We’ve now seen four trades made in the past week as the trade market picks up before next Wednesday’s trade deadline. On the latest edition of Insider Trading, TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, and Pierre LeBrun dropped some tidbits about potential trade activity.
The main topic of discussion was the consensus best player available in St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. McKenzie believes that the likelihood of Shattenkirk being dealt as a rental is becoming “more and more likely” as the days pass. Beginning with the Edmonton Oilers last June, three teams have had trades fall through because Shattenkirk wasn’t willing to sign long-term. The most recent team to have a deal in place was offering a seven-year, $42MM contract, according to McKenzie.
That’s a hefty price to pay for Shattenkirk, taking into account the acquisition cost. Blues GM Doug Armstrong is not wavering on his asking price of a first round pick, a top prospect, plus “something else.” While some teams may balk at that cost, Dreger reports that teams will continue to kick tires until the deadline. Dreger believes the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning have already been in touch but have concerns about the price.
While Shattenkirk may view himself as a rental, that’s not to say a team couldn’t acquire Shattenkirk with the intention of pitching him on staying beyond this year. As we reported earlier today, TSN’s Frank Seravalli believes that Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli should be confident in his ability to pitch his team to Shattenkirk, as they appear poised to be a top-ten team in the NHL for the next decade.
In other notes from the TSN insiders, the Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers, and Chicago Blackhawks are all interested in bolstering their forward cores before the trade deadline. Minnesota and Chicago are likely pretty happy with their rosters as they sit atop the Western Conference. While neither team will be looking at making a big splash, both would like to add a depth forward. Specifically, the Blackhawks would like a player with a low cap hit who could be acquired with just a draft pick. That’s not likely to be a high draft pick, however, as Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman wants to keep picks for the upcoming draft, which will be held in Chicago. The suddenly hot Panthers aren’t necessarily buyers, despite winning eight of their last 10 games. If they do make a move, LeBrun believe they would be interested in adding a top nine forward in a rental capacity.
Those three teams will likely have interest in Dallas Stars winger Patrick Eaves. With 21 goals in 59 games and a $1MM cap hit, Eaves is drawing plenty of interest from around the NHL. There are as many as 10-12 teams inquiring about the gritty winger according to Dreger.
[Related: PHR’s profile of Patrick Eaves]
Another forward likely on the move is Martin Hanzal; LeBrun reports that most of the teams inquiring about the 6’6 center are from the Western Conference, but Montreal is one of the most interested clubs. Despite missing nine games this season, Hanzal already has 15 goals, which is one off his career-high from 2010-11. The Coyotes would like to move Hanzal by the end of the weekend, according to LeBrun. Of course, that’s depending of the offers available to rookie GM John Chayka.
[Related: PHR’s profile of Martin Hanzal]
The Vancouver Canucks are among the growing group of sellers, but the player drawing the most interest from rival teams is not a rental. Jannik Hansen has one year left at $2.5MM and has lots of teams interested in acquiring him. However, the Canucks aren’t looking for a draft pick in return; GM Jim Benning is asking for a top prospect or young NHLer in return for the long-time Canuck. That’s a steep price for a middle-six player who’s never scored more than 39 points in a season.