LATEST NHL BUZZ
— Chris Stewart was a healthy scratch Tuesday night for Buffalo with head coach Ted Nolan calling Stewart “soft. Stewart has 3 goals and 1 assist on the season and has not been a consistent physical presence as his work ethic continues to be called into question by scouts. However, contenders are willing to take a gamble on Stewart who hasn’t been a good player for a few years now.
Elliotte Friedman and Pierre LeBrun are among the NHL insiders on Tuesday who reported on different air waves that the Sabres are ready to move Stewart “ASAP”.
The Senators have been trying to acquire Stewart since last year at the deadline and the Bruins have been mulling a move for Stewart for months now.
Sabres GM Tim Murray, though, had been asking for a substantial return for Stewart, an asking price that hasn’t been realistic.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has long had interest in Stewart dating back to his time as Hurricanes GM, sources say, and Penguins officials were baffled at Murray’s asking price of a first round pick and a young roster player and prospect for Stewart when the Penguins looked into Stewart in October, sources say.
With a chance of Stewart being traded before the Christmas trade freeze, it’s not expected that the Penguins will circle back to Stewart, though, Buffalo’s Drew Stafford could emerge again as a rental target following the New Year.
— Bob McKenzie of TSN reported Tuesday evening that the feeling around the NHL is that this is the year Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle actually gets traded. It’s anticipated Detroit and Philadelphia will be among the most aggressive suitors for Yandle.
— It’s rare that you see a Stanley Cup contender showing a willingness to listen on core players but that is what Blues GM Doug Armstrong is doing.
Two names floating out there in trade talk is Blues winger Alex Steen and T.J. Oshie.
Steen, 30, has 5 goals and 16 points on the season and is under contract for two more seasons with a cap hit of $5.8 million. He scored 33 goals and 62 points last season in just 68 games.
Oshie, 27, is also under contract for two more seasons with a $4.175 million cap hit. After a career season in 2013-2014 with 21 goals, 60 points, Oshie has just 3 goals and 8 points in 21 games this season.
Word among scouts is the the Boston Bruins are looking at Steen.
I floated both names to a Western Conference scout and which player he favors and without question he said Steen.
If there’s a hockey trade out there, the Blues are willing to move either player, notably, Oshie, NHL sources say.