James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Names in the trade rumor mill: Eric Staal, Dan Hamhuis and more


Loui Eriksson isn’t the only big or interesting name on “trade watch” right now.

In fact, there are enough that it’s probably easiest to rattle them off in one convenient post:

  • Eric Staal is the biggest name – more marketable than Eriksson, you could probably argue – and he may go from the Carolina Hurricanes to one of the NHL’s glitziest teams (which happens to be addicted to these types of moves).

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the Hurricanes and New York Rangers are trying to hash out a trade, and we may very well reach a resolution today:

Update: The Staal-to-Rangers rumors are only intensifying.

  • McKenzie reports that the Minnesota Wild were at least gauging interest in blueliner Jonas Brodin, though that might not be imminent.

  • P.A. Parenteau got hurt this weekend, yet it doesn’t sound like it would keep the Toronto Maple Leafs from moving him:

  • Finally, Radim Vrbata could also be in the mix for a potentially busy Canucks deadline … or not.

Long story short? Don’t just keep an eye on things tomorrow; there could be big moves today, too. You know, unless such swaps don’t work out …

Busy wire day, too: Laich clears, Berra and Rinaldo on waivers


A busy day heading into the twilight of the trade deadline brings about other moves, including a boatload of activity on waivers.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie makes it easy for us all by compiling them all in a handful of tweets.

Waived, according to McKenzieAlex Stalock, Reto Berra, Rene Bourque, Mike Brown, David Warsofsky, Adam Cracknell, Adam Pardy and Zac Rinaldo.

Berra’s an interesting consideration, as he’s shown flashes of brilliance despite arguably being a little pricey when it comes the the assets Colorado spent to acquire and then keep him.

Stalock is noteworthy as he was part of the James Reimer trade, but won’t get an immediate look in Toronto.

Finally, Rinaldo tends to make waves when he plays in the NHL …

Clearing waivers, via McKenzie: Maxime Talbot, Chris Porter and Brooks Laich.

Laich is playing for Washington as of this writing.

WATCH LIVE: Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks on NBC


While the Washington Capitals continue to distance themselves from the rest of the NHL atop the standings, the Chicago Blackhawks dropped the gauntlet close to the trade deadline.

Adding Andrew Ladd to the Blackhawks’ mix brings the defending champion up another level, and that’s scary for the rest of the West.

It also spices up an already intriguing Sunday matchup on NBC, as Capitals vs. Blackhawks could very well be the matchup hockey fans see in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Even if that doesn’t happen, there’s so much talent on both sides that you should tune in either way.


There are also two games on NBCSN today.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins (link here)

Then: Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks (link here)

Flyers re-sign Raffl to reported three-year, $7.05M extension


Trade deadline talk was interrupted, at least briefly, with a wave of bad puns.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed winger Michael Raffl to a three-year contract extension on Sunday, allowing people to make unimaginative raffle jokes.

(OK, some of them were probably pretty solid. Not enough of them are David Bowie related, however.)

The contract totals $7.05 million, which entails a $2.35 million cap hit, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

With this addition, the Flyers have $62.97 million in cap space devoted to 17 players, according to Cap Friendly’s numbers.

Of course, that number could go down if the Flyers, ugh, raffle off a few players during the trade deadline.

Not much progress between Bruins, Eriksson (so stay tuned)


There are plenty of other trade deadline scenarios to follow,* yet the situation between Loui Eriksson and the Boston Bruins is especially captivating.

One obvious reason is that Eriksson ranks among the best players available and may just be the gem of the potential trade targets list as of today.

The other plays into the drama: it seems like this scenario features quite a few twists and turns. The drama may ratchet up a notch on Sunday, too.

TSN’s Darren Dreger painted a dire picture for Bruins fans hoping that Eriksson sticks around:



That’s not to say that every report indicates a lack of any progress:

If you’re hoping that Eriksson will spoil the surprise … well, you’re out of luck.

Of course, sometimes the off-the-ice stuff feels like just as much of a game. With that in mind, there might just be some “momentum shifts” today, so keep your eyes peeled.

* – Two examples: Dan Hamhuis and the Canucks along with Brandon Pirri‘s future in Florida …