The Toronto Maple Leafs are buyers.
The deal hasn’t been finalized yet, so no word on a return for the Bolts.
Boyle, 32, is a pending unrestricted free agent. Given the Lightning are fairly well back of a playoff spot and have a number of young pending RFAs — including Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Jonathan Drouin — it makes sense for GM Steve Yzerman to trade Boyle now, a la Ben Bishop.
Boyle has 13 goals and nine assists in 54 games this season. He also has a ton of experience, having appeared in 100 postseason games for the Rangers and Lightning.
The Leafs are not assured of a playoff spot quite yet. Barely clinging to the second wild-card spot in the East, they kick off a three-game California trip tomorrow in San Jose.
Another Canadian team, the Edmonton Oilers, was also reportedly interested in Boyle.
Chuck Fletcher and John Chayka might want to consider a friends and family phone plan.
For the second time in as many days, the Minnesota and Arizona GMs have combined on a trade, as the Coyotes have acquired winger Teemu Pulkkinen from the Wild in exchange for future considerations.
Yesterday, in a much more significant deal, the Wild acquired forwards Ryan White and Martin Hanzal in exchange for a package of draft picks.
Pulkkinen, 25, has been a terrific scorer at the AHL level, but hasn’t seen that form carry over to the NHL. Detroit, the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, waived him just prior to the start of this season. He was claimed by the Wild, but only appeared in nine games before getting waived again, and then spent most of the year in Iowa.
True to form, Pulkkinen played very well in the American League, and made this year’s All-Star team.
With the Coyotes, Pulkkinen will get another look at the NHL level, as he’ll join the team in Boston rather than report to their AHL affiliate in Tucson. Chayka has tried to find similar reclamation projects this year — Peter Holland, Alex Burmistrov — and the Coyotes could end up needing bodies should they continue to sell off veterans.
If the St. Louis Blues can’t turn Kevin Shattenkirk into something significant, don’t expect a warm reception whenever he returns to Scottrade Center as a member of a different team.
The 28-year-old defenseman is a pending unrestricted free agent who’s not expected to re-sign with the Blues. He may be traded prior to Wednesday’s deadline. If not, he’ll likely walk away for nothing this offseason.
Given the above, Shattenkirk understands why many Blues fans were upset that he nixed a trade with Tampa Bay by turning down the Bolts’ contract offer.
That being said, this is a big decision for the high-scoring d-man. He’s in line for a huge payday, and he wants to make the right call for the sake of his future.
“It’s not trying to hold things up or hold anything back from these guys,” Shattenirk told the Post-Dispatch, “but that’s where the tough part of this decision comes, doing what’s best for yourself and what could be your only chance with this opportunity in your entire career.”
Earlier this month, after Ken Hitchcock was fired as head coach, GM Doug Armstrong said he felt the Blues had turned into a group of “independent contractors.”
“One of the things I’ve learned about being around St. Louis is the Cardinals,” Armstrong said. “They don’t have independent contractors. When they do, they get rid of them.”
It’s hard now not to see a relation between that comment and Shattenkirk’s situation, given the nixing of the trade with the Lightning apparently came a couple of weeks before Armstrong made the remark.
The writing’s on the wall for Kyle Quincey.
Quincey, the veteran defenseman on a one-year deal in New Jersey, will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against Montreal.
As is often the case for healthy scratches around the trade deadline, many are assuming this is a safety precaution and precursor to a move. You can count Quincey among those thinking it.
“It’s not done yet, that’s kind of where we’re at right now,” said Quincey, per NorthJersey.com. “Whatever happens, it’s out of my control. I’ve been through it. It’s another day.
“I’ve had a great year with these guys. It’s not over yet but, if it is, I’m very thankful for the opportunity with the boys here.”
Quincey, 31, carries a modest $1.25 million cap hit — that comes off the books this summer — and has been good value for the Devils this year. He’s scored four goals and 12 points through 53 contests, averaging 18:38 TOI per night, and is an ideal defensive depth addition for playoff-bound clubs.
What’s more, Quincey’s appeared in 54 career postseason contests.
Among the teams rumored to be looking at defensive help? Edmonton, and it’s worth noting that head coach Todd McLellan was an assistant in Detroit when Quincey broke in during the 2005-06 campaign, and the pair spent three seasons together.
What’s more, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has a history from his Boston days of adding depth d-men at the deadline — Andrej Meszaros in ’14, Wade Redden in ’13, Greg Zanon/Mike Mottau in ’12 and Tomas Kaberle in ’11 — and McLellan did say the club could use another body on the blueline.