NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jonathan Bernier, Stephen Weiss and More

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 17:  Stephen Weiss #9 of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck against the New Jersey Devils in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Panthers won 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Normally, the rumor mill would be quiet this early in an NHL season, but the shortened schedule has forced teams to start considering their options a little bit earlier. It should add a little extra excitement for fans around the league in the coming weeks.

So far, there aren't many major names being mentioned as potential trade targets. That said, a couple players that would be solid additions if they did get moved are getting discussed. And things will only continue to pick up.

Let's take a look at some of the latest updates around the league and examine how they would impact the teams involved.


Jonathan Bernier

Jonathan Quick is the unquestioned starting goalie for the Los Angeles Kings after helping carry the team to a championship last season. That means there isn't much playing time available to Bernier, who's made just one appearance since the lockout ended.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have been in the market for a goaltender for quite some time, have talked with the Kings about him. He states the Leafs do face competition if Los Angeles decides to deal, though.

A move to the Maple Leafs, who are currently relying on the lackluster duo of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, would finally give Bernier a chance to prove he's worthy of being a starter. He definitely has the talent, but is stuck in neutral with Los Angeles.


Stephen Weiss

Weiss recently returned to the lineup after recovering from a groin injury, but the talented center is still struggling to produce. He has just two points and no goals in five games. Add in the fact the Florida Panthers are near the bottom of the East, and things get interesting.

Glenn Healy of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada reported that the Weiss was a player that could be on the move before the trade deadline. General manager Dale Tallon responded by saying it wasn't true and the team is trying to re-sign him, according to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel.

The 2001 first-round pick is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, so it will be interesting to see if Tallon's tone changes as the deadline gets closer. Teams would undoubtedly be intrigued if Weiss were made available.


Mark Streit

There are multiple reasons contenders around the NHL will keep tabs on Streit. He's a reliable veteran defenseman with the ability to move the pick. He's also a free agent at season's end, which eliminates the long-term risk of adding him for the stretch run.

The aforementioned Garrioch states the 35-year-old blueliner will likely get dealt before the deadline for a draft pick. The New York Islanders will be looking to get something in return instead of letting him walk to free agency.

It might take some time for the market develop as teams figure out whether they should make a serious push for the Cup. There should be no shortage of suitors by closer to the deadline, though. A versatile defenseman is basically a universal need.