Hockey Trade Rumors – December 13, 2010

Battered Blues eye Kovalev

Kaberle, Richards rumors

Isles looking for help for Tavares?


Battered Blues eye Kovalev

Alex Kovalev might not be singing the blues about Senators coach Cory Clouston the rest of the season.

While it’s a longshot because of the high risk for any team looking at Kovalev, league sources say there is one team — the banged-up St. Louis Blues — interested in acquiring the disgruntled Senators winger. But the Blues don’t have the cash to make a move right now.

Though he has denied making a trade request to Senators GM Bryan Murray, judging by the 37-year-old winger’s comments Friday about Clouston, it would appear Kovalev wouldn’t mind getting dealt.

“The Blues need forward help … badly,” said a league executive Saturday.

How bad?

The battered and beaten Blues are without injured LW David Perron, C T.J. Oshie, C Andy McDonald and D Roman Polak. But they can’t make a move until their ownership situation is settled.

Sources say there is an investor ready to put more money into the Blues. That won’t happen until Jan. 1 for tax purposes, which means the club can’t afford to take on the remainder of Kovalev’s $5-million (all terms US) salary for now.

Depending on Senators’ on-ice fortunes in the next month, Murray will have to decide whether he’s going to be a buyer or seller at the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

If it’s the latter, Kovalev could be moved for a draft pick.

The situation with Kovalev in Ottawa reached a head last week when he was banished to the fourth line in practice Wednesday. As reported by the Sun, he complained about Clouston in a meeting with Murray.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Ottawa/2010/12/11/16516456.html

Kaberle, Richards rumors

Tomas Kaberle trade rumors resurfaced in cyberspace this week, but the defenseman’s agent told ESPN.com on Saturday that his client had no interest in leaving Toronto at this point.

Any move would have to go through Kaberle and veteran agent Rick Curran because the D-man has a no-trade clause. At this point, it appears Kaberle has no intention of waiving it, which means he could walk away July 1 as an unrestricted free agent and the Leafs wouldn’t receive any compensation.

Kaberle would be a nice fit in Montreal now that Andrei Markov is expected to miss the rest of the season, but again, Curran said forget about it.

Speaking of Markov, I was told Saturday that the Canadiens and Markov’s camp, led by veteran agent Don Meehan, are planning on talking in the New Year to see if there’s a fit contract-wise. Markov is UFA on July 1.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/2463/weekend-wrap-kaberle-richards-rumors-flyers-net-questions-caps-struggles


Isles looking for help for Tavares?

Garth Snow appears ready to do some pre-Christmas shopping before next Sunday’s holiday roster freeze.

Sources say the New York Islanders GM is concerned he’s going to hurt the development of 20-year-old centre John Tavares. The low-spending club is actually looking to add a veteran winger as quickly as possible.

The Isles — who only reached the floor of the salary cap this season thanks to the $4.75-million (all terms US) hit from Alexei Yashin’s 2007 buyout — are the last team you’d expect to be a buyer.

But it’s pretty clear Tavares needs help.

Going into Saturday’s visit by the Atlanta Thrashers, Tavares — the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft — had eight goals (one in his previous eight games) and six assists in 23 games and was a whopping minus-17. The talk is he won’t walk when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, he’ll run.

“(Snow) has to be careful they don’t ruin Tavares with this kind of atmosphere,” said an NHL executive. “They are teaching him how to fail and he’s been put in a bad atmosphere. They’ve got to get some veteran help to take some of the heat off him.”

There aren’t many veteran forwards on the trade market, and the Islanders would like to bring in a top-six player. As reported recently, Tampa’s Simon Gagne is one of the few options available.

RUMOURS DU JOUR

The Rangers are trying to move LW Alex Frolov to just about anybody. They don’t want much in return for Frolov, who was signed as a UFA in the off-season to a $3-million deal. GM Glen Sather is having a hard time finding any takers and Frolov didn’t help matters by complaining to a Russian journalist about his ice time last week. It’s believed the Senators looked at Frolov, but they don’t need any more soft forwards … The Kings weren’t the only team looking at Boston LW Marco Sturm, who was dealt to Los Angeles for future considerations on Saturday. The Thrashers, who want to bulk up after a strong start, were also in the mix … Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke put his self-imposed trade freeze into place last Thursday, 10 days before the actual deadline kicks in. That’s raised a few eyebrows around the NHL because the Leafs are badly in need of change. “Nobody has been more active than Burke working the phones,” said one league executive. At some point, the only solution will be firing coach Ron Wilson … The Devils could be poised to make a move. Keep an eye on RW Jamie Langenbrunner. The Habs and Leafs are both interested.

http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/columnists/bruce_garrioch/2010/12/11/16516961.html