NHL Trade Deadline Eve Afternoon Updates

Kozlov requests trade from Thrasher

Thrashers sign Chelios

Lot of Huet trade rumors out there

Supply over demand

Tomas Vokoun: Keeping Options Open

Kozlov requests trade from Thrasher

Thrashers forward Slava Kozlov has requested a trade due to his lack of playing time and would be willing to waive his no trade clause, he told me on Friday.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be on this team or another team,” Kozlov said. “If we can find a team which I like and which is good for me and my family I will go. If not, I’m going to be here. …

With coach not playing me, what can you do? That’s why I feel I could go play for somebody that needs my help. Is so, I’ll waive my no trade clause.”

Kozlov’s agent met with Thrashers general manager Don Waddell in Chicago before the team’s final game before the two-week Olympic break.

“He’s disappointed with his reduced role of the ice,” Waddell said. “Like I explained to his agent, coaches make a decision and that they are trying to win games. They feel like right now he’s not in the top group of 12 guys and other guys are giving us more.

“I told his agent you control it because you have a no-trade. If you guys are willing to waive your no trade than I will explore and that’s how we left it.”

Waddell said he has had little contact with other teams because executives are just starting to return from the Olympic break.

Kozlov said he would waive the no-trade clause to join a playoff contender.

“We are waiting right now,” Kozlov said. ” I will think about it, talk to my family and my wife and see.”

Kozlov had his franchise record 251 consecutive starts streak snapped when he was a healthy scratch on Jan. 23 at Tampa Bay. He missed the next four games before returning to the lineup for two games on Feb. 5-6. He was also a healthy scratch the three following games leading to the Olympic break and the meeting in Chicago.


Thrashers sign Chelios

The Thrashers have signed defenseman Chris Chelios, the team announced Tuesday.

Chelios, 48, has been playing for the Thrashers’ AHL affiliate in Chicago this season, although he was not property of the Thrashers. He signs with the Thrashers as an unrestricted free agent. He appeared in 44 games for the Wolves this season with five goals and 16 assists. He was also a plus-35.

Chelios must clear waivers, which the Thrashers will know by noon Wednesday. If he is not claimed by another team, he will remain in Chicago. However, he will be available to the Thrashers.

According to GM Don Waddell, Chelios gives the team veteran depth in case of injury.

“You never know,” Waddell said when asked the likelihood that Chelios is called up. “We have a busy schedule. When you go into a run like this, you like to have 10 defenseman in case you get a couple of injuries.”

Over his 25-year NHL career, Chelios won three Stanley Cups. He scored 948 points (185 goals, 763 assists) and 2,891 penalty minutes in 1,644 career games with the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Canadiens. In a NHL-record 266 career playoff games, Chelios has 144 points (31 goals, 113 assists)

He won the Stanley Cup with Montreal (1986) and twice with Detroit (2002 and 2008).

Other notes of interest from morning skate prior to tonight’s game against Panthers.


Lot of Huet trade rumors out there

Tim Sassone

It’s the day before the NHL trade deadline and there are rumors everywhere.

For the Blackhawks, many of them involve goaltending and Cristobal Huet possibly being on the move.

Various rumors have Huet going to the Islanders, Toronto or Florida with the Hawks attempting to acquire either Tomas Vokoun from the Panthers or Dwayne Roloson from the Isles.

It would be an accomplishment of importance in helping solve the team’s salary cap problems for next year if Hawks general manager Stan Bowman could find a team willing to take Huet and the $5.625 million hit remaining on his contract for the next two years.

The Islanders certainly have enough cap space to accommodate Huet’s contract, and they have goalie issues going forward with Rick DiPietro’s health always a big problem and Martin Biron signed only through this season.

Would the 40-year-old Roloson, who is signed through next year, be an upgrade in goaltending for the Hawks? Roloson is an excellent goaltender, underrated, in my opinion, “a battler,” according to an Islanders source who believes Roloson could help the Hawks win a Stanley Cup.

But Vokoun would be a better fit, if the Hawks could land him.

Meanwhile, there’s a game to play Tuesday night and Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said following the morning skate that John Madden, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel all would be in the lineup here against the Islanders.


Supply over demand

Mark Spector

The old dollars and cents could play a role as to who’s shopping and who’s buying at the deadline.

The sellers are fewer this season than most, it seems, which always favours the supply side over those in demand.

So as the National Hockey League’s trade deadline creeps closer, that old economic driver might just work in the favour of soon-to-be 38-year-old Carolina winger Ray Whitney, who won’t waive his no-trade clause unless he gets a two-year extension from whoever wants him.

(L.A. wouldn’t do it last month, but word is Boston would love Whitney. Do they need to move Michael Ryder’s $4 million salary next season before it can happen? That could be tough.)

Then there is pending Columbus UFA Milan Jurcina, whose play at the Olympics may be just the push that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson needs to get something for the big Slovak this week.

Or Joe Corvo, another Hurricanes player being shopped by GM Jim Rutherford. Every year there is a puck-moving defenceman who starts a bidding war at the deadline. Perhaps this March, Corvo is that guy.

In Toronto, anyone older than about 27 — or leftover from the pre-Brian Burke era — is likely available. UFAs Alexei Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak are being shopped hard, while Tomas Kaberle is on the table — regardless of Burke’s statements that he is not going to ask the defenceman to waive his no-trade.

In Calgary, the Flames tied up former Leafs centre Matt Stajan on Monday, after signing Rene Bourque to a six-year, $20-million deal last week. With both his first- and second-round picks in the 2010 draft traded away — and having already brought in six new faces prior to the Olympic break — GM Darryl Sutter will be more interested in shoring up his system at the deadline than acquiring players for the big club.

Dallas, too, is expected to be very quiet.

If it is also quiet in Edmonton however, players there will get a serious read on their perceived value on the open market.

Gritty winger Steve Ott came off the market on Monday, as Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk got proactive and signed Ott to a 4-year extension at about $3 million per season. That might be good news for Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini, who has a third-line winger
in Ethan Moreau who might become Plan B for other GMs.

Playing in front of 18 scouts in games at Anaheim and L.A. just before the Olympic break, Moreau had his best two games of the season (plus-3, three points).


Tomas Vokoun: Keeping Options Open

Is it possible Tomas Vokoun has played his final game with the Florida Panthers.

Yes, it is.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching — and Vokoun getting the night off tonight in Atlanta — he may have rocked the leaping cat for the last time.

We spoke to T-Vo today after the morning skate at Taco Mac Arena and he said he had spoken to GM Randy Sexton regarding the trade rumors and his stance on dropping his no trade.

Vokoun says he had not told Sexton that he would not waive the no trade as I had read somewhere and he knows there are potential deals out there. The Twitterverse is, ahem, a-twitter with rumors that he might be going to Philadelphia.

Which would make for an uncomfortable night come Wednesday what with the Panthers playing host to the Flyers and all.

But lets not forget, a team like Philadelphia — which is pretty tight to the salary cap — would have to move some money to get a player like Vokoun (or rather, Vokoun’s salary) in under.


No, I didn’t. We agreed we wouldn’t make public any of the details. But I didn’t. It’s more like, if there’s a deal in place, he’ll let me know. Ultimately it’s my decision, yes or no.


No, that’s not true.