In this week's NHL rumors update, there is news out of Carolina, Ottawa, Buffalo, Edmonton, St. Louis and other teams as the trade deadline approaches.
Is Dougie Hamilton a trade candidate out of Carolina despite how much the team gave up to acquire him? Are the Buffalo Sabres having trouble coming to terms with Jeff Skinner and the Senators having trouble coming to terms with Matt Duchene? What's going on in Edmonton where the Oilers can't seem to get Milan Lucic to score or respond when their biggest star is being taken advantage of?
Here are the biggest rumors coming out of the NHL this week.
Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues Working on Deal?
Speculation recently is that Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has been very active on the phone with other GMs around the NHL trying to engineer a trade. He’s tried, unsuccessfully, to find a fit alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk and Jimmy Murphy of CLNS Media is reporting that the team has turned to the St. Louis Blues where they are looking at Brayden Schenn.
While there was some speculation the team was also interested in Vladimir Tarasenko, Schenn might be a better fit due to the lower cap hit and shorter term left on his current contract. Rumors suggest to land Schenn, the Bruins would have to move a player like Danton Heinen, Matt Grzelcyk or Peter Cehlarik.
Big News Coming Out of Edmonton
Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 and says he believes the Edmonton Oilers may be looking to move as many as five forwards off the roster. Brian Burke also said during Saturday's Sportsnet broadcast that the Oilers will try to make more moves but this could be a challenging time, both because this is typically not the time of the season where trades are prevalent and that teams will try to take advantage of the Oilers while they are struggling. Pierre LeBrun of TSN noted the Oilers top priority is to actually improve their forwards and a top-four defender.
There is also talk that the Oilers might consider benching Milan Lucic in Sunday’s game against the Ducks and speculation that he’s not happy in Edmonton. The consensus is that Lucic has checked out, wouldn’t respond because he has friends on the Kings team and isn’t interested in working with Edmonton to get the Oilers out of this funk they’re in.
Islanders May Have A Number of Trades Coming
The New York Islanders will be a team to watch as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches. They have players like Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson, Robin Lehner, Valtteri Filppula, and Anders Lee scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, and many if not all of them could be traded before the end of the season.
Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello knows what it feels like to have this many pending free agents as he went through a similar situation in Toronto last season and perhaps he might take a different approach this season, moving these players for assets if they don't re-sign. Perhaps the only player the Islanders really choose to try and keep in the organization is Anders Lee.
A Jeff Skinner Actually Possible?
The Athletic’s Ryan Stimson suggested that is the Buffalo Sabres and Jeff Skinner can’t come to terms on a new contract before the Feb. 25 trade deadline and if the confusion over the status of his no-movement clause can be cleared up, he could be moved before the end of the season.
Stimson suggests Skinner to the Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs or Edmonton Oilers might all be an option the Sabres would consider. Skinner will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will be looking for huge money on the free agent market.