There is something for everybody as the NHL trade deadline nears.Shopping for an offensive center? Then perhaps underachieving Derek Roy could be pried from Buffalo. He still has point-per-game ability and a scenery change might do him good.Shopping for a match-up forward with playoff grit? Then perhaps Steve Ott could be your guy, since Dallas seems willing to part with him.Here are other storylines to watch during the hours ahead:
The vibe out of Columbus suggested a Rick Nash trade would not happen, for a host of reasons. While Nash wants out, he wants out on his terms – and the teams he is willing to go to haven’t mustered offers that excite Blue Jackets management. “We're hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets,” agent Joe Resnick told TSN. “However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date.”
The New York media has relentlessly promoted Nash-to-the-Rangers talk, but that team hasn’t been willing to spend top young defeneseman (Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh) on the deal. While Big Apple pundits seem to believe forward Brandon Dubinsky is a hugely coveted commodity, there is no evidence that this view is shared by many NHL GMs.
The Blackhawks need reinforcements on the blue line and up front. Coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful that GM Stan Bowman will make a deal or two. At times Chicago looks like a contender and at times it looks like a mess. Losses in Los Angeles and Anaheim on back-to-back nights underscored the urgency for change.
The Leafs are trending the wrong way. The Toronto media is serving up 24/7 criticism of that disappointing team. GM Brian Burke is a self-styled man of action. So the hockey world is eager to see how he reacts today. Toronto could use a veteran goaltender, but the Islanders seemed inclined to hang onto Evgeni Nabokov and Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin carries some heavy contract freight for next season.
The Kings gladly added Jeff Carter from Columbus to boost their offense. But must Dean Lombardi now upgrade his defense to offset the loss of Jack Johnson in that trade? Other teams are interested in forward Dustin Brown, but would Lombardi go there? Lombardi would much rather move Dustin Penner to a team starved for overpriced size.
The Islanders must decided whether to lock in breakout forward P.A. Parenteau, a pending UFA, or deal him for multiple future assets. This franchise finally appears to building a worthy nucleus, so it would be a shame to see this team shift into “sell” mode.
The Red Wings have scuffled with Pavel Datsyuk sidelined by minor knee surgery, so most experts see Detroit adding offensive depth of some description today. Regaining Mikael Samuelsson, currently a non-factor in Florida, would make sense.
The Predators appear ready to go “all in” and add significant offensive help. Nashville GM has been down this road before, with unhappy results. But when he looks up and sees the Blues winning some road games for a change, he realizes the chase is on.
The Capitals won back-to-back games to revive their playoff vibe, but Washington has been holding forward Mike Knuble and defensemen Roman Hamrlik and John Erskine out of action while the trade deadline nears. All three could move as part of a minor roster overhaul.
Flames general manager Jay Feaster threatened to blow up his roster after another painful defeat . . . then backed off those comments. But unless he is willing to deal goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff or Jarome Iginla – his two cornerstone players – he doesn’t have much to offer.