As part of their Saturday Headlines segment (video link), Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman provided some information regarding a couple of players believed to be on the trade block:
Ryan Spooner (Bruins)
Kypreos suggested that the Vancouver Canucks could be a possible fit for the Boston center. GM Jim Benning is familiar with the 24 year old from his time as an Assistant GM with the Bruins while Spooner has also had some success with Loui Eriksson, who left Boston to sign with the Canucks back in July.
After a 49 point season last year, Spooner has had a quieter start to this season with just eight points (3-5-8) in 24 games. However, with a cap hit of just $950K, he’s an affordable player for any team and with the Canucks likely looking to transition towards being more of a younger team, the fit makes sense.
Friedman noted last month that teams had been expressing an interest in Spooner but it’s far from a guarantee that he gets dealt. It’s certainly possible that the Bruins view him as part of their long-term core and that this slow start isn’t a sign of things to come.
CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty reports that talks regarding Spooner have increased in recent weeks and that the team is now seeking a top six forward in return, a departure from their previous asking price of a top four blueliner. He also gets the sense that Boston’s management is motivated to move him as he may not be the right fit for head coach Claude Julien’s system.
Matt Hendricks (Oilers)
Hendricks was a healthy scratch in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Ducks and Friedman believes that Edmonton is making him available to other teams. He has missed over a month with a lower body injury and as a result, Hendricks has played in just five games so far this season.
With a cap hit of $1.85MM this season, teams may be hard pressed to fit Hendricks into their salary structure, especially since the 35 year old is limited to a fourth line role. Friedman suggests that his hometown Minnesota could be a potential fit. However, the Wild are currently into LTIR meaning that their cap space to work with is extremely limited. For any deal to work, Minnesota would likely have to send equal salary the other way or the Oilers would have to retain some of his salary.
Both Kypreos and Friedman also touched on Montreal’s Max Pacioretty. While they were quick to emphasize that the Canadiens are not shopping their captain, Kypreos suggested that there may be a bit of friction between Pacioretty and head coach Michel Therrien. He has heard that several teams around the league are watching the situation closely and suggests that if Montreal decides to commit to playing more of a defensive game in front of Carey Price, that they could consider moving the 28 year old for a top four defenseman. However, with a cap hit of $4.5MM, quite low for a four time 30-goal scorer, it would be challenging for GM Marc Bergevin to get top value back at a similar price tag.