Teams will stand pat on defense
While NHL teams hunted for bargains before Wednesday’s noon PST trading deadline, two notable defensemen were pulled off the market.
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said Monday he will keep Scott Niedermayer, captain of the 2007 Stanley Cup championship team, and Kings GM Dean Lombardi said he will keep veteran Sean O’Donnell while trying to re-sign him.
Murray also indicated he might not deal prized defenseman Chris Pronger.
“Teams have interest but there has to be something to it that makes sense to us,” Murray said. “He’s playing very well and he and Scotty and [Ryan] Whitney give us a pretty good start on our defense right now.
“You’d listen to anything, but nothing has been thrown at me that’s exciting.”
Niedermayer, an unrestricted free agent on July 1, could help a Cup contender. Murray’s reason for not moving him is simple.
“It’s the respect factor,” Murray said. “I don’t think he should go play somewhere else if this is his last year.”
Lombardi said re-signing O’Donnell “is our priority.” The 37-year-old has mentored rookie Drew Doughty and brought experience to a young team.
Lombardi also denied reports he will send team goal-scoring leader Alexander Frolov to Pittsburgh for center Jordan Staal. “All those rumors about him being traded are, at this stage, totally false,” Lombardi said. “The last month he’s picked it up and he’s playing like he cares.”
Lombardi said he would check in with 12 teams today and then narrow the field to five. But don’t expect him to snare Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik -- the Wild wants too much -- or Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk, expected to stay put for now.