Morning Morning Rumors – March 1, 2010

Trade deadline looms for Canes

Rangers hope banged-up Gaborik will play on

Penguins Notebook: Shero is not seeking an enforcer

Trade deadline looms for Canes


The Winter Olympics are over. For NHL general managers, that means another Olympian task begins.

In the next three days, teams will scurry to make trades and look to solidify lineups.

The NHL trade deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m., but the break for the Vancouver Games – and the NHL trade freeze during the past two weeks — will make the next few days extra intense.

“It will be an interesting time,” Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Sunday.

Rutherford said he had received calls from 10 teams in the past four days – team officials were allowed to inquire about potential deals during the Games.

Veteran winger Ray Whitney has drawn the most interest, but Rutherford said he has been surprised when other Canes players were brought into the mix.

“I am getting inquiries on more players than I expected,” Rutherford said. “That doesn’t mean more players will be traded, but it’s more inquiries than I anticipated.”

Though Rutherford won’t name names, trade speculation has Whitney being pursued by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings or Buffalo Sabres, among others. As many as seven teams may be after a player who has experience, has a penchant for making big plays and won a Stanley Cup ring with the Canes in 2006.

But Whitney also has a no-trade clause in his contract. He must approve of any deal.

“He holds his own cards,” Rutherford said. “At one point we had a deal made, but he decided not to go.”

Rutherford did not say which team had agreed to a trade, but it is believed to have been the Kings.

Coyotes general manager Don Maloney: Team won’t give away talent

Jim Gintonio

The big news on the Coyotes
front is that they are on the verge of their first playoff spot in eight years. But there is old news that remains relevant: General Manager Don Maloney will not sacrifice what he considers top assets to bring in a player who might be gone at season’s end.

The NHL’s freeze on trades during the Olympics ended at midnight Sunday, and the window remains open until 1 p.m. (Arizona time) Wednesday.

Money is not the issue for Maloney; it’s his belief that success is built and then ensured through a solid foundation. Any deal he makes would fit that parameter.

“I still believe we are growing this franchise,” he said. “We expect to win. We’re a playoff team, and we think when we get there we have a chance to win, so that’s why we’re looking (for) help, but . . . the price right now on some of these players, that’s the challenge.

“This isn’t a money decision for us right now. We’ve been able to save enough in our budget to give ourselves room for paying the next six weeks. This is more of the asset price that we have to give up to acquire, and a second-round pick and prospect for a guy for six weeks, that doesn’t cut it for me at all.

“That’s where maybe somebody else is wiling to pay, but I’m not. We think we’re good enough, and we like the group. If we can find a way to be better, we’ll do it.”

Despite the season-ending knee injury suffered by Scottie Upshall, the Coyotes continue to play well. They enter their final 19 games in fourth place in the Western Conference. They have 79 points, a 10-point margin over No. 8 Calgary.

The Coyotes find themselves in a unique situation as a team looking to buy in a seller’s market.

“Our mind-set has remained the same,” Maloney said. “We’d like to have a little more depth in our blue line. We like what we have here now, but if we can improve that area that would be good. The strength of our team is our defense and goaltending, so if we help ourselves, that’s our first priority in my mind.”

Rangers hope banged-up Gaborik will play on


The Rangers took care of one potential problem area by acquiring veteran backup goaltender Alex Auld off re-entry waivers from Dallas, but that’s nothing compared with the problem the Blueshirts will face if the unspecified lower body injury that prevented Marian Gaborik from playing the third period of Slovakia’s 3-2 Olympic semifinal defeat to Canada on Friday intrudes on the season.

Gaborik, who missed two of the Rangers’ final threegames before the break (and played just 4:02 in the other) because of the thigh gash he sustained in a Feb. 9 practice collision with Henrik Lundqvist, remained in Vancouver yesterday and played in Slovakia’s 5-3 loss to Finland in the bronze-medal game. Gaborik scored a goal and took three shots in 17:06 of ice time.

In addition to being examined by the Slovakian medical staff, Gaborik also was believed examined following Friday night’s match by Rangers’ athletic trainer Jim Ramsay, who is serving in the same role for Team Canada.

Though neither Ramsay nor the Rangers have jurisdiction in this Olympic matter, the Blueshirts did not seem overly concerned yesterday by the winger’s condition. Gaborik, who has scored 35 goals in 58 games for the Blueshirts, has not missed a single game because of the hip and groin issues that turned him into a part-time player much of his career in Minnesota.

It is unknown whether Gaborik will return to New York today from Vancouver so he can be examined by Rangers’ physicians, or whether he will fly directly to Ottawa and meet the team there prior to Tuesday’s re-opener against the Senators. NHL regulations permit players in the medal games to remain at the Olympics through the closing ceremonies, which will take place tonight.

The acquisition of the 29-year-old Auld, meanwhile, will John Tortorella a more comfortable option to 23-year-old rookie Chad Johnson when the head coach seeks to give Henrik Lundqvist a rest down the 20-game stretch run, though not necessarily a more effective one.

Penguins Notebook: Shero is not seeking an enforcer

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It was quiet for a while, Ray Shero said.

Not anymore.

Not with the trade deadline, set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, just a couple of days away.

Shero, the Penguins’ general manager, said Sunday that although there was little trade talk in the first week of the Olympic break because “a lot of the managers were either on vacation or with their farm teams, or maybe at the Olympics,” that isn’t the case now.

“The last two or three days, it certainly has picked up,” he said.

The Penguins appear to be in the market for a goal-scoring winger and a reliable defenseman — ideally, a physical one — and have the salary-cap space to take on a fairly large contract, since it will be prorated over the balance of the season.

Shero professed, as he seems to at this time every year, that “we’re comfortable with our team,” but added that “if there’s a chance to improve the team, whether it’s depth or whether it’s a player who would make us better, I certainly would try to do that.”

One thing he won’t look for is an enforcer to step in for Eric Godard, who is out indefinitely with a groin injury but remains under contract for next season.

“We got tougher over the summer, [be
tter] team toughness,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “I don’t, in any way, shape or form, feel like we have not had a tough team on the ice in any game we’ve played this year.”

The Penguins could recall Wade Brookbank or Deryk Engelland from their American Hockey League team in Wilkes-Barre if they believe a need for more muscle at some point, but Bylsma doesn’t seem to think that’s likely.

23 Responses to Morning Morning Rumors – March 1, 2010

  1. hockey_lover says:

    I read this morning that the Pens and Gonchar have put talks on hold until after the season.

    I wonder if the signing of Leopold is related.

  2. dumbassdoorman says:

    It could be, rumor has it that Gonchar is not interested in giving a hometown discount. If that is the case it could be a audition so to speak, but who knows?

  3. hockey_lover says:

    Thats what I have heard as well. I believe he is looking for the same-ish dollar amount he is making now ($5mil a season) for at least 3 years.  If thats the case, the Pens cant afford him at all.

    Leopold is a nice addition but nowhere near the area of Gonchar.

    Its funny .. when I read they got Leopold, I was confusing him with someone else. I thought "why get a small forward who doesnt get any points."  Then I realized my goof 😛

  4. reinjosh says:

    SO the question is, do the Penguins stay put or go after a scoring forward and a stay at home defenseman?

  5. hockey_lover says:

    Well I think the addition of Leopold spells the end for at least one dman on the Pens. They are way crowded right now.

    Orpik, Eaton, Gonchar, Letang, McKee, Skoula, Goligoski, Leopold.

    As much as I dont want to see it happen, I believe Goligoski is the price for a scoring forward such as Whitney or Poni.

    While Goli isnt great now, I believe he has the potential to be a high scoring dman. Problem is, if we lose Gonchar, Goli was the guy to replace him. Very complicated.

  6. reinjosh says:

    Well I would take Poni for Goligoski as that would ensure Kaberle would be traded.

    But really, I don't think you would have a problem replacing Gonchar and Goli. Strait may not have a killer shot but he has the ability to be a good quarterback. Despres is looking to be like a good pick too and could replace both in a better light too. Right now though, I think the team needs to look at what matters most. If you can win again by giving up Goligoski than you should do it. If you don't think so and you think that Goli will help, then keep him.

  7. reinjosh says:

    Well Shero has shown he does pull the trigger on tough deals to help his team. Trading Whitney evidences that.

    but I just had a really random thought. What would you say to trading Letang for a scoring forward and a prospect? Maybe something like Callahan and Sangunetti? It would be a tough trade but you would free up space for Gonchar, get a tough top 6 forward who would be outstanding on Staal's or Crosby's or Malkin's wing and you would get a young defender to replace Sangunetti

  8. hockey_lover says:

    WOW. What a TOUGH question.

    I love Letang and despite his occasional lapses in judgement, is blossoming into an outstanding dman. I think he definitely has the potential to be a top pair guy in a few years. Not on the level of guys like Doughty and Weber et all but just a step back.

    But Callahan is awesome and Sangunetti, I believe, may be on par with Letang in terms of development.

    Wow. I think Id make that trade.

  9. reinjosh says:

    Haha. good thats the response I was hoping for.

    With Shero, you know he is always willing to make the tough trades. Its why I think he awesome at what he does.
    I mean no one saw him getting Hossa when he did and it turned out well (you didn't lose much). Then trading for Kunitz, a trade no one saw coming was awesome.

    He is the type of GM that excites me. Like Burke. They go out and get the guys that help the team and they are aggressive about it. They make a trade and don't look back. Its the way it should be done seeing as trades can't really be taken back.

  10. dumbassdoorman says:

    I want to see more trade action…lol…though the more there is now the more tradedeadline day is more about analyzing trades….but I mwill still watch. I mean these trades also lead to discussion on the summer. look at the Pens today, did the trade for leopold have anything to do with Gonchars contract talks?

  11. hockey_lover says:

    Jerk 😛   you made me all "uhh wow, I have no idea."  Totally stumped me man.

    Yeah Shero has proved he can be shrewd if he wants to be. The only I dont like about Burke is his general outward douchiness. He just seems so *****y and frankly, he comes across as a jackass. Having said that, he is a GREAT GREAT hockey mind and one of the best out there. I may not like him but credit where credit is due.

  12. cam7777 says:

    I've heard from people that have talked to Burke without the cameras on, that he is competely different when he isn't "on stage".  Apparently he's a big teddy bear, and super nice guy, but when the camera's are rolling, he's mr. arrogance.  As we saw with Team USA, it's his method of deflection.  "Keep the camera on me, and off of my players."

    Just thought it was interesting how actively he puts on that character.

  13. JustYouW8 says:

    I'm hearing a lot of talk about Hamhuis being dealt.. i wish the Leafs coulda landed him, they already have enough d-men though.. but if willie mitchell is out for the year, i think the canucks should make a big push for him.. he's a solid hard hitting defenceman and he is a bc boy!

  14. pensfan29 says:

    Herb Brooks did the same thing, did he not?

    Also, could we Gonchar actually getting traded by 3pm wednesday?  I think it's a decent possibility as long as it is going to bring in a scoring winger.  Although, the Pens pp was horrendous without Gonch, I think Letang may be ready to step in and quarterback it.  I think Shero may be thinking it may be best to move Gonch instead of GoGo or Letang, somply because of the point at which they are at for their careers and also the fact that Gonchar is not looking to give any home town discount to the Pens.  If it means keeping the young core together then its for the best, IMO

  15. cam7777 says:

    This is why I have been saying a massive three way trade would be great, but now that Kaberle won't waive (or never would), it can't happen.  It would have been something like this though:

    Pittsburgh gets : Tomas Kaberle, Patrice Bergeron

    Boston gets: Sergei Gonchar, Eric Tangradi, 1st in 2010 (PIT)

    Toronto gets: Jordan Staal

    Boston would have needed assurances that Gonchar would re-up though.  For the Pens, they are basically replacing Staal and Gonchar with similar versons of themselves.  Bergeron can play on Crosby's wing or do Staal's job, so his versatilit might make him worth the switch.  And for the price of Tangradi and a 1st, they are getting Kaberle, a five years younger version of Gonchar who comes with a little more certainty in terms of contract status.

  16. pensfan29 says:

    I don't think this would ever happen if offered to Shero.  He has said that Tangradi and his 1st round pick are basically untouchable.  Staal I think is definately untouchable unless he would request a trade.  I know Toronto wants Staal pretty bad but its not going to happen.  Also, he wouldn't trade something like that within the east.  I could see Gonchar for Jack Johnson and a 2nd then flipping the 2nd with goligoski to dallas for eriksson, then the lines would look something like this:




    Looks solid to me

  17. cam7777 says:

    It would take more than that to land Eriksson – a lot more.  But I like the Jack Johnson idea.  That's actually brilliant.  I hope they do that.  You know that Lombardi hates Johnson, and Crosby loves Johnson, and Gonchar is being a dick about contracts, so pull the trigger. 

    Don't really understand why Tangradi is an untouchable.  Outside of playing well as an overager in the CHL, he's been pretty useless in his professional career.  Hanson is only a tad older than him and has MUCH better numbers – same with Caputi.  I guess he's been hurt or something though.

  18. pensfan29 says:

    Im not too familiar with Eriksson but I figured it would take much more, but who knows what else shero could throw in.  I love the idea of getting Johnson though, I like it a lot more than the fact of Gonch possibly leaving after the season… Time will tell

  19. dumbassdoorman says:

    I don't think the Nucks would trade for being he is a UFA. Nash wants a decent return for him in a scoring winger. I do not think they would do that without a contract player back. Also the Nucks need a PP dman who can distribute the puck, more than a guy like Hamhuis IMO.

  20. mojo19 says:

    Eriksson and Neal are pretty much untouchable.

  21. hockey_lover says:

    Wow .. really? I dont feel that Letang or Gogo are ready to step in to #1 quarterback roll at all. Not yet anyway. When Gonchar was out, it was those two guys who were the PP QB and look how that went.

  22. hockey_lover says:

    I like the players involved but I dont think it works cap wise. We'd be taking on an extra $4.7mil. Why not just put that towards Gonchar at that point?

  23. hockey_lover says:

    Speaking of untouchable ….

    Not that he was even close to available before but can you imagine how ridiculously untouchable Drew Doughty is now? Good lord.

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