LOTS OF SPECULATION AHEAD OF FRIDAY'S TRADE FREEZE


DARREN DREGER

The arrival of Kari Lehtonen in Dallas via trade with Atlanta has re-fuelled speculation that Stars goaltender Marty Turco is on his way out.


However, according to Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk, trade interest in Turco to this point has been minimal.

One reason is that even though Turco becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, his $5.7 million cap hit this season is still a stumbling block.

Carolina’s Ray Whitney remains a prime target for the Los Angeles Kings. The Pittsburgh Penguins have also shown interest but it’s unlikely the Pens will meet the Hurricanes’ asking price of a first-round draft pick and a prospect.

Meanwhile, Canes’ centre Matt Cullen has at least four teams interesting in his services. Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford wants at least a second-round draft pick for Cullen.

The thirteenth-place St. Louis Blues say they are still in the playoff fight, but the Blues have alerted teams to defenceman’s Carlo Colaiacovo’s potential availability. St. Louis will consider interest in any of their soon-to-be unrestricted free agents as well, which also includes forward Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk.

Finally, NHL trade speculation wouldn’t be complete without the Toronto Maple Leafs involved.

Alexei Ponikarovsky continues to draw interest from as many as 10 teams. However, there have been no offers. The Leafs are asking for a second-round draft pick and a prospect or a roster player in return.

Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle remains firm on his desire to stay with the Maple Leafs, so failing a sudden change of heart, he will not be submitting a list of teams he would consider waiving his no-trade clause to join.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=309708


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