Deadline Diner: Carter in fold, Kings dealing Brown?
We are now less than a week away from the NHL's trade deadline, and hockey’s swapping season could get crazy in the coming days. Here at NHL.com, we will bring you a daily roundup of reported rumors about who might be available and which teams might be looking to make a move for your lunchtime consumption in Deadline Diner.
LOS ANGELES: The Kings made the first major trade leading up to the 2012 trade deadline, and reports are they may not be done. After landing Jeff Carter from Columbus for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported GM Dean Lombardi will consider trading captain Dustin Brown.
McKenzie reported Thursday morning that eight teams -- Boston, Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey, the N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia, Toronto and Vancouver -- have expressed "high interest" in Brown. He has two years and $3.175 million left in his contract.
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Brown essentially replaces Carter as the second-best player reported to be on the market, but there are clearly more teams interested in him because of his two-way, physical play. He has 14 goals and 31 points this season, but has at least 24 goals in each of the past four seasons. He's also playing more than 20 minutes per contest for the Kings.
CALGARY: The Flames moved into the top eight in the Western Conference earlier this week, but they've gone in the wrong direction in a hurry since. Calgary was blasted by rival Edmonton, 6-1, then yielded a two-goal lead before losing in a shootout to Phoenix.
During an intermission interview with Rogers Sportsnet, GM Jay Feaster blasted his team and hinted at changes.
"If we don't show a whole lot more urgency heading into Monday, you guys will be busy as it relates to the goings on in Calgary," Feaster told Roger Millions. "It's our veterans that haven't come to play in the last games. That's where we have to talk about intellectual honesty. If our play isn't trending to be a playoff team we have to be honest and have to look to marshal some assets."
The Flames don't have a lot of acquisition space to make a big move, but Feaster could make a couple of deals if he moves salary out as well. If he decides to sell, Calgary has a handful of pending UFAs -- Olli Jokinen, Lee Stempniak, David Moss, Cory Sarich and Scott Hannan -- that could warrant varying levels of interest from contenders.
Feaster certainly made it sound like the team's final game before the deadline (Saturday against Philadelphia) could play a large part in which route he takes.
"If there's a deal that doesn't mortgage the future on a rental player, then we would look to do that," Feaster said. "But again, this team does what we did in Edmonton and through two periods on Thursday, this team isn't inspiring a lot of confidence in me that they're serious. … Our vets need to carry us and we need more from our veteran players."
COLUMBUS: The Blue Jackets' rebuilding project has begun. GM Scott Howson has traded centers Antoine Vermette and Jeff Carter in consecutive days, and he has more assets to move. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported sources in the organization told him the Carter deal does not affect the ongoing negotiations with teams for captain Rick Nash.
Portzline also reported that with Vermette and Carter traded, the likelihood that center Derick Brassard joins them has decreased. He reported Montreal and Tampa Bay have inquired about the 24-year-old center, who has 9 goals and 21 points in his past 28 games after a horrific start to the season.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Bay Tribune reported the Lightning's interest stemmed from coach Guy Boucher coaching Brassard during their time in the QMJHL, and it was likely minimal.
"[Probably] just kicking [the] tires," Erlendsson wrote on Twitter.
NEW JERSEY:Martin Brodeur and Patrik Elias own five Stanley Cup rings between, all won with the Devils, and they both named the same thing when asked by Mark Everson of the New York Post what the club could use in the next few days.
"Definitely, a defenseman would be a luxury, to add depth and size,” Brodeur said to Everson. “On our forward lines, we’re pretty well-equipped."
Added Elias: "We have the pieces here. Over 60 games, you realize if you need something or not.
"Maybe a little bit bigger in the back. But we’ve had Adam Larsson and Henrik Tallinder out of the lineup, and if those two guys are in the lineup, that changes things."
The Devils were linked to Marek Zidlicky earlier in the month, but nothing has come of that yet. He also wouldn't help in the size department. With guys like Hal Gill, Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossman already dealt and Tim Gleason off the market, there might not be a lot of big-bodied rearguards available.
Carolina's Bryan Allen, at 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, might be the best option if GM Jim Rutherford decides to move the pending UFA. Everson notes there could be financial restrictions for the Devils though, and they must forfeit a first-round pick in 2012 or 2013 as penalty for the original contract Ilya Kovalchuk signed that was ruled an attempt to circumvent the salary cap.
OTTAWA: Goaltender Craig Anderson was in the hospital Thursday and could miss significant time because of a cut on his right hand. The Senators said Anderson is out indefinitely, but sources told the Ottawa Sun he'll be out 10 days or more, and possibly up to 6-8 weeks.
The Senators have surged of late and are comfortably in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but losing Anderson for a prolonged period could put their postseason hopes in doubt.
"As the Senators prepare to face the Boston Bruins [on] Saturday at home, [GM Bryan] Murray has to decide whether he’ll go get another goalie as insurance or stick it out with [Alex] Auld and [Robin] Lehner until Anderson is ready to return," writes Bruce Garrioch and Don Brennan of the Sun.