A different look on trade rumours- St. Patrick's Day Edition

Hello hockey fans. I sure hope you all had fun last night.

This week: a look at the “most likely” and “least likely” on the trading front heading into Tuesday’s trade deadline at 3:00 pm.
(Sources: Spector’s Rumours, Toronto Star, ESPN.com, HTR, TSN.ca, Canadian Press, The Hockey News)Most Likely to swing a big deal: Colorado Avalanche. At this time of year, you never want to discount Pierre Lacroix. Every year, we seem to write him off on the trade front and there he goes making a huge splash. This year, the pickings (at least for the Avs’ requirements) aren’t of the calibre of Rob Blake, Raymond Bourque or Thereon Fleury, but they’re not that slim either. Expect the Avalanche to make a pitch for Pittsburgh Penguin Darius Kasparitus, and expect them to land him using their abundance of young talent, with maybe Ville Niemenen and possibly Rick Berry (or another young defenceman) going the other way with an assortment of prospects and/or picks. The Avalanche always seem to have the right prospects for the right time, and, with their sensational drafting, they can afford to give up prize youngsters in order to help the team.

Other teams to watch: certainly, one cannot discount the Los Angeles Kings, who recently were mentioned as going after lonely Paul Karyia of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Glen Sather and Bobby Clarke, General Managers of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively, also cannot be discounted, though Sather is showing a little tentativeness since he came to Broadway. Other GMs to watch could be Brian Burke of the Vancouver Canucks and Mike Milbury of the New York Islanders, both of whom like to make a big splash whenever they can.

Least Likely to swing a trade: Detroit Red Wings. Though they’re pursuing Richard Smehlik of the Buffalo Sabres, they really don’t NEED to make any additions. Hopefully they’ll show mercy and not do anything, but when do hockey teams ever show mercy?

Others: Well, you’ve got to mention “Stand Pat” Quinn of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who, before acquiring Tom Barrasso for that really awful offer of a 4th round pick (was Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford asleep or something?), was really reluctant to do ANYTHING to help his team. Before Barrasso, name the last big-name acquired by Toronto THROUGH TRADE. No, Marc Moro doesn’t count. Quinn also quoted in the Toronto Star saying that he might not swing a deal on the deadline. Thanks Pat: your team really needed to hear that, especially with a defence that was so good against the Dallas Stars…. other teams that probably won’t do anything are the Hurricanes (who dealt away their most valuable asset, Barrasso, for absolutely nothing and now don’t have anything to offer), and probably the Nashville Predators, who are probably done trading after dealing away their few veterans in Tom Fitzgerald (to the Chicago Blackhawks) and Cliff Ronning (to Los Angeles), though they’ve still got the Mike Dunham card to play.

Most Likely to Get Traded: D Tom Poti, Edmonton Oilers: his development has hit a snag, Oilers fans are now booing him, and he’s tired of hearing them (wouldn’t PICKING UP YOUR PLAY work for that cause too?). Anyhow, “Pouting Poti” will probably end up out of the Alberta capital by Tuesday, and the (desperate) team that wants him is the Boston Bruins. The B’s apparently covet his offensive skills (?), but their offer isn’t all that clear. According to the Star, Rob Zamuner is available, and, if the price is right, Bill Guerin, though I doubt Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe would want to reacquire Guerin. Zamuner is more likely, but the Oilers might have to throw in a prospect or a pick (or both) with “Pouting Poti” in order to make this trade work.

Least Likely to Get Traded: RW Pavel Bure, Florida Panthers: Fifteen simple words: one dimensional forward whose play has sagged so much that why would anyone want him? Okay, so it’s not simple, but you get the point. Bottom line: Bure’s staying a Panther, and that will do Florida (and pantherboy), on their way to being a good team, well.

Most Confusing Rumour: LW Tony Amonte, Chicago Blackhawks: A few months ago in this space I had boldly predicted that Amonte wasn’t going anywhere. Well, now, according to ESPN.com, Amonte’s not only not going anywhere, but he’s not also going to be re-signed. Huh? He’s reportedly seeking $7-8 million (all figures U.S.) and GM Mike Smith only offered him $5 million and he’s not leaving too much room for an upgrade. Does this mean that Amonte is going? I don’t know. We’ll have to wait until the deadline passes for that.

Anyway, that’s this week’s edition of “A different look on trade rumours”. Feel free to comment on these and other trade rumours.

Next week: a roundup of the trade deadline, the final edition until Draft Day.

Happy (belated) St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at HTR.

-DG

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