Liles and Brian Bickell Rumors

With the Toronto Maple Leafs scratching John-Michael Liles, it’s clear they’re trying to shop him. The arrival of Mike Kostka from their AHL farm team, makes Liles redundant. Question is why he was signed to that four-year, $15.5-million contract last. His $3.8-million salary-cap hit makes a trade tough, but teams can work deals now to pick up a percentage of salary.

  • – Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen is wearing a walking boot to the rink because he’s got planter fasciitis, but apparently it doesn’t hurt when his foot is in a skate.
  • – Has there been a hotter player in the last month than Jake Voracek, who plays on the Flyers’ first power-play unit and has 15 points in his last eight games? “One of the strongest power forwards in the NHL right now,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. Voracek is getting the ice time Jaromir Jagr took last year.
  • – The Oilers and other NHL clubs may have some interest in Chicago Blackhawks big-body UFA winger Brian Bickell this summer, but he should come with a buyer-beware tag. “He’s one of those guys who leaves you wanting more. He can really shoot, but from where I sit, I don’t think he’s got a lot of skill,” said an Eastern-based pro scout.
  • – The Detroit Red Wings have to decide this summer whether to re-up former Oilers winger Daniel Cleary, whose body has started to betray him the last few years with a string of injuries. Cleary, 34, always plays hard, but they probably won’t pay him $2.8 million any longer. Maybe the same two-year deal Todd Bertuzzi got ($3.85 million).