While the fire sale hasn’t started just yet in Columbus, many expect that it is a matter of when not if. Forget Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, though. The overhaul of the Blue Jacket’s roster will start with forward Samuel Pahlsson, according to the SportsNet’s HockeyCentral Trade Tracker panel.
It is widely believed — by NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, and USA Today’s Kevin Allen, among others — that Pahlsson will attract much interest from playoff-bound teams looking for defensive help on their bottom-two forward lines.
Pahlsson’s size, penalty killing and faceoff abilities, as well as his leadership qualities, are a perfect mix for teams looking to add depth to their playoff rosters.
It also doesn’t hurt that he is an impending unrestricted free agent with a reasonable $2.65 million salary, and a Stanley Cup winner with the Anaheim Ducks.
And it could be that Stanley Cup ring he won in Anaheim that may bring him to Toronto, suggests SportsNet’s John Shannon.
According to Shannon, the Maple Leafs have let it be known that they are in the market for a good defensive center with strong faceoff skills. With Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke’s ties to Pahlsson from their Cup-winning days in Anaheim, it is fair to assume that he would at least investigate the possibility of bringing his former player to help his new club capture a playoff spot for the first time since the 2004-2004 season.
The SportsNet panel also indicated that the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks may also present some interest in the Swedish forward.