While it’s still to early to know, Winnipeg Free Press’ Jeff Hamilton feels that there is a strong indication that the Winnipeg Jets are pushing to acquire Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec tonight. The 34-year-old veteran was also scratched for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, although that may just be to ensure he doesn’t get hurt right before the deadline. While there are no details on how close the two teams are, the plan, according to Hamilton, is for the Jets to use Plekanec on the team’s third line alongside Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers, which would give the team a deep lineup. Andrew Copp would move to the team’s fourth line and would join Joel Armia and Adam Lowry.
The Jets were supposedly working hard to acquire Derrick Brassard Friday, but lost out to the Pittsburgh Penguins and were forced to look for another center to fill their needs. While Plekanec is a step down from Brassard, the veteran may get some new life with the Jets, especially if he gets to play with Laine and Ehlers.
- With the trade deadline less than two days away, the Detroit Red Wings still have their top trade chip remaining on their roster, but the problem is that he’s still hurt. In fact, the top rental defenseman on the market hasn’t played in five games and could miss Sunday’s game as well. While Green as practiced with the team twice now, including Friday, MLive’s Ansar Khan suggests that while there is little doubt that Green will be moved by Monday, the timing of the injury could easily diminish the team’s returns for him. He writes teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning might pause first if they feel he could re-injure himself the moment they acquire him.
- As mentioned earlier today, there has been some interest in Team USA captain Brian Gionta. However, Pierre LeBrun adds that a couple of East teams have expressed interest in Gionta, including the Boston Bruins. While nothing in imminent, a deal could be made at some point this weekend.
- The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington writes that the Buffalo Sabres are holding forward Evander Kane out of the lineup tonight. Kane, one of the most anticipated trade candidates join a group of players who have been held out in the last day or two as the team doesn’t want to risk losing a player to injury just before the deadline. “Management thought it was the best decision moving forward and the best decision for Evander,” coach Phil Housley said in his pregame media briefing two hours before faceoff. “… That’s the situation for right now.” No other pending trade candidates were scratched.
- Tobias Lindberg, who the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights Friday in the Derrick Brassard trade, has been assigned to the AHL, but not to their affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but back to the Chicago Wolves, the affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, according to Chicago Wolves broadcaster Jason Shaver. The Penguins didn’t want to move him at this point of the season to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but can still recall him at any point during the season.