(2) The Lightning apparently have their owner's permission to spend at the deadline, though realistically, they will have to move out some salary to add anything significant.
Vinny is NOT going to move, get that out of your mind in this Cap-restricted NHL, at least not at a time when the Bolts are struggling for a play-off appearance and buyers would have to dismantle their own teams to afford him. Prior to the Olympics, Ryan Malone was rumored to be available ( the thinking being that his salary was a little high for a guy who relies on top linemates to be effective, yet his numbers would likely attract a significant return). The Olympics and great showing by Team USA have only added to the lustre of Malone, and a team intent on filling seats, may want to keep him around to cash in on the good feelings of an Olympic american medalist in their line-up.
Teams like Boston or Rangers or Ottawa or Carolina or Toronto or Calgary or St. Louis may still be in the market for that sort of player. Depending on what sort of return the Bolts would take, there could be a significant deal there. My money would go to BOS, TOR, NYR, CGY, STL, in that order as the most likely buyer with Boston and the Rangers likely being most desperate and the best fit.
The Bolts also are likely to look at moving Andrej Meszaros for a cheaper option. They see their other d-men as able to carry the mail, providing they can land some good smart support guys or a real team leader from the blue-line. If other moves can be made, they may make room for the return of Pavel Kubina, as many still remember the way he excelled when the Bolts had fire.
Moving picks may be easier here than other teams, as the time is running out to prove to their fans that they are still a force in the league.
Next up: Bruins
(1) Carolina - With the recent show of great team chemistry and the close proximity to the last play-off spot, combined with the trouble in getting Ray Whitney to waive his NTC for a team who won't offer a major multi-year extension - it is becoming less likely that Whitney may be moved. In fact, Jimmy Rutherford might just pull off a major acquisition if the price is right. The team has moved out of top lottery pick range and really hasn't done much with the draft in recent years - choosing to try and ice a quality team to keeps arses in the seats. If they can find a quality winger and a spark-plug, they may just jump all over it. My understanding is that they have good cap space, so you may see a shocker here if they think they could pull a first round upset. Maybe Nathan Horton? Tough trade for a division rival...but certainly a similar style of player.