Insider Only Latest NHL Free Agency & Trade Buzz on Nash, Parise, Sutter, Stewart, Salvador, Prust & Moen

To no surprise, leading into next Friday’s draft in Pittsburgh, trade talks surrounding Rick Nash are significantly heating up.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch who is always on top of things writes, “NHL sources have told The Dispatch that as many as seven teams have had “significant” trade conversations with Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson about Nash during the past 10 days and that a handful of other clubs — three or four, maybe more — have “kicked the tires” to see what a deal might cost them.
“Most of the teams known to be expressing interest are the ones that expressed interest at the February trade deadline. The New York Rangers, stocked with young, promising forwards, still appear to be the most likely fit for Nash, and their desire might have been heightened during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Rangers’ 2.15 goals per game in the playoffs was the second-lowest figure of any club to advance past the first round.
According to Portzline, as many as seven teams are said to be in the mix, including the Carolina Hurricanes. Portzline writes, “also known to have considerable interest are San Jose, Philadelphia, Toronto and Carolina, apparently a late entry, sources said.”
Just a month ago, Zach Parise’s dad J.P. Parise spoke about how good of a fit the New York Rangers would be for his son. “Zach likes Torts a lot,” J.P. said of John Tortorella. “Zach knows how to work, he doesn’t shy away from the discipline part of it. He’d fit right in there.”
The Rangers to no surprise have been regarded as a possible front-runner for Parise on July 1 but in the Devils exit meetings on Wednesday, Parise tried to shut that notion down, telling the media “no way” he signs with the Rangers.
According to media reports, Parise indicated Wednesday he wants to come back to New Jersey.
While Parise is saying all the right things, many league insiders still believe it’s a near certainty that he will at least test the open market on July 1 when his hometown team the Minnesota Wild and the Detroit Red Wings will among the top suitors ready to lay out the red carpet.
— Predators defenseman Ryan Sutter, the other big fish who could hit the open market on July 1, apparently has no interest in signing with the Philadelphia Flyers, according to The report states that Sutter has his eyes set on staying in the Western Conference. However, agent Neil Sheehy has denied there is any list and calls the report 100% false.
— Talk around the league is that despite having a significant impact in the New Jersey Devils playoff run, the Devils are considered likely to let 36 year old defenseman Bryce Salvador test the open market. Coming off a healthy season, the 36 year old would be an intriguing piece to a Cup contender looking to bolster their defensive depth. Salvador can log minutes and is a strong shot blocker. His agent Carlos Sosa is said to be seeking a two to three year deal. That could be worrisome as Salvador last season made $2.9 million and had a bad history of serious concussions.
— The St. Louis Blues on Thursday signed winger Chris Stewart to a one year, $3 million contract. Stewart who underachieved last season in St. Louis under Ken Hitchcock, was scheduled to be a restricted free agent and made $3.25 million in 2011-2012. Stewart has also been the subject of a number of trade rumors and despite the deal, some believe it makes him more trade-able.
— Preliminary talks between the Montreal Canadiens and Travis Moen reps at Newport are underway but talks are in just the feeling out process at this point. The previous regime in Montreal took Moen off the trade block last February as their intentions was to sign Moen this off-season. With Marc Bergevin at the helm, it remains to be seen where things stand and whether Moen wants to stick around. Moen will be an attractive player on the open market, with a number of contenders including the Penguins and Red Wings expected to pursue the third line forward.
— Who might become viewed in NHL circles as the most overpaid player this off-season? I polled three NHL sources on Thursday and two of the three picked Rangers winger Brandon Prust with talk of Prust commanding upwards of $2 million per season on the open market. Prust brings a lot of the table and kills penalties but some scouts still don’t see him as a true third liner who should be making $2 million +. “I like the player a lot, {but} Somebody is going to pay him to play on the third line, ” an NHL source said.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

Comments Disabled

Comments have been disabled for this post.