Rosen's mailbag - Jan. 27, 2016

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 3:00 AM | Dan Rosen  - Senior Writer

Here is the Jan. 27 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday in the Over the Boards blog during the 2015-16 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Should the Boston Bruins trade Loui Eriksson for picks/prospects or package him for an NHL defenseman? -- @rayguarino

The only way I'd trade him is if the return includes a top-four defenseman in his mid-20s who is under contract through at least next season. I think the Bruins should be past the picks and prospects stage. They should be looking to add before the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 29, not subtract. If they can add a young, proven defenseman to make their blue line better, I think it would be OK to move Eriksson. Otherwise, I'd try to re-sign him. Boston's obvious need is defense, but Eriksson is a solid forward who I wouldn't just give away for picks and prospects regardless of the fact that he can be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Are the Minnesota Wild in real trouble of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Can you name a guy on the trading block that would really help them? -- @mustang_goalie5

I still believe in the Wild. I've been a believer all season. I picked them to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final. But, yes, they are in danger of missing the playoffs. You can't go 3-7-3 in January and not put yourself in danger of missing. They are in a wild-card position in the Western Conference, but that's only because the Nashville Predators have also struggled this month, and the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks can't find any traction. The Wild need offense, badly. They scored 13 goals in going 2-6-1 in their past nine games this month. That's, well, brutal. Their power play has been awful. It was 2-for-30 this month. Hey, you know what? The Bruins need defense. The Wild have that. They were reportedly willing to part with Jonas Brodin to get Ryan Johansen, who went to Nashville instead for Seth Jones. It'll take more than Eriksson to get Brodin, but maybe there is something there. Joe Haggerty of CSN New England reported that Bruins executive director of player personnel John Ferguson Jr. was scouting the Wild's game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Jonathan Drouin/Steven Stamkos -- any chance Ron Hextall makes a run at either? -- @johnnyrockets27

I wouldn't put it past Hextall to take a run at Drouin. I think Stamkos will re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, so I wouldn't even put him in play here. Drouin definitely is, and the Flyers could definitely use a young wing with scoring potential to add to their top-six forward group. But, OK, for argument's sake, let's say this is legit, what's the return? Is it Shayne Gostisbehere? I would have to believe that's a non-starter for Hextall, but I would also have to believe that's where Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman would want to begin. If it's not Gostisbehere, is it Travis Sanheim, or Samuel Morin, or Ivan Provorov? That's what we're talking about here. Yzerman likely wants an NHL defenseman in return for Drouin, but the Flyers have several top prospects on defense who would be worth his time. The question is if Hextall would be willing to part with any of them to get Drouin, who is unproven in the NHL game and now is facing questions about his maturity as a result of his trade request-to-suspension fiasco.

Any shot the Los Angeles Kings could get rid of Dustin Brown and his awful contract? $5.8 million for a third-line winger. Any takers? -- @DavidKopitar

It's a bad contract for what Brown is giving the Kings, but after watching David Clarkson get traded last season, I'm no longer in the market of saying someone is untradeable. Brown certainly looks to be untradeable because his contract will count for $5.875 million against the cap through the 2021-22 season. Kings GM Dean Lombardi would have to take out his magic wand to get Brown off of his cap without it costing him dead cap space. All that said, once the playoffs start, Brown's cap hit will be meaningless, and I bet you he'll find a way to help the Kings make a deep run. He's not producing enough for what he's making, but if he helps Los Angeles win the Stanley Cup again, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it. The answer might be "yes." The answer also might be "no," because you could argue that Brown's cap charge could be going to a player who produces more and would be just as likely to help the Kings win the Cup.

It's been asked before, but will the Washington Capitals' postponed games make them rusty getting back on the ice? -- @will_po

Maybe for a few minutes, perhaps the first period, but I don't think it's that big of a deal. They have been practicing, and coach Barry Trotz is one of the best in the business at preparing his team to be ready for the next game. I expect the Capitals to have a strong game against the Flyers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN). In addition, it's possible that defenseman John Carlson returns against the Flyers. That would also give Washington a boost.

Is there a fear among GMs that the salary cap won't go up enough next year to get their players signed? More professional tryouts? -- @OneofHisTools

The GMs are always fearing the salary cap. This year is no different. They hope it goes up significantly every year in order to get more flexibility, but they all work within the same parameters, so there's really no advantage to anybody. But, yes, there is a fear this year that the suffering Canadian dollar will stymie the year-over-year growth in the cap that they've been accustomed to seeing. The cap this season is $71.4 million. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the cap could grow as much as $3 million when he spoke to the media at the Board of Governors meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif., on Dec. 7. He stressed that it was a very early projection and a number of factors, including the falling Canadian dollar, could adversely affect the projected figure. The cap increased $2.4 million from 2014-15 to 2015-16, but the value of the Canadian dollar has worsened considerably since. It was 71 cents on the U.S. dollar on Tuesday.

Do you think the New York Rangers do anything over the All-Star break? If so, do you think it involves Keith Yandle? -- @Joe_Forlenza

I don't think they'll do anything over the break. They're still assessing their team. February is a huge month for the Rangers, as it is for most teams, especially those with a valuable player on an expiring contract such as Yandle. The Rangers need to figure out if they're contenders or pretenders. They need to figure that out before the trade deadline. There is still time and I don't anticipate them to be active at all over the break.

Chances of Patrick Marleau being moved? -- @baldhead_slick6

It's been more than two months since Sportsnet initially reported that Marleau would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for the Ducks, Kings or Rangers. That story crawled back underneath the pile it was hiding under for a while until Pierre LeBrun of ESPN and TSN reported last week that Pat Brisson, Marleau's agent, is sizing up the market for his client. With the Sharks playing well and in the thick of the playoff race, I don't think GM Doug Wilson would consider moving Marleau now. Things change, and it could still happen, but as of now, I'd say the chances are slim. Wilson might be more inclined to wait until the summer.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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