With the Olympics just about halfway done, the NHL trade rumor mill will begin to heat up as the trade deadline is quickly approaching.
Just over a week ago, I tweeted that Nashville Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis was being shopped as the Predators, seventh in the Western Conference, are reportedly searching for scoring help up front.
Reliable sources claim that the impending unrestricted free-agent Hamhuis and the Predators were far apart on a new contract and that Preds general manager David Poile was exploring the market for the 27-year-old blueliner. Humhuis has four goals and 12 assists to go with 40 penalty minutes this season.
According to those same sources, trade discussions involving Hamhuis, the 12th overall pick in the 2001 NHL entry draft, have intensified to the point where he may be dealt immediately after the NHL Olympic roster freeze is lifted March 1.
The Bruins, along with the Penguins and Sabres, are very much in the running to acquire Hamhuis. The asking price is apparently a forward that could bring some much-needed scoring to the Nashville offense and a high second-round or late first-round draft pick at the 2010 NHL Draft.
The Bruins, of course, have plenty of picks to offer and while the Toronto first-round pick acquired in the Phil Kessel trade is still off limits, they may be wiling to package their own first or second-round pick. The question is, who would be the roster player the Bruins could part with? And while the B's have made it known that Michael Ryder is on the market, the $4 million remaining on his deal would not attract a Nashville team that is not interested in bringing on salary.
Columbus forward Raffi Torres also continues to be linked to the Bruins and there has been chatter that Boston may have interest in Kings forward Alexander Frolov, another impending unrestricted free agent. However, sources tell NESN.com that the Kings are still hesitant to part with Frolov and any key component on their roster in fear of altering team chemistry on a team that finally has the potential to do some damage in the playoffs.