According to Barry Melrose of the NHL Network, defenseman Hall Gill and pending UFA forward Travis Moen of the Montreal Canadiens could attract a lot of attention from playoff bound teams looking to add size and veteran playoff experience before the February 27 trade deadline.
Melrose speculates that high-profile players such as pending unrestricted free agents defenseman Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators, forward Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, and forward Tuomo Ruutu may follow his Carolina Hurricanes, will be put on the trade market by their respective teams, so secondary players may become much sought after.
That’s where Gill and Moen come in.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun and Kevin Allen of the USA Today believe that the Canadiens will move Gill by the trade deadline. The 6-7, 240-pound blueliner could draw many suitors due to his hard-nosed style of play and his Stanley Cup ring.
Allen reports that the Chicago Blackhawks are shopping for a blueliner and may look at Gill among others.
Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post Dispatch has the St. Louis Blues being interested. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported earlier this month that the Blues had three scouts at a recent game between the Winnipeg Jets and Canadiens watching a left-side defenseman, thought to be Gill.
According to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, the Boston Bruins may look to add to their blueline. Gill would be one of several options.
According to the Toronto Sun, the Canadiens like what Moen brings to the table but wouldn’t mind moving the former Anaheim Duck because (1) they don’t think they can fit him under the salary cap, and (2) they would like want to give their prospects more playing time.
Like Gill, Moen has won a Stanley Cup and has been a great playoff performer while being a defensively responsible forward and playing a gritty game. As Allen point out, Moen would be much sought after by contending teams.
The Toronto Sun reported recently that there is “growing interest” in Moen, with the San Jose Sharks in hot pursuit.
The report also mentions that before teams trade for Moen, they will want to see how he comes back from an upper-body injury he suffered January 21st. Moen has just resumed light skating and is expected to be out for at least another week.