There remain five or six teams in the hunt for Arizona center Martin Hanzal, reports Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. Among the teams that are still interested are Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, Ottawa, and San Jose. Because there are still this many suitors for him, GM John Chayka’s asking price remains quite high with a package that still includes a first round pick, a prospect, and potentially a third piece as well. Unless someone blinks in the next day or two, this situation could be one that goes right down to the wire.
As always, Garrioch has plenty of other tidbits for trade talk around the league. The full column is worth a look but here are a few other highlights:
- Although Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop is believed to be in play, several league executives believe he won’t be dealt by the deadline as they would prefer to just go after him in the summer in free agency and not have to give up any assets that way. Something that will also likely present a challenge is his $5.95MM cap hit which is something that many teams aren’t able to absorb in its entirety. If the Lightning have to retain to get a deal done, they could conceivably hold on to him and hope for a late season run; Tampa Bay is six points out of the last Wild Card spot with a game in hand on Boston.
- A pair of top teams in the East have expressed an interest in St. Louis blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk as the Penguins and Capitals have both held talks with Blues GM Doug Armstrong. It’s not likely that either team would view him as more than a rental player but given the report earlier this week that three teams have had deals fall through after being unable to come to terms on a contract extension, it’s looking more and more likely that Shattenkirk will be moved as a rental. He’ll be a big help offensively wherever he goes as he sits fourth in the league in points by a defenseman.
- Still on the blueline, the Sabres have moved into sell mode despite also being six points out of the final playoff spot. As a result, a pair of blueliners are likely to garner considerable interest in Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson. There’s also a belief that Dallas defender Johnny Oduya, who is slated to return to the lineup, could wind up going back to Chicago although Garrioch notes that Montreal could also be a possibility. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is quite familiar with Oduya from his days with the Blackhawks and the team continues to look for defensive help.