Rumblings: Deal for Chris Stewart could wait until the deadline

Would playing for his next contract on a contending team motive Chris Stewart to improve his play? Bill Wippert/NHLI/Getty Images

Chris Stewart still hasn’t been dealt even though he’s been on the trade block since before the puck dropped on this season.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray will be proved either right or wrong in deciding to not accept the offers he had back in the fall, including one from the Boston Bruins. Murray is sticking to his price demand, which is believed to be a second-round pick plus a prospect in exchange for the pending unrestricted free-agent power winger.

My guess is that Murray has a better chance of being proved right.

A source said Wednesday that nothing is imminent on the Stewart trade front, which suggests to me that the obvious play at this point is to drag this out right to the deadline and see if teams blink before 3 p.m. ET on March 2.

Say what you want about Stewart, who has struggled for large chunks of this season, but he’s played better over the past month. You have to believe that once he's on a contender, he’ll be a motivated player with a future contract on the line. He could be a difference-maker.

I have to believe that the struggling Bruins will circle back to Buffalo at some point on Stewart, but they won’t be alone.