NHL teams ready to wheel and deal

The groundwork has been laid for some good old wheeling and dealing.

As the NHL’s 30 GMs gathered at a Toronto airport hotel Tuesday to discuss changes to the NHL all-star game and various rules, trade talks were also on the menu.

They’re starting to separate the men from the boys in the NHL as the 20-game mark approaches. The teams off to slow starts are trying to find a way out of the mess, others are accepting their fates and many are trying to deal with cap issues.

“The level of talk has heated up quite a bit,” said a league executive. “I get the sense some teams are getting antsy.”

The most active is Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. After a terrific start, Toronto is in a free-fall. Burke would like to bring in forward help.

Ideally, the Leafs would like to get a power forward in the age 26-27 range. But those types of players are few and far between. The teams that have those guys don’t want to move them.

“Burke will be the most active. He always is,” said another executive. “He has to be. If the coach (Ron Wilson) is indeed safe, then there’s going to have to be some personnel moves. It can’t keep going on like this for them.”


Florida GM Dale Tallon could be busy at the Feb. 28 trade deadline. If the Panthers don’t stay in the race for a playoff spot, the belief is he’ll move G Tomas Vokoun and LW Chris Higgins, who will both be UFAs at the end of the season. The Panthers have no intention of signing Vokoun, 34, who is making $6.3 million this season. If Vokoun does get moved, the Sharks could be a landing spot. They’re hoping Antero Niittymaki and Antti Niemi can get the job done for now. The Panthers are also trying to move LW Rostislav Olesz. He has a cap hit of $3.125 million and three years left on his deal … Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has been sniffing around looking for help on the blueline. Ideally, the Bolts would like to get somebody who can help put them over the top … The Penguins are looking for a Top 6 forward since none of the guys they’re paying $500,000-$600,000 have been able to step up. The suggestion has been made that they bring back UFA Bill Guerin, but that doesn’t seem like a possibility. Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero may have to hang on until C Jordan Staal returns from injury, then C Evgeni Malkin can move to the wing. A guy the Pens really miss: D Sergei Gonchar.


17 Responses to NHL teams ready to wheel and deal

  1. reinjosh says:

    Well at least Burke is always active. Any good GM should be.

    A power forward would be high on the list but  a center has to top that. Grabovski has been playing well of late (finally showing why Burke had faith in him) but Bozak still isn't cutting it. Any top 6 center would be preferable at the moment. Maybe one with upside (which is more unlikely but it wouldn't hurt).

    A lot of people knock Kessel for being inconsistent but I don't think thats a huge issue that needs to be addressed. He can only do so much by himself. He needs a first liner or capable top 6 passing centerman to get him pucks. When he gets that he has both sides of the equation and can be one of the more dangerous snipers in the league. While I think last season may have actually been good for his development (causing him to make plays himself and learn that side of the game) the time has come to get him a proper center.

  2. reinjosh says:

    This article has some interesting points in it. Its a bit of a misnomer being a Bruce Garrioch article but whatever, its gives some stuff to think about.

    Garrioch mentions the Sharks looking for a defenseman. So does Eklund. Now I realize its Eklund I'm quoting (I still realize what I just did) but he mentioned Setoguchi being available for a blueliner. Would anyone consider Setoguchi for Beauchemin? Before you non-Leafs fan shout bloody murder, it should be known he has done absolutely nothing this year.  Leaf fans should realize he probably won't score much without a proper center.

    Do Leaf fans do that deal?

    I don't mind it. It cuts cap space so we could use it later in the year to help teams out and its not a long term deal. I do think it has a lot of risk though. Many San Jose fans are suggesting Setoguchi is the next Cheecho and so far his season seems to suggest they might not be far off. Personally I would prefer Clowe but I'm not sure San Jose would consider that.

  3. frankinboltonleafs says:

    "Get Kessel a Center", I know this song…it's the sequel to that blast from the past, number 1 on the charts, "Get Sundin a Winger" tune from the turn of the century. Time flies yet the song remains the same.

  4. MystifoLeafs says:

    Its tempting still does not help our problem at center but it does address the problem of no top 6 players. Plus I really do not like Beauchemin.

  5. Boston_Bruins says:


    This is apparently legit. I haven't heard about any of the sources he's using but some reputable people have already gone along with this so it's an interesting read nonetheless.

  6. Boston_Bruins says:

    For a Coles Notes version for those who don't want to read it: Colin Campbell said in an email:

    To Stephen Walkom/Tor/NHL@NHL
    Subject Re: Delayed Penalties/High Sticks 02/#/2007 4:24 pm

    A bend in the road is a dead end if you round the corner and Dean Warren is standing there. Your answer re: his high stick calls and the score of the game were horse ****. The 3rd call on [player] was while they were down 5 on 4 and on a def zone face off vs that little fake artist [player] I had him in [city] biggest faker going

    And the blogger deduced that the "little fake artist" could only be Marc Savard.

    Again, this is the first I'm learning of this database, but it's apparently legit.

  7. reinjosh says:

    Interesting. I'm not so sure it was Savard however. I didn't read the full thing but I read the part where it mentioned the game being under a TV blackout. I can't imagine any Bruins game being blacked out.

  8. glotz_99 says:

    it's a tough call, we went from a 65 pt season playing on a line with Thorton and Marleau, to a 36 point season last year, and so far this year only has 4 points and is a minus 8. he could be the next cheechoo or he could be due for a bounce back season.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Calgary went through this for the last decade as well.

  10. mojo19 says:

    Well he was a high first round pick. I would take a chance on Setogucchi.

    And to answer your question, of course I would trade Beauchemin for him, but unfortunately it would cost us Gunnarsson. Which I wouldn't do…. or maybe I would, I don't know, I hate our roster so much.

  11. Boston_Bruins says:


    Campbell should be canned. What a mess this is. Pretty sure justifying what you said by saying you're just a hockey dad doesn't cut it when you're in charge of disciplining the players. 

    Oh well, on the bright side Papa Campbell will see to it that no Boston players will be suspended this year (unless you're that little fake artist Savard). Brilliant move by Chiarelli picking him up.

  12. Boston_Bruins says:

    It was in Florida so it might have been. Campbell says it was the FLA/ATL game he was talking about yet Campbell's only game the entire 2006/07 season where he had 3 minors was against the Bruins.

  13. reinjosh says:

    Ah that would make more sense.

  14. reinjosh says:

    I hope this is the straw that finally breaks the camel's back. Campbell needs to be fired maybe this is what finally does it.

  15. Boston_Bruins says:

    Hopefully, although I doubt it. Daly's already defending him and I'm sure Bettman will as well.

  16. alpalstewart says:

    i think they will let him make a graceful exit with asking him to step down behind closed doors,give his writers time to write a speech and step down lmao

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