine years and $40.57 million left after this season. If the Canucks were willing to take less on their asking price, they might find a taker, but my sense is that Luongo's fate won't be decided until the offseason.
With Ryan O'Reilly on the books in Colorado and Matt Duchene playing so well, I think that's too much coin invested down the middle for the Avs. The 27-year-old Stastny has one more year left on his deal that pays him $6.6 million next season, so that might be too rich for most teams, but he's a talented playmaker who would be an upgrade for several clubs down the middle.