NHL News and Rumor Update – July 11, 2009

New group may bid on Coyotes

Leafs have what Hawks need – Would require dealing Sharp, but worth it

Sharks and Jackets to swing a deal?

Oilers haven’t given up on Heatley

Baseball Trade Rumors reports that

Halladay and Wells are not linked in Trades

New group may bid on Coyotes


Another group of investors who’d like to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix has emerged, although whether it will actually get a bid into bankruptcy court is anyone’s guess.

Daryl Jones, managing director with Research Edge LLC, confirmed his company is investigating the possibility of investing in the bankrupt hockey team in concert with other investors who don’t want to be named at this point.

“We are involved in evaluating the Coyotes, which we are interested in investing in ourselves, but it’s subject to us finalizing our due diligence, which is something we’ve just started,” said Jones. “We’re considering putting capital into this situation, and the people we are working with and for are evaluating it themselves.”

Jones would only categorize the others interested in the Coyotes as “experienced” businessmen, but he did say the idea would be to keep the team in Glendale, Ariz.

“Our plan and idea is to keep it in Phoenix,” said Jones. “We have a lot of work to do before we’re ready to make the bid, or before we can make any recommendation in that regard. We do like the long term potential and viability of having a team in Phoenix, the demographic of the area and things like that.”

Jones, who previously worked for Toronto-based Onex Corp., which specializes in takeovers, has hockey connections. A defenceman from Bassano, Alta., he played four seasons with Yale University, a teammate of Jeff Hamilton, who played last season with the Maple Leafs


Leafs have what Hawks need – Would require dealing Sharp, but worth it

Al Cimaglia

The road for a Blackhawks trade would seem to lead to Toronto. Although I am hearing no whispers, there does appear to be reason to consider a trade option with the Leafs.

As I wrote a short time ago, the Leafs have an abundance of defensemen and are lacking scoring. According to an article in the Toronto Star on Thursday, Leafs general manager Brian Burke also wants to bolster Toronto’s penalty-killing unit.

According to thestar.com, Burke mentioned he received a trade proposal for one of his defensemen Wednesday. He remarked the trade would require the Leafs to take on some salary, but they would receive a forward in return. He is also looking at free-agent possibilities.

“I want to make sure if we’re down to our last three to five million dollars we want to spend the money wisely,” Burke said.

The Blackhawks have a talented forward who will earn $3.9 million next year. Patrick Sharp’s 26 goals would have led the Maple Leaf scorers for 2008-09. He would be an attractive option for Mr. Burke.

Sharp is a versatile player, who scored those 26 goals while playing in only 61 games. Jason Blake led the Leafs with 25 goals in 78 games. Toronto was near the bottom of the NHL in penalty killing, and Sharp could also help there.


Sharks and Jackets to swing a deal?


The San Jose Sharks could emerge as a trade partner for the Blue Jackets, who continue their search for a puck-moving defenseman. The Sharks’ signing of Ryane Clowe, Kent Huskins and Rob Blake leaves them $1.7 million from the $56.8 million salary cap for next season, and they still need to sign at least four players — depth forwards and a backup goaltender. The Sharks have five defensemen making $3 million or more per season.

The Blue Jackets have depth forwards to trade and can offer cap relief; a player such as San Jose defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who makes $3.1 million, would fill the need here. One possible complication to this scenario is that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has a reputation for overvaluing his players. So until Wilson believes he absolutely has to make a deal, coming to terms with the Sharks might prove difficult.

Edmonton might also be a good fit for the Blue Jackets; the Oilers have a glut of puck-movers and could use a stay-at-home guy. And Toronto GM Brian Burke said this week that “the next thing is to see if we can parlay a defenseman into a forward.”

The Maple Leafs’ prime trade bait is Tomas Kaberle, but he makes $4.25 million and could bring a top-six forward, as shown by the deal the Leafs had working for Boston’s Phil Kessel that fell apart.


Oilers haven’t given up on Heatley

Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal

Sniper’s trade demand may not be satisfied until September, or later

Dany Heatley voluntarily jumps into Okanagan Lake every morning over the summer, so the Oilers would derive precious little satisfaction from telling him to go do it.

You know, should they actually get up off their knees and move along like the proud, professional franchise they ought to be.

Instead, as their management waits by cellphones, BlackBerrys, pagers and computer monitors for the slightest utterance from Heatley, the erstwhile Ottawa Senators sniper seemingly controls the fates of two National Hockey League franchises with his silence.

The truth is only slightly different than that widely held perception. Heatley could in fact force the Oilers to get on with their lives by issuing a blanket refusal to waive his no-movement clause for a trade to Edmonton. But in the absence of such reason and benevolence, the only man who can push these follies to a logical dropping of the curtain now is Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray.

Heatley has not changed his mind about the issues that provoked the trade demand, which was sent to Murray in the guise of a formal request. He isn’t going to tuck his tail between his legs and slink back into Ottawa, where he tops even the Bloc Quebecois, Canada Revenue Agency and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s myopic PR man on a list of pariahs.

The only resolution is an acceptable trade proposal and the waiving of Heatley’s no-movement clause, in that order. That sequence of events won’t occur unless and until Murray presents the Heatley camp with at least two more potential destinations in addition to Edmonton.