Battaglia to Ottawa, Irbe's future, and other notes…
The Raleigh News and Observer reports:
With Sami Kapanen gone and Irbe on his way out, more changes could follow before the March 11 trade deadline.
The New York Rangers’ deal for Alexei Kovalev makes it less likely they will be interested in Jan Hlavac, but the Ottawa Senators have been poking around the Canes lately and may be pursuing Bates Battaglia.
While Battaglia has had a miserable season, the Canes are still enamored of his long-term potential and would want a similar caliber player back in any deal.
Defensemen Aaron Ward and Sean Hill could also be made available to a contender for the right price.
Other Canes’ News:
The Canes are really trying to get a deal done for Arturs Irbe. Although he is willing to go to the minors, assistant GM Jason Karmanos said late yesterday: “The fact that he cleared is a pretty good indication there are 29 other teams that don’t want to pick up his contract. Hopefully, somewhere down the line for Arturs’ sake there’s something that can be changed so another team is interested in picking him up.” The Canes are not planning to renig on their previous plans of recalling Patrick DesRochers and sending Irbe to Lowell, but I would look for an Irbe deal to be worked out before the March 11 deadline.
Tom Gidlow (stevemcconnell2003)