For each of Tampa Bay Lightning D Evan Oberg's six recalls earlier in the season, the 22-year-old was brought up mainly as insurance against nagging injuries to other defensemen.
When Oberg was again called up Tuesday, however, it appeared to be a curious move as the Lightning have eight healthy defensemen with the return of D Marc-Andre Bergeron, who had been out since Jan. 13 with a back issue. Oberg's presence gives the Lightning nine defensemen on the roster, creating speculation a trade is on the horizon.
But head coach Guy Boucher and general manager Steve Yzerman — who said trade talk is quiet right now — put a quick end to that.
"There are no trades or anything you would love to hear or speculate on,'' Boucher said. "It's just . . . we don't say everything. There are guys in our lineup that have boo-boos that we're not sure about, so it's just a precaution thing.''
As he went back and forth between the Lightning and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, Oberg garnered plenty of frequent-flier miles but found his way into only one game, logging 1 minute, 21 seconds Jan. 24 against Columbus.
As far as any trade talk, Yzerman said even if he wanted to make a move right now, the market for trades is stagnant fewer than three weeks before the Feb. 27 trade deadline as he weighs whether he will be a buyer or a seller.
ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported recently contact has been made between the team and C Dominic Moore about a possible contract extension. Moore is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Yzerman acknowledged the sides have touched base, but declined to comment further on where things stand. Moore has been a sought-after commodity at the trade deadline in recent seasons, fetching a second-round pick in 2009 and 2010. He was a key contributor to Montreal's run to the conference finals in 2010 as well as last season in the Lightning's march to the third round.
LW Ryan Malone skated with the team Tuesday morning for the first time since sustaining an unspecified upper-body injury against Phoenix on Jan. 21. Malone skated in a yellow (injured) jersey, which means limited contact. Malone said he could be ready to return to the lineup on the upcoming road trip.
Lightning C Steven Stamkos, who leads the league in goals, celebrated his 22nd birthday Tuesday, and his teammates ensured the day did not go unnoticed. Toward the end of the morning skate, Steve Downie and Malone conspired to give Stamkos a shaving cream pie to the face.
Nuts and Bolts
RW Adam Hall (12 games) and Bergeron (nine games) returned from injuries, while D Matt Gilroy, rookie LW Brett Connolly and Oberg were scratched. ... The Kings led after the first period for only the 12th time this season