Feb 3, 2012 – Mega Hockey Trade Rumors Update

If Chris Stewart is really back on the trading block, the Avs should try and get him back

Desperate to Deal

Jeff Carter and the Maple Leafs trade rumour of the day

Bolts notes: Yzerman flexible regarding trades

It’s turned ice cold here (in Boston) – Perhaps a couple of new warm bodies would help

If Chris Stewart is really back on the tradling block, the Avs should try and get him back

That said, let me put on my GM hat here and advocate for a trade: the Avs should try and get Chris Stewart back. This is ESPECIALLY true if the RUMORS out of St. Louis are true – that Stewart may be available via trade right now.

Here’s one thing I know about Chris Stewart: he never wanted to leave the Avalanche. He was really sad to go to St. Louis right after the trade. Yes, he performed very well for the Blues the remainder of last season (and, in doing so, played a big role in the Avs getting the 11th pick in last year’s draft, as St. Louis leapfrogged the Avs in the standings).

Here’s my theory on why Stewart played so well after the trade: he was angry at the Avs and wanted to show them up. At least, that was a part of it. He’s a guy who plays well when he’s mad, and he was very mad at getting dealt. Mad, and hurt.

Now, I’m not saying Stewart is pining to come back to Denver. I don’t know that for a fact. But I do know he’s still friends with a bunch guys remaining on the team, and that he even hung out with a couple of them during the all-star break – TJ Galiardi and David Jones.


Desperate to Deal

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger was on the NHL on TSN panel last night to discuss the Maple Leafs trade situation leading up to the deadline. Dreger said that Leafs GM Brian Burke is desperate to make a move and will take a run at Philadelphia Flyers forward James Van Riemsdyk.


Jeff Carter and the Maple Leafs trade rumour of the day

An unhappy Jeff Carter could fit nicely as the No. 1 centre that Brian Burke needs to make snipers Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul even more effective as the team pushes for a playoff spot for the first time in four seasons.

The Internet has been abuzz with rumours about Carter, 27, being targeted by the Leafs. In fact, his name seems to be linked to the Leafs every season.

Then again, Carter also seems to be linked to just about every team looking for a top-line centre.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Carter’s on the trade block just seven months after being acquired from the Flyers to fill their No. 1 centre hole. The Blue Jackets gave up plenty to get Carter, including young forward Jakub Voracek and a first-round pick that turned into promising rookie Sean Couturier and would presumably ask a lot in return.

Carter almost became a Leaf two years ago when it was believed that then GM Cliff Fletcher had the groundwork in place to send defenceman Tomas Kaberle to Philadelphia for him and a first-round pick. But the Leafs blueliner reportedly refused to waive his no-trade clause.

The Star will look at Leafs trade rumours every weekday leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27, and analyze their, ahem, chances of becoming reality. Here’s the book on the Carter proposition.


Bolts notes: Yzerman flexible regarding trades

With the trade deadline coming on Feb. 27, Yzerman is prepared to go whichever way is warranted — buyer or seller.

“The plan changes,” Yzerman said. “We lose seven in a row and things are looking bleak, then we win five in a row. And now we have three more here at home (including Thursday against Winnipeg). If we can get through that, see how many points we get out of it and see what else happens around the league, you get a better indication” of which way to lean.

The Lightning entered Thursday’s game nine points out of a playoff spot, trailing eighth-seeded New Jersey and Southeast Division-leading Florida by the same amount of points. And when it becomes more clear which way Tampa Bay is leaning — as well as many other teams — then casual conversations could turn into deals.

“I think everyone is kind of feeling everyone out right now as far as getting ready for the trade deadline,” Yzerman said, “and teams are trying to decided if they are buyers or sellers and what their needs are.”


It’s turned ice cold here (in Boston) – Perhaps a couple of new warm bodies would help

What these next three-plus weeks could decide is whether Chiarelli wants to pare any of the current roster. And though that’s always possible, it’s not all that likely. He could wheel guys such as Joe Corvo (0-4-4 in his last 18 games) or Benoit Pouliot (last goal Jan. 10), but those are precisely the kind of depth guys that nonplayoff teams yield before the trade deadline.

Maybe one or both would fit better with a different club, benefit from a change of scenery, but that’s not much more than a dart-to-dartboard calculation.

It’s more likely that Chiarelli keeps the group together and tries to add a guy like, say, Jaro Spacek, who had the second assist on Staal’s goal last night. Or maybe he could make a play for ex-Bruin Hal Gill, currently employed by the Good Ship Hab to Nowhere.

As one NHL scout noted last night, “Chara and Gill paired on the same PK unit? Now that’s a scary thought.’’

Pal Hal will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and given his long run here on Causeway Street, his time to adjust to the city would be the length of time it takes to walk from the Garden to Pizzeria Regina.

All that is clear at the moment is the fact that, unless something changes soon, Chiarelli will have to make a move. Last year, just prior to the deadline, he pulled off deals for Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley (now the top-line right wing with Nathan Horton sidelined), and Tomas Kaberle.