NHL Hockey Trade Rumors and News – Feb 17, 2011

About that Canucks trade for Ian White? It’s not happening

Washington Capitals looking to add a second-line center at NHL trade deadline

White still with Canes – for now

Ducks send Paul Mara to Montreal

Flyers looking to dump Zherdev?

About that Canucks trade for Ian White? It’s not happening

No wonder Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has never had a trade conversation about Ian White. He has other, better defencemen joining his National Hockey League team.

Canuck Keith Ballard, who sprained his knee five games ago, should be playing next week. Dan Hamhuis has started light workouts, and surgeries to Andrew Alberts (wrist) and Alex Edler (back) were successful.

So Gillis doesn’t have to make a trade, like the media-imagined one for White. He merely has to be patient.

“I’m confident that all of them will be back,” Gillis said Wednesday. “With Dan, you’re always reluctant to discuss any kind of prognosis when it comes to a concussion, so I’m not going to do that. He seems to be progressing well, but there’s always an element of uncertainty.

“Keith seems to be a little bit ahead of schedule and doing quite well. Andrew’s surgery was successful and we fully expect him to be 100 per cent come playoff time. And Alex Edler is moving along on schedule. There haven’t been any setbacks or hiccups.”

And since only Edler is on long-term injured reserve, getting the defencemen back on the roster and under the salary cap won’t be a problem for the Canucks. That’s another reason Gillis may do nothing ahead of the Feb. 28 trade deadline.


Washington Capitals looking to add a second-line center at NHL trade deadline

With 12 days remaining before the NHL’s trade deadline, the Washington Capitals’ most pronounced need remains what it was at the start of training camp: a proven, two-way, second-line center.

According to multiple league sources, the Capitals are looking to acquire a player who can fill that role before the 3 p.m. deadline on Feb. 28. While rookies Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault have shown glimpses of success on the second line and may thrive in the future, neither has established the steadiness one would expect of the No. 2 pivot on a team that envisions itself as a playoff contender.

As he has done in the past, Capitals General Manager George McPhee remained mum on any possible deadline deals.

“We’re as active as any club is right now,” McPhee said in a phone interview this week. He did not travel west with the team. “If there’s a way to improve the club, we certainly will consider every option to do so.”

Through the first 57 games of the year, Washington predominantly used three players as the second-line center – Johansson, Perreault and, before he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, Tomas Fleischmann. Entering the Capitals’ game Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, that trio has accounted for 18 goals, 18 assists and 36 points.


White still with Canes – for now

As of Wednesday night, defenseman Ian White still was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.

That could change in the next day or two. Or not.

General manager Jim Rutherford said the Hurricanes were considering a trade offer for White, who came to Carolina in November in a deal with the Calgary Flames.

“Teams out there are looking for different things, and we have something to consider,” Rutherford said in an interview Wednesday. “This could go one way or the other.

“We have an offer, so we decided to pull [White] back for a day or two. But he could be back in the lineup this week.”

The Hurricanes on Tuesday recalled defenseman Brett Carson from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. Carson was in the lineup Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils while White, who was not at the morning skate, was a healthy scratch and watched the game from the press level.

White, 26, has played in 39 games for the Hurricanes since the Nov. 17 trade in which the Flames sent White and forward Brett Sutter to the Canes in exchange for defenseman Anton Babchuk and forward Tom Kostopoulos.

With the NHL’s Feb. 28 trade deadline approaching, speculation has heated up around the league.


Ducks send Paul Mara to Montreal

The Anaheim Ducks sent defenseman Paul Mara back to Montreal late Wednesday night in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.

Mara, 31, appeared in 33 games for Anaheim this season, scoring a goal and an assist for 2 points with 40 penalty minutes. He hasn’t played since Jan. 18. Mara’s only goal as a Duck came with 1.7 seconds remaining in regulation in a 5-4 win on Nov. 7 vs. Nashville, marking the latest game-winning goal in regulation in club history.

It’s a return to Montreal for Mara, who played in 42 games with the Canadiens last season before missing the final 30 games with a shoulder injury. He signed a one-year deal with Anaheim during the summer.


Flyers looking to dump Zherdev?

Ville Leino has a lower body injury. He is missing tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers.

It was an injury suffered last night in the 4-3 win against the Lightning.

Paul Holmgren told me – and the Daily News – that it’s nothing serious and that he’d “be surprised if (Leino) doesn’t play the next game” Friday in Carolina.

But what’s more interesting is coach Peter Laviolette’s decision to use Jody Shelley in place of Leino rather than the more skilled Zherdev.

Zherdev has likely burned his last bridge with Laviolette and barring a dire need for him in one of the next couple games, may have played his last game as a Flyer..

Sources have confirmed that the Flyers are trying to trade Zherdev, but are struggling to find a partner with enough interest to work the deal.

If Zherdev does not get moved, don’t be surprised to see the Flyers waive him, eat the remainder of his $2 million salary and create some additional cap room.


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