Hockey Trade Rumors – Feb 24

Stars’ asking price to Rangers for Richards is laughable

Rivet waived after trade effort fails

NHL should be terrified of threat to Crosby

Caps interested in Kovalev?

Phillips weighs options ahead of NHL trade deadline
Stars’ asking price to Rangers for Richards is laughable

That Joe Nieuwendyk, GM of the Stars, who knew he had such a sense of humor?

The Post has learned Nieuwendyk told Rangers GM Glen Sather on Tuesday that it would cost the Blueshirts three young studs off the roster, believed to be Marc Staal, Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan, for the privilege of renting Brad Richards.

Never mind that Richards, who has a no-move clause in his contract, has not yet been asked for a list of clubs for which he would be willing to waive it, according to agent Pat Morris in a phone conversation yesterday with The Post.

Never mind that Richards, the elite center the Blueshirts so desperately need and covet, is still suffering post-concussion symptoms from a Feb. 13 Sammy Pahlsson hit that will prevent him from returning before Monday’s trade deadline, though reports are that the impending free agent is having good days.

Three studs — three players who have essentially been quarantined by Sather — that’s the price at which Nieuwendyk started the conversation regarding a lease agreement.

Maybe the Dallas GM believes that Garden CEO Jim Dolan will intervene and invite Isiah Thomas into the conversation.

But seriously, folks: The Rangers, who have no further information to share on Marian Gaborik, their own concussed star, are extremely interested in acquiring Richards, but ideally not as a rental.

Before striking a deal, the Blueshirts, who face the Capitals tomorrow night, would want permission to speak to Morris about a contract extension for the 30-year-old center who won the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy playing for John Tortorella’s Stanley Cup-winning Lightning, and who has maintained an outstanding relationship with the coach.

It is unknown whether the Stars, whose clouded ownership situation has prevented them from even making Richards an offer on an extension and who may not be in position to do so before July 1, would grant that permission.

Richards could direct Dallas to deal only with the Rangers by informing Nieuwendyk, who said yesterday on NHL Live that he has talked to six clubs about Richards’ availability. That admission he would not waive his no-move to go to any other team is believed to have annoyed the low-key center.

Rivet waived after trade effort fails

Craig Rivet’s career with the Buffalo Sabres might be over after the team placed its captain for the last three seasons on waivers Wednesday afternoon.

Rivet, 36, sat out his 17th straight game Wednesday night as a healthy scratch and will be on waivers until noon today for any other NHL team to claim. He is owed about $865,000 for the rest of the season from his original $3.5 million salary.

If Rivet clears waivers, the Sabres can simply put him back on their roster (like they did last season with Adam Mair) or assign him to Portland. General Manager Darcy Regier said Rivet requested a trade and the Sabres were unable to work one.

“It’s nothing more than giving him an opportunity to play,” Regier said just prior to the 4-1 win over Atlanta. “I spoke with his agent [Pat Morris] [Tuesday] morning and he had expressed a trade [request]. We tried to move him with a trade and unfortunately weren’t able to. This is the next step in helping him resume his career.

“The agent and I had a conversation. The only way we would give him an opportunity to play, and it doesn’t look likely here, is to put him on waivers.”

The move was announced about 90 minutes after the Sabres’ morning skate was concluded and the players had left the building. Rivet played just 23 games this season, with one goal, two assists and a minus-5 rating. He has not been in the lineup since Jan. 11.

“We wish him the best if something does happen,” winger Jason Pominville said after the game. “Everybody would be excited for him to have an opportunity to play.”

NHL should be terrified of threat to Crosby

It has been eight weeks now. Eight weeks since Victor Hedman smashed Sidney Crosby’s head into the glass in Pittsburgh, which was four days after David Steckel ran his shoulder into Crosby’s temple in the Winter Classic at Heinz Field. Which means that it has been eight weeks since Sidney Crosby played an NHL game.

And that should make anybody who cares about hockey nauseous. It should give them a headache. It should cause sleepless nights. In other words, it should make them feel like they have suffered a concussion.

It’s not that Sidney Crosby, as a person, is more important than Marc Savard or David Perron or Matthew Lombardi or Peter Mueller, all of whom have missed most or all of the NHL season with post-concussion symptoms. It’s not that his symptoms are necessarily worse. There were 33 concussions reported in the NHL through Dec. 1. There are a lot of guys sitting in dark and quiet rooms, these days.

But Crosby is different, because he is Sidney Crosby. He is the best player in the world; he is one of the two players in the league who actually have the ability to transcend the league. And since Alexander Ovechkin has spent the season being a more physical Brad Richards — another guy who has the curtains drawn, at the moment — Crosby was, until early January, standing alone.

And then came Steckel and Hedman, neither of whom were fined or suspended for making contact with Crosby’s head from behind. And as the days stretch out, you start to wonder and worry about what comes next.

The precise severity of Crosby’s concussion has not been made public. The Penguins have said he needs to go symptom-free for 10 days before being cleared, and that has apparently not happened. On Jan. 24 he told reporters in Pittsburgh, “People say mild concussion, but I don’t know that there really is such thing. The good thing is the past four to five days have been pretty good, but that’s not to say symptoms won’t come back.”

Caps interested in Kovalev?

#Capitals expressing preliminary interest in #Senators winger Alexei Kovalev, sources say

Phillips weighs options ahead of NHL trade deadline

Phillips has heard his name in trade talks at various points throughout his career, but he says the biggest difference this time around is that he owns the clause, in control of dictating whether he stays or goes.

“Now, being more involved with having to make decisions that effect the outcome is the biggest difference,” he said. “Ultimately, I am (in control), when it comes right down to it, but it has been pretty open communication with Bryan. It’s not like we’re having a standoff and see who blinks first. We’re talking about it. Between us and them, it is a collective decision, but I guess I have the final say.”

Phillips acknowledges it has been a difficult few weeks as he weighs all the p
ossible end games.

“There are a lot of things involved. You go home and talk to your family about different options and scenarios.”

The defenceman also said that even if he doesn’t get a contract extension before Monday, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be traded.