Hockey Trade Rumors and News – Feb 11, 2011

Flames’ hot streak cools off trade talk

Phillips stays mum on future

Versteeg has ‘uneasy’ feeling about rumoursFlames’ hot streak cools off trade talk

The Anaheim Ducks landed Francois Beauchemin.

The Nashville Predators secured Mike Fisher.

The only move that captivates the Calgary Flames? The one up the Western Conference charts.

“From our point of view, we just keep going,” said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, whose team has bulled its way through the past 21 dates, going 14-3-4 and muscling into playoff contention. “We don’t change our focus. There’s a lot of spots that we’ll all be fighting for. We’ll just be concerned with winning our games.

“We’ve got a good team in here. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.”

A lovely byproduct of the Flames’ recent spree – at least for the players – is the hushing up of gossip.

That, at least temporarily, has been reduced to a dull roar.

“It’s nice to not have to hear as many (rumours),” said Iginla. “Literally, I think everybody’s name was in one at one time or another this year, so that’s been a pretty nice change.”

However, not all of it was mere scuttlebutt.

Here’s Chicago Blackhawks exec Scotty Bowman talking to Sportsnet Radio/FAN 590: “A couple weeks ago, we were looking at Calgary. We were maybe going to move some players. There was talk they might move a (Curtis) Glencross or (David) Moss. But I doubt now with them solidifying a playoff spot . . . .”

Coach Brent Sutter is proud of the way his team has been able to help itself – with Lance Bouma being called up from AHL Abbotsford and providing no-fuss fourth-line minutes, with Brendan Mikkelson stepping in for the injured Adam Pardy, with Niklas Hagman returning to the lineup in place of the injured Alex Tanguay.

Phillips stays mum on future

Chris Phillips wants to stay with the Senators.

Nobody is sure if that’s going to be the case.

The Senators defenceman has been asked by GM Bryan Murray what he wants the organization to do, but he hasn’t given an indication he’d like to leave.

Armed with a no-movement clause, Phillips does hold all the cards.

“I have talked to (Phillips) about what he would like to have happen for him, but Chris has not come back to me,” said Murray. “The door is open, ‘Come in and tell me what you want me to do and what you would like to do.’

“I think he wants to stay in Ottawa. I’m not quite sure how that will work.”

Versteeg has ‘uneasy’ feeling about rumours

Kris Versteeg is still not old enough to rent a luxury car from one of the major rental companies in the United States, but whenever he hears his name mentioned in trade speculation, he feels older than the average 24-year-old.

The Toronto Maple Leafs forward, who is midway through his third full National Hockey League season, has been tied to rumours for weeks. And those rumours show no signs of slowing since Leafs general manager Brian Burke effectively promised to make more moves before the league’s trade deadline arrives Feb. 28.

“When they talk, it’s almost like it’s, ‘30 years old, and he’s done it all,’” Versteeg said with a smile Thursday. “And I haven’t done anything yet, I feel. It’s kind of funny.”

Versteeg won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last year, before being sent to Toronto as part of Chicago’s off-season salary purge. He had collected 35 points in 51 games with the Leafs heading into Thursday night’s home game against New Jersey.

Toronto made its first big move Wednesday, acquiring forward Joffrey Lupul as part of a three-player deal with the Anaheim Ducks. And in announcing that move, Burke told reporters: “You can expect more moves. We’re not done.”

With that, Versteeg became a popular dressing room attraction Thursday morning.

“It’s uneasy, you know? It’s hard to put that in the back of your mind and go out and play and try to be a factor every night,” he said. “It comes with the territory, where you have to kind of put it behind and just play, and not really worry. But it does definitely get on guys’ minds when it’s said in the media.”

The Boston Bruins are among the teams speaking with the Leafs, with general manager Peter Chiarelli confirming as much to The Boston Globe on Wednesday. He said he was “looking to deal,” and said he was willing to part with the first-round draft pick he landed as part of the deal that sent forward Phil Kessel to Toronto two years ago.

“I’ve had an offer for it, and I’m willing to deal it,’’ he told the paper. “We continue to talk with the club that offered it. But needless to say, we’d have to get an elite talent back for it.’’

Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle, who has a no-trade clause, was also mentioned in the article as a person of interest for the Bruins. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Boston has targeted him before.

There are any number of teams that would covet a smart, puck-moving defenceman such as Kaberle, just as there are markets for an offensive sparkplug with a Stanley Cup ring and another year left on an affordable contract. Versteeg makes US$3.083-million a season.

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2 Responses to Hockey Trade Rumors and News – Feb 11, 2011

  1. canucks4thecup says:

    What about a deal like this:  Kaberle and Versteeg for Wheeler, 1st round pick (torontos original) and another roster player or prospect

  2. wayne2 says:

    To me that sounds fair as long as the player/prospect is more of a utility type player.

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