NHL trade rumors: Blackhawks interested in depth at center; Penguins looking at impact moves?

Jeff Gross

A daily round-up of trade rumors in the NHL (remember, rumors are not reports). Tuesday's edition looks at the Blackhawks' interest at adding depth up the middle, Mike Ribeiro's rising stock and the Penguins' interest in making impact moves.

* Pierre LeBrun is kicking into gear with a look at a few teams who have the potential to make some moves. Given that he is one of the most respected hockey reporters covering the game today, he has direct comment from the teams' general managers.

In talking with Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, LeBrun uncovers that the Blackhawks have already made inquiries to teams about players of interest, via ESPN:

"We've identified players that we think would help us," Bowman told ESPN.com. "I've called to let those teams know: 'This is a player we're interested in, you may not be interested in moving him now or ever, but ...' they take note of it. Nobody I've talked to yet has wanted to talk further about it, they filed it away. So it's a waiting game."

Bowman stated that he is most interested in adding depth at center.

* With that in mind, the Fourth Period identifies Mike Ribeiro as a player who could be sought after prior to the deadline. Especially with Stephen Weiss out for the remainder of the season, Ribeiro might be the perfect candidate as a deadline rental given that he will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

The Fourth Period identifies the Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks as teams potentially interested in adding a top-two center to their roster.

* The Pittsburgh Penguins have been rumored to have interest in adding a top-six forward. However, Rob Rossi states that the team might also have interest in bolstering the blue line, as well.

With Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and two of his top advisors in attendance on Monday night, Rossi states that the Penguins could be interested in Jack Johnson. The addition of Johnson would be in the hopes of improving the power play, adding a defense partner for Kris Letang and/or acquiring a replacement for Letang if he is traded prior to the expiration of his contract in 2014. Simon Despres is believed to be available for trade.

* Rossi also notes the "buzz" around the NHL about the possibility of the Penguins adding a veteran forward like Jarome Iginla.

* The Colorado Avalanche might be interested in trading a veteran defenseman, according to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. 21-year-old defenseman Tyson Barrie's recent play might force the organization to use their depth to make a move, via the Denver Post:

The Avs might be looking to trade a veteran defenseman to be able to keep Barrie and carry seven defensemen. But Sacco said he won't keep eight, including Barrie, and make Barrie a healthy scratch.

* St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong believes the tightness of the standings has slowed trades from happening. With so many teams still in contention, he is under the impression that clubs aren't looking to deal "for the future" yet, meaning they want roster players in return instead of draft picks, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"We haven't gotten to the point now where teams have decided that they're going to build for a future year and are moving experienced players," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "That usually comes closer to the deadline. But in such a short season, it's a compact race and so I don't think anyone is ready to start moving experienced players for the future."

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