February 12, 2010 – Trade Freeze Rumors

St. Louis Blues caught up in trading buzz

Ponikarovsky prepared for trade deadline

Moreau on trade bubble as roster freeze nears

St. Louis Blues caught up in trading buzz


There were no eggshells on the floor of the Blues’ locker room Thursday, nor was the ice especially thin at St. Louis Mills as the team prepared for tonight’s contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scottrade Center.

Still, the situation is undeniable. Shortly after the Blues and Leafs conclude, an NHL trading freeze will go into effect for the Vancouver Olympics. The Blues play Washington on Saturday night at Scottrade before taking a two-week break for the Games. When the Blues return, they play at Phoenix on March 2; the trading deadline expires March 3.

Should personnel change before the freeze, or before the March deadline, tonight or Saturday night could feature the St. Louis swan song for whoever is moving.

“It’s never fun, because sometimes you do think about it,” said Brad Boyes, who has 10 goals thus far in a drop-off season. “But if something happens, what can you do? You can’t do anything about it. …

“If a team isn’t doing well, then sometimes shake-ups happen. We already had a change with our coach. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the history or patterns that happen from year to year.”

And you don’t have to look any farther than the visitor’s quarters at Scottrade tonight. Toronto recently made moves to acquire goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and defenseman Dion Phaneuf, shipping six players elsewhere. With 61 points, the Blues are 12 points better off than the Leafs, but as of Thursday, six points and four teams separated the Blues from a playoff berth in the Western Conference.


Ponikarovsky prepared for trade deadline


Alexei Ponikarovsky is taking his family to Disney World in Florida for the Olympic break, but the Maple Leafs winger knows his life could get a little goofy when the fun is over.

Few NHL observers think Ponikarovsky will be a Leaf after the league trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. ET on March 3.

And Ponikarovsky seems resigned to his fate.

“Yeah, I’m prepared,” Ponikarovsky said. “You are always ready for something to happen. I know that. If management decides to move me, I will respect than and move on.”

The 29-year-old Ukraine native is bound to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but if Leafs general manager Brian Burke wants a high draft pick and a warm body in return for Ponikarovsky, as has been reported, then perhaps a trade won’t happen. But if Burke settles for a second-round pick, Ponikarovsky likely will be gone.

With 19 goals and 22 assists in 60 games, Ponikarovsky would provide solid depth for a team that has playoff hopes.


Moreau on trade bubble as roster freeze nears

Oilers captain one of several players who could be changing teams

By Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal

It’s all quiet on the western front.

No trades. Some talking, although, even with a staggering 18 NHL scouts at the Edmonton Oilers game in Anaheim on Wednesday night, GM Steve Tambellini’s cellphone wasn’t ringing off the hook afterwards in the wake of Ethan Moreau’s best game in weeks.

With the NHL roster freeze today, before the two-week Olympic break, and the trade deadline on March 3, Moreau is still an Oiler; so is Fernando Pisani and defenceman Steve Staios. Ditto for Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan.

Moreau, who had his best game in weeks against the Ducks with his 15th career short-handed goal and a short-handed feed to Ryan Potulny, is still very much in limbo. If the scouts were looking for signs that he can still play, they saw it against Anaheim. Moreau, who is the longest-serving Oilers player, hasn’t heard a thing from Tambellini. But while he still bleeds Oilers blue, he thinks he’s moving. The odds?

“I don’t know … maybe 80-20. Hopefully, they’re realistic in what they’re asking,” said Moreau, who steadfastly doesn’t feel his $2-million contract next season is an impediment to any deal, although NHL teams probably don’t want to pay that if he’s a fourth-liner. A third-liner, yes.

Moreau knows he’s auditioning right now. “You want to win and do well for the Oilers but it (having scouts in attendance) gives you something to play for. It’s human nature; you want to impress whomever is watching,” he said.


2 Responses to February 12, 2010 – Trade Freeze Rumors

  1. dumbassdoorman says:

    WOW….didn't see Barker to Minn…..nice pick up by them.

  2. RoseName says:

    I am very sorry to read about that(( That's a fantastic team. Not long ago I downloaded their game vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ( from http://filecraft.com SE ) Remember the time when I listened to that game on the radio and thought they were finished when they were behind 3 nothing but I was so glad that they came back and won 5-4… Ah, that was brilliant indeed. Wish you good luck, guys, whatever happened)))))

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