Grahame To Make Another Trip?

(From Bob McKenzie,

As if there weren’t enough Kyle McLaren trade speculation already, the Boston Bruins’ trading today of netminder John Grahame to Tampa Bay for a draft pick will fuel even more rumours that the B’s are on the verge of another big move.

Great article, you should all take a look at it…

Of course, it’s worth noting that all trade rumours these days should be taken with a grain of salt because trades don’t happen easily or often. And if McLaren had been traded every time some media outlet figuring they had the scoop said he was traded, he would have played for more NHL teams by now than Michel Petit.

That said, it’s difficult to ignore the whispers on the grapevine and the most interesting of those are now emanating out of Tampa Bay.

It seems that when the Lightning acquired Grahame today, the rank-and-file players were a little unsettled, to say the least. Nikolai Khabibulin’s backup Kevin Hodson is, by all accounts, extremely popular with his mates and the players didn’t understand why management was making the move for Grahame at the expense of Hodson.

The story goes, for what it’s worth, that when certain Lightning players broached the subject of their discontent with management, they were told not to get too agitated because more things would soon be happening and it would all become apparent what the Grahame deal is all about.

Well, that’s all that’s required for NHL players to begin doing what the media does — recklessly speculating on who’s coming and going.

The first tip-off that these whispers coming out of Tampa might be bogus is that it all hinges on a three-way trade, which is as rare as a John Rigas sighting in the HSBC Arena.

The supposed teams involved are Boston, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders. This isn’t a new flight of fancy, by the way, but it’s one that will pick up steam now that the B’s and Bolts made today’s transaction.

By the time all is said and done, according this highly-speculative scenario, the Lightning will end up trading some combination of Grahame, Pavel Kubina and/or Freddy Modin to the Islanders for some package that includes defenceman Roman Hamrlik as its centerpiece.

The Isles, meanwhile, would then trade netminder Chris Osgood and who knows what else to the Bruins in exchange for McLaren. The Isles would then install some combination of Grahame, Garth Snow and Rick DiPietro as their goaltenders.

Personally, I’d likely keel over if this actually unfolded. But it’s what a number of NHL players are talking about today. If they’re talking about it, and they are, then we should be at least be talking about them talking about it.

Now, would I go on television and report it as a possibility? No, because to do that you better be reasonably confident it has a chance of happening. There’s nothing more embarrassing in this business than reporting news that doesn’t happen.

It can be a little bit of an occupational hazard. If you’re going to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs. But if, in the interest of becoming a renowned chef, your kitchen looks like a bomb went off, well, then no one is going to take you seriously.

Sooner or later, McLaren is going to be traded. If it’s to the Islanders, it should suprise no one.

A week ago, it looked like McLaren was going to Long Island in exchange for Brad Isbister and Raffi Torres, but the Islanders apparently decided that was a little rich for their blood.

On Friday, there were reports the Isles and Bruins had completed a deal: McLaren for Isbister and a draft pick, conditional only on McLaren signing a new contract with the Islanders. Twenty-four hours later, the reports were the opposite. That is, the two teams never fully agreed on a deal and the contract wasn’t even a factor, at that point.

Today, we have a little disgruntlement in Tampa Bay, which sparks some chit chat about a three-way blockbuster.

Could happen, I guess. Probably won’t. But something with McLaren is likely to happen sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we’re left with the rumours, which should not be confused with facts.