Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Matheson sees the trade deadline shaping up as a Western Conference arms race

03/03/2014 at 2:10am EST

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson leads us up to the trade deadline wondering whether the trade deadline will in fact play out as witnessing Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim attempt to strike back at the St. Louis Blues' preemptive roster-strenghtening strike in bringing Ryan Miller and Steve Ott into the fold:

Do the Kings have to get New York Islanders’ unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek now, even if the whole world knows Vanek is going to sign in Minnesota, where he has a summer home? Or should they go for Matt Moulson, who played 29 games with L.A. after general manager Dean Lombardi signed him as a free agent out of Cornell University in 2006?

Do the Ducks, who have two first-round picks and two seconds this June and need a right-handed shooting defenceman, take a big swing at six-foot-eight Tyler Myers in Buffalo, even though his salary-cap hit is $5.5 million? They could offer somebody like forward Kyle Palmeiri, but would probably keep winger Emerson Etem and goalie Viktor Fasth.

Are the Sharks deep enough with the return of third-line winger Raffi Torres following knee surgery, No. 2 centre Logan Couture (hand operation), and rookie sensation winger Tomas Hertl (knee) skating again?

Matheson continues, and he also discusses David Poile's health and the possible destinations for Christian Ehrhoff in his, "This 'n' That"...

I suspect the Oilers are on the eight-team I-don’t-want-to-go-there trade list that Christian Ehrhoff has handed Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray. Ehrhoff, who is in Year 3 of a 10-year contract, has a tidy $4-million salary-cap hit, with $18 million in salary over seven years left after this season. The Oilers would love him, but the San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche would seem better bets. The Flyers could give the Sabres centre Sean Couturier while Colorado has winger P.A. Parenteau.

Before wrapping up a trio's worth of Hockey World columns with some "Short Shifts":

Andrej Meszaros, the New York Islanders’ Andrew MacDonald and the Senators’ Chris Phillips. New York wants a first-rounder for MacDonald. Boston won’t do that. Bruins pro scout Adam Creighton was at Rexall Place on Thursday and Saturday to watch Schultz, who would fit on the Bruins’ third defensive pairing. They’d give up a medium draft pick for him and likely are offering winger Jordan Caron to one and all. I’d rather have winger Matt Fraser, who came to Boston in the Tyler Seguin deal with the Dallas Stars.

The Columbus Blue Jackets will hold on to unrestricted free-agent winger Marian Gaborik because there’s been tepid interest from other teams who don’t like his $7.5-million salary or the fact his body is breaking down. It’s a little messy in Columbus, though, because they dealt Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett to the New York Rangers at last year’s trading deadline for Gaborik. Mind you, they’d really only like the defenceman Moore back.

Is there any possibility the Detroit Red Wings deal for the Rangers’ Ryan Callahan if he doesn’t take New York’s $36-million (over six years) offer because Wings associate coach Tom Renney coached him in New York?


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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