MORNING PENS BUZZ
A busy week is upon us that wraps up with the hockey world descending on Pittsburgh for the NHL draft this weekend.
Trade talks league wide began to intensify last week and will only heat up in the coming days as a flurry of trade activity is expected this week.
Some notables big names who could be in play this week in potential blockbuster deals are said to include the likes of Rick Nash, Columbus, Shea Weber, Nashville, Roberto Luongo, Vancouver, Bobby Ryan, Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim, Patrick Marleau, San Jose, Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary, Tobias Enstrom, Winnipeg, James Van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia, and maybe even Jarome Iginla, Calgary, although he’s a big longshot to be moved.
For the Pittsburgh Penguins all eyes are going to be on Jordan Staal this week. Pittsburgh’s intention is to keep Staal through the draft and they are not shopping the two-way centerman, but GM Ray Shero is getting inquiries and the expectation inside the organization is that a serious offer or two coming the Penguins way is likely to be made for the 23 year old center.
All of the buzz will continue to center around the Carolina Hurricanes who are looking to make a splash on the trade market in an attempt to bolster their rosterÂ and lure top free agents to Carolina as they have interest in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. They are in on Rick Nash (unlikely to waive NTC to CAR) and have also checked in on the availability of Staal. The Hurricanes own the No. 8 overall selection and to get Pittsburgh to negotiating table, it’s going to take their first round pick, in addition to at least two quality NHL prospects and maybe more.
An industry source told me it’s going to take a 4-to-1 return for Pittsburgh to consider moving Staal. Among the prominent names for Carolina being discussed as trade bait for top tier players include high upside defenseman Justin Faulk, third line center Brandon Sutter, in addition to top prospects Mike Murphy, defenseman and Zac Dalpe, forward, a coveted prospect with potential top-6 scoring ability in the NHL. However, there’s no indication those names have been discussed with the Penguins at this point and would be a steep asking price for the Canes.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers are also among the teams to make inquires about Staal.
*The Lightning, Hurricanes and Islanders are among the teams actively seeking a top-4 veteran defenseman via trade.Â I’m sure Paul Martin’s name will get floated around on the rumor mill this week. The Lightning and Islanders both pursued Martin in free agency with the IslandersÂ making a significant offer to Martin on July 1, 2011,Â believed to be 6 years, $32.5 million. The Islanders though are believed to beÂ among theÂ eight teams Marton won’t waive his No trade clause to.
*Ben Lovejoy and Dustin Jeffrey were two players who fell out of favor with the team last season and could be on the move this week. Both players have one year remaining on their deals and are on one-way contracts with low cap hits of $525,000, Ben Lovejoy and $550,000, Dustin Jeffrey.
Jeffrey’s camp was not happy with how things played out and he has a high power agent in Pat Brisson of CAA. Jeffrey though could still find a way into a role next season, while there’s little to no scenario where I see Lovejoy sticking around.
*This isÂ considered to be aÂ strong goalie draft in the middle roundsÂ and the Penguins are said to see the lack of NHL quality goaltenders in their system as a big concern. The Penguins could nab a goaltender as high as the second or third round I’m told.