Category Archives: Trade Rumors
It’s crunch time for Maple Leafs
Get prepared for the final 10 weeks of the NHL season where the math will be computed daily, if not more frequently.
As it stands today, the Maple Leafs are on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture — but at ninth, only just — with their post all-star break action due to resume Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
So far, the season has been mostly mission accomplished for the Leafs, who have 55 points and are in decent position to challenge for a long-awaited playoff excursion. The popular math suggests the Leafs will need between 37 and 40 points over their remaining 33 games and that projection will be influenced somewhat based on the performance of others in the tight East.
OFF THE GLASS
Should the Canadiens go shopping at the deadline — and they haven’t decided whether they’re a buyer or seller — then GM Pierre Gauthier is going to be looking for a big centre. The issue: There aren’t many on the market. There was talk of the Habs having interest in Buffalo’s Derek Roy, but at 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, he’s not an answer to the problems … Since it looks like Nashville Ds Ryan Suter and Shea Weber aren’t going to be moved at the deadline, the Flyers are going to have to turn their attention elsewhere to get a replacement for the injured Chris Pronger. GM Paul Holmgren will certainly take any one of the three Carolina D-men being shopped: Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen or Jaroslav Spacek.
OTTAWA — From conversations I’ve had with teams over the weekend, there’s a chance the trade season will get going for real after the All-Star break.
One name that could move as early as this week is Tuomo Ruutu, the Carolina Hurricanes forward who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Canes have taken lots of calls on him and may finally be ready to move him.
WHICH PLAYERS WILL BE ON THE MOVE AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?
The Edmonton Oilers will be fielding a ton of calls heading into next months deadline. They have a little bit of everything to offer. Ales Hemsky is a top 6 forward, Andy Sutton is a depth defenseman and Nikolai Khabibulin is a veteran goaltender with a Cup on his resume. Add in the perception that a player like Sam Gagner could be had for the right price, and you’ve got a recipe for Steve Tambellini to be quite busy.
Hottest rumor around the All-Star break had the Ducks dishing Corey Perry to Vancouver for former Boston College goalie Cory Schneider, Mason Raymond, and the vastly overpaid Keith Ballard. Another one had the Bruins dishing Tim Thomas to Chicago. Perhaps that could be the University of Vermont special, with the Bruins sending their ex-Catamount to the Hawks for former Catamount Viktor Stalberg . . .
National Hockey League general managers use their down time during All-Star break to assess their own teams and check in with their rival team executives.
Expect to hear lots of rumors during the next few days as a result. But which players could actually move in a trade?
And which players could actually impact the playoff races? Here are some players that fall into that category:
Morrow has this season and one more with an annual cap hit of $4.1 million, and he has a no-trade clause.
So if Morrow doesn’t want to move, he’s not going anywhere and the Stars are certainly not in a position where they necessarily “need” to trade their captain. And because of the NTC, they’re not about to aggressively shop him either.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t contenders interested in targeting him as a possible acquisition.
All those teams looking for goaltending help might want to give Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini a call. He’s not shopping G Nikolai Khabibulin and his $3.75-million cap hit, but the Oilers are certainly listening to offers on all their players in the midst of another lost season. Bolts GM Steve Yzerman has to start thinking about next season and Khabibulin did win a Cup in Tampa in 2004. Many believe Burke should go after a goalie because as time ticks away on the season, the Leafs don’t have a true No. 1 … Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, a longtime reader of this space, has been working the phones. Some of his counterparts say Gillis wants to add grit after the Bruins ran roughshod over the Canucks in the Cup final last season. Don’t be surprised if he acquires Anaheim RW George Parros. By the way, don’t expect to see Vancouver G Cory Schneider dealt. One team on the asking price for Schneider: “Stupid high.” … The Penguins have more than a passing interest in Tampa’s Dominic Moore. They aren’t the only team, either.
More productive trade discussions this week among teams which means next week might see some action. Not surprising..many teams after D-men.
On Wednesday morning’s edition of Blue Breakfast on TSN Radio 1050, NHL Insider Darren Dreger spoke about the Toronto Maple Leafs as the NHL trade deadline approaches.
While the market appears to be calm right now as selling teams wait to see if the prices go up for players, Dreger discusses what the Leafs might have to give up as they try to land a difference maker.
“If Burke is going to make an impactful deal, then he’s going to have to give away potential, and that’s Nazem Kadri, Luke Schenn, players like that,” Dreger said. “Otherwise, you’re tinkering.”
There will be lots of trade speculation involving the Leafs until the Feb. 27 NHL deadline, and one player whose name will be in rumours is forward Mikhail Grabovski, who happened to be the best Leaf on Tuesday. Due to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, Grabovski would be an attractive piece on the trade market, and general manager Brian Burke already is getting calls about the 27-year-old.
The Rangers have depth on defense, including Steve Eminger, sidelined with a separated shoulder, and Jeff Woywitka, who presumably would play tomorrow night if McDonagh can’t go against the Jets at the Garden.
So the charge for Sather is not to find just any defenseman, but one Tortorella will trust for major minutes down the stretch.
Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini is in the hotseat as he takes calls on veteran winger Ales Hemsky.
Half the league is looking for a top-six forward. Remember back in 2006, when the Oilers beat out other teams to get Sergei Samsonov because they needed a second-liner? Teams are loathe to surrender much for rentals because you get quantity, but not quality, in most cases.
The Oilers absolutely need a puck-moving defenceman more than they need a draft pick. And if the prospect being dangled is more than a year away from being ready for the NHL, I don’t know why they would be interested in more down-the-road stuff.