Kukla's Korner Hockey
added 12:01pm, Washington release is below... added 12:06pm, Carolina release added below too...
added 6:47pm, LA Kings release is below...
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
With the NHL trade deadline a week away, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis on Monday looked to end one bit of speculation.
Disputing media reports out of Pittsburgh that the Penguins could be interested in reacquiring Canes center Jordan Staal, Francis said, "We're not moving Jordan Staal."
Francis said the Hurricanes, 15th in the Eastern Conference with a 21-30-7 record, likely would be moving some players, saying it could be "sooner rather than later." But he indicated they probably would be pending unrestricted free agents that the Canes have not been able to re-sign.
Francis did not name names, but Carolina's UFAs include veteran defensemen Andrej Sekera and Tim Gleason and forwards Jiri Tlusty, Jay McClement and Pat Dwyer. Any could be of value to a playoff contender or hopeful looking to bolster their lineup before the March 2 deadline.
from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins are interested in reacquiring center Jordan Staal, sources told Trib Total Media.
A move likely would not take place until after the season, though the Penguins have inquired about what it would take to obtain the Carolina Hurricane before the March 2 trade deadline, sources said.
Such a move would require the Penguins to slash significant salary, as they are less than $1 million under the $69 million salary cap.
Staal signed a 10-year, $60 million contract in July 2012, days after the Penguins traded him to Carolina. Current Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford signed Staal to the deal after swapping center Brandon Sutter, defenseman Brian Dumoulin and the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Rutherford told the Trib five days ago he would like to acquire forward help.
Staal, 26, has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but sources close to Staal said he would forgo that if it meant returning to the Penguins.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
... as the March 2 trade deadline approaches, the Blueshirts’ primary need is for a reliable left defenseman to partner on the third pair with Dan Boyle rather than a bottom-six forward to bolster the team’s depth up front.
Getting both would, of course, be optimum, but general manager Glen Sather may not have the cap space or the expendable assets with which to pull off the double. And if the Blueshirts — who moved into second in the East and fifth overall in points per game following Monday’s thrilling 6-5 victory at the Coliseum, trailing only acknowledged Cup front-runners Nashville, St. Louis, Montreal and Anaheim — can fill only one hole, then it has to be on the blue line, where the John Moore-Matt Hunwick rotation has grown increasingly deficient under pressure.
To that end, sources have told The Post the Blueshirts have joined a crowded field dreaming of acquiring Carolina’s Andrej Sekera as a rental property. The price at this point, sources said, is a first-rounder plus a prospect, which is too rich for just about any suitor’s blood, and certainly Sather’s.
But chances are that the price will drop, and if it does, there is no reason the Rangers shouldn’t be willing to offer one of their two second-rounders (their own or Tampa Bay’s) and a prospect not named Anthony Duclair, Pavel Buchnevich or Brady Skjei.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The time has come to find out what Francis is really made of as a general manager. With less than three weeks to go until the NHL trade deadline, he holds one of the most desirable assets on the market in defenseman Andrej Sekera.
The draft picks and prospects he acquires for Sekera could help the franchise going forward, so the return is important to the future of the Hurricanes. But it’s also a chance to see how Francis fares when put to the test in the trade market.
At this point, that’s a complete unknown.
Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, only the Hurricanes’ second in regulation in the past month, could very well have been Sekera’s last home game for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes play only four more at PNC Arena before the March 2 trade deadline, and the NHL’s buying and selling kicked off in dramatic fashion with Wednesday’s blockbuster deal between the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres that saw three star players change teams in a seven-player deal, the kind of swap that tends to shake things loose around the league.
Francis has yet to make a single big move, although it’s impossible to know just how tightly his hands have been tied by owner Peter Karmanos.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Available: The Hurricanes have a few spare parts that could be attractive to teams looking to fill in around the edges both up front and along the blue line. Jiri Tlusty is about to become an unrestricted free agent and makes only $2.95 million. Tlusty has good skills and might be a good bargain fit in New York or Pittsburgh. Jay McClement is a good two-way forward with good face-off skills.
On the blue line, Andrej Sekera would be attractive to a number of teams looking to add some skill on the back end, although given the Hurricanes' lack of depth along the blue line it's believed Francis will be looking to re-sign Sekera, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Needs: This team that has more needs than we have space to describe them. In short, there is some promising depth down the middle with Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask, and youngster Lucas Wallmark developing in Sweden. The elephant in the room is what to do with veterans Eric Staal -- the captain who recently vacated his normal position at center to play wing with brother Jordan -- and Ward.
“I’ve been here a long time, it’s a place that I hold in my heart, and obviously if I was asked differently or it came to that, you cross those bridges when you come to them. As of right now, I’m a member of the Hurricanes and that’s what I’m hoping to be, but you never know what can happen as you move forward.”
-Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes. More on Staal, who is now playing left wing, from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer.
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
It appears Bill Peters’ patience is being tested by Alexander Semin.
Peters, the Carolina Hurricanes' first-year coach, on Tuesday made some pointed remarks about Semin, the $7-million-a-year winger who again will be a healthy scratch Tuesday when the Canes host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Semin, who has sat out nine of the past 13 games, has one goal and seven assists in 26 games this season. Peters has said a number of times that Semin needed to be in better physical condition and able to play at an NHL pace, and Semin has gotten in extra skating sessions after practices and morning skates....
Asked Tuesday how frustrating it has been to get so little out of Semin this season, Peters said, "Well, it's not frustrating for me. We just play the guys who dig in and work and play with speed in both directions and play hard. It's not hard."
Peters said he has had several discussions with Semin but said, "Obviously something's not right. Talk is cheap, though, right?...
"I talk about competitive people being in a competitive environment and we want to win. We are playing our best 20 players in order to win hockey players. That's the lineup. It's not hard."
What a season this has been for the Leafs. At one point, adding Eric Staal seemed like a dream scenario, maybe even for both sides. Now? If you’re Eric Staal, why on Earth would you want to bother getting involved with Toronto at this time?
-Jeff Blair of Sportsnet where you can read more on this topic.
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