Hockey Trade Rumors – Feb 25, 2011

Flyers have inquired about Adam Foote

Hawks still seek penalty-killing defensemen

Flyers Notes: Defensive depth may be Flyers trade deadline goal

Maple Leafs GM faces tough days ahead

Latest rumblings: Bryan McCabe

Blue Jackets seek help as trade deadline nears

Flyers have inquired about Adam Foote

The Flyers search for a depth defender includes Colorado.

According to two sources – one an agent that represents multiple big-name players, and the other is a league executive – Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has made inquiries with Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman about captain Adam Foote.

Foote, 39, has had injury questions himself this season – and over the last few seasons – but has the leadership, experience and skill to be a decent fit with the Flyers.

Foote has not played in the last 3 weeks with a quadriceps injury, according to the Denver Post, but returned to practice Thursday for the first time.

The interesting thing is that Foote, set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, would likely come at the right price from the Avalanche, who are all but out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

If Alexei Kovalev’s deal to Pittsburgh on Thursday for a conditional 7th round pick told us anything, Foote may also require a conditional late-round pick.

Foote is owed $241,935 for the rest of this season, a prorated number of $1 million that decreases every day. According to one of the sources, Foote’s $250,000 bonus – which would also count against the cap – is playoff performance-based.

With Nik Zherdev clearing waivers earlier in the day, removing his $2 million salary cap hit if the Flyers choose to assign him to AHL Adirondack, and Oskars Bartulis ($650,000) likely to head to the long-term injured list, the Flyers are not sold on Foote. But he may be the No. 7 guy, at a cheap price, that the Flyers could bring in as an insurance policy.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/Flyers_have_inquired_about_Adam_Foote.html

Hawks still seek penalty-killing defensemen

Joel Quenneville likes the make-up of the Blackhawks in their current form, but the coach wouldn’t mind if general manager Stan Bowman brought in some help.

Thus far, Bowman hasn’t been able to land the defenseman he said he is seeking before the Feb. 28 trade deadline. He wants a veteran blueliner who can kill penalties to alleviate some of the minutes Duncan Keith and others are piling up while the Hawks are at a disadvantage.

“We’re looking at some things you can do and want to do and sometimes you’re a little bit restricted (by the salary cap),” Quenneville said before Thursday night’s game with the Predators. “If we can get better it would be great.”

On the move: Tomas Kopecky has been moved up and down and left and right in recent games, shifting from center to wing and from the second line to the fourth. Including Thursday, he has skated on the fourth line at wing with Viktor Stalberg and center Ryan Johnson.

“You have to find a role,” said Kopecky, who scored his career-high 11th goal of the season during the first period against the Predators. “I have to adjust. I have no problem with that — I’ve done it before. You just have to bring your ‘A’ game and compete for 60 minutes.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-spt-0225-bits-blackhawks-predators20110224,0,3830693.story

Flyers Notes: Defensive depth may be Flyers trade deadline goal

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren continues to work the phones, trying to improve the team – perhaps adding a depth defenseman – before Monday’s trade deadline.

“I think our guys have done a good job; it’s been fairly consistent for us,” Laviolette said before Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders. “I think everybody’s comfortable with our team, the way we play, and the depth.”

Entering Thursday, the Flyers led the NHL with 39 wins and were atop the Eastern Conference.

“Adding Kris [Versteeg] was a really nice complement to our team,” Laviolette said about the winger acquired from Toronto last week. “It gives us more depth and balance up front. I like our guys.”

So does Peter Luukko, president of the Flyers parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.

“If nothing happened,” he said of a deadline deal, “we’d be just fine.”

Holmgren said he would “explore” adding a defenseman, but hinted he thought the Flyers had enough organizational depth if they needed to add another blue liner.

With Oskars Bartulis sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks, the Flyers may pursue a veteran defenseman such as Buffalo’s Craig Rivet, 36, who cleared waivers Thursday, or Colorado’s Adam Foote, 39.

Rivet, Buffalo’s captain for the last three years, is expected to be placed on reentry waivers Friday, at which point a team could claim him for about $420,000, which is half his salary. Buffalo would pay the other half.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20110225_Flyers_Notes___Defensive_depth_may_be_Flyers_trade_deadline_goal.html


Maple Leafs GM faces tough days ahead

Maple Leafs assistant GM Dave Nonis walked into the Maple Leafs dressing room after the morning skate at the Bell Centre just as reporters covering the team were asked to leave.

Was he going inside to tap someone on the shoulder? Tell him he had news?

No. Nonis just grabbed a piece of gum and went on his way.

It’s the final days leading up to the trade deadline and things are getting a little crazy with speculation.

This is the last chance during the season for a rebuilding team like the Maple Leafs to make significant changes to its roster as it looks to the future. And these are the last days for teams in the playoff race to add a missing piece or two.

These can be exciting times for fans, but they are tense times for players.

“It’s not nice to see guys go. They’re your teammates,” said Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. “Trades are not fun. We’re players, we play. Everything else is in the hands of management.”

Here are some of the big decisions GM Brian Burke will have to make by 3 p.m. Monday.

Burke quite accurately predicted that once he traded Tomas Kaberle he’d have to go and find a puck-moving defenceman to replace him. Carl Gunnarsson and Brett Lebda are getting auditions, but many believe the Leafs have their eyes on Colorado D-man John-Michael Liles.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/mapleleafs/article/944562–maple-leafs-gm-faces-tough-days-ahead

Latest rumblings: Bryan McCabe

Now that the Florida Panthers shipped veteran winger Cory Stillman to the Carolina Hurricanes, will Bryan McCabe be next?

The veteran defenseman, one of the bigger rental names left on the market, has a no-movement clause and was still pondering his future Thursday.

“There’s lots of things for him to consider, including staying in Florida and completing the season there and then deciding what their next steps are [in the summer],” McCabe’s agent, Ian Pulver, told ESPN.com on Thursday. “Or he can waive [the clause] to a team where he feels comfortable to finish the season off and possibly laying down roots in the future. So right
now that’s what he’s considering.”
NHL Trade Tracker

NHL Want to keep up with every deal? Our NHL Trade Tracker has who went where, updated as the deals happen through the 3 p.m. ET Feb. 28 trade deadline. Trade Tracker

McCabe is earning $4.15 million this season, but the cap hit this year is $5.75 million. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The New York Rangers are still believed to be the front-runners if the price is right and McCabe wants to waive.

Another Panthers UFA-to-be who could be on the move is goalie Tomas Vokoun, who also has a no-trade clause.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/4986/latest-rumblings-bryan-mccabe-craig-rivet-more

Blue Jackets seek help as trade deadline nears

When the NHL trade deadline began to appear on the horizon about a month ago, the Blue Jackets seemed headed toward a painful last day in February. As they tumbled farther out of the playoff picture, NHL general managers were circling Nationwide Arena like vultures, hoping to “help” Columbus with its rebuilding project.

But so much has changed since then.

The Blue Jackets’ about-face since mid-January – they are 10-3-3 heading into a game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes – has been remarkable. Now the Jackets are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, and general manager Scott Howson heads into the deadline as an unabashed buyer.

“Our team has put itself in position to challenge for a playoff spot,” Howson said yesterday. “We want to try and help if we can; we want to try to add to the team.”

As of 3 p.m. today, Howson has 72 hours to make moves that could define his tenure with the Blue Jackets, as well as determine the club’s fate this season and in the years to come. The Blue Jackets’ most obvious needs haven’t changed in their decade on the ice – a playmaking center and a defenseman with skills to run a power play.

“There’s no first order,” Howson said. “We’re just trying to get better, and that could occur in many different ways.

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2011/02/25/blue-jackets-seek-help-as-trade-deadline-nears.html


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