Category Archives: Trade Rumors
A new goaltender for next season is a certainty.
The Blue Jackets appear ready to cut the cord with Steve Mason, who has endured three brutal seasons since his award-winning rookie season carried the Jackets to the playoffs in 2008-09.
Trading Mason won’t be easy, and it might require the Blue Jackets to eat a bad contract in return. Mason is signed through next season at a salary-cap hit of $2.9 million, and has a $3.2 million salary for 2012-13.
The Montreal Canadiens brass (GM Pierre Gauthier and consultant Bob Gainey) have fanned out over the Midwest and the West Coast of the U.S., and have been seen at games over the past few days leading to speculation the Habs are getting ready to make a deal. It is a foregone conclusion veteran defenceman Hal Gill will be dealt and likely wingers Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn, as well.
As much as GM Bob Murray has insisted Selanne won’t be dealt, it’s going to be up to the veteran whether he stays or goes.
League sources say as many as four teams — the Rangers, Sharks, Bruins and Wings — have all made inquiries into Selanne’s availability with the trade deadline just over a month away on Feb. 27. All are watching to see if Murray decides to make a move with his club mired near the bottom of the Western Conference.
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke expects the Feb. 27 trade deadline to seem like a busy holiday, and he plans to have his shopping done early.
“Whatever moves we intend to make will be in advance of the deadline because I’ve never liked the price tag at the deadline,” Burke said.
Last year, the deadline was Feb. 28, but some players began moving as early as Feb. 9. Joffrey Lupul, Francois Beauchemin, Mike Fisher and Kris Versteeg changed teams early and the Boston Bruins picked up defenceman Tomas Kaberle 10 days before the deadline.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s phone probably needs to be recharged three or four times a day.
With teams approaching the 50-game mark, trade talks are full-go. And Bowman is eager to enhance his 62-point team.
The Hawks have told teams what they’re seeking. A quality defenseman capable of playing on the second pairing is their top priority. The need for a veteran forward, preferably a center capable of being in the top six, is second.
Other teams confirmed to be looking for a top-six forward include Chicago, Toronto, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Detroit, the New York Rangers and, as Poile said, Nashville. San Jose could be in the mix for either a top-six forward or a checking-line forward. Boston and Vancouver are looking for a depth forward.
So, easier said than done when so many clubs are looking for similar assets.
As the Wild aired things out in a team meeting in hopes of easing tension that has infiltrated the sinking team, and as the Wild hit the ice at the Toronto Maple Leafs practice facility in hopes of ending a 10-game road winless streak Thursday against the Leafs … Chuck Fletcher was on the phone.
The Wild general manager was ducking behind signage, slipping into hallways, finding quiet spots in quiet areas — his Blackberry always at his ear.
So Brian Burke may have to set his sights a little lower looking six weeks ahead to the Feb. 27 trade deadline after making big deals to acquire Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and Joffrey Lupul the last three seasons.
Not just a little lower. Also at a financial cost that may be less appealing.
Which brings us once more to Tampa Bay Lightning left winger Ryan Malone, once one of the more highly regarded power forwards in the game, now less of a force for the Bolts, who sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings right now.
You can say this much about Brian Burke: he is not a last-minute shopper.
So while most other teams are waiting for the Feb. 28 deadline to tinker with their rosters, the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager is already taking calls and could be weeks, if not days, from making a deal.
“I have never been a deadline guy,” Burke recently tweeted. “Historically, January is the month where I have been most active.”
The Red Wings are in the market for a goal-scoring winger and/or an abrasive third- or fourth-line forward.
Money is not an issue. The Red Wings are $5.7 million under the salary cap. That gives them plenty of space to acquire anybody, since teams are responsible only for the remaining portion of a player’s contract.
It boils down to what the Red Wings are prepared to relinquish. It is doubtful they would move a core player, and it also is unlikely they would give up a top prospect for a rental (impending free agent). Detroit likely will be dangling draft picks, middling prospects and/or fringe players.
The Wild is down to 11 forwards right now, and so far, no callup. I’ve been told Fletcher has been trying to make a trade before calling up a player. I just don’t know what he can do without delving into the prospect pool. And that, he has said he is unwilling to do unless it’s a deal that makes sense for the future.
On the actual roster, I think the only player that maybe can get you a top-6 forward is Josh Harding, and again, that’s a maybe. Tampa Bay may be looking for a goalie as long as it’s one for the future.
Some guys available? Maybe the Rangers’ Wojtek Wolski, who has been a healthy scratch lately, and Erik Christensen, who hasn’t played since Dec. 17 and then basically asked to be sent to the minors on a conditioning stint so he could play. Fletcher does have a history with him from Pittsburgh, but, man, that’d be just adding a body in my opinion.
I’m also told no deal for #Leafs today.. but that something could be in the works between them and the #Ducks involving Bobby Ryan
Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke has a chance to see what his team is made of with the younger guys on his roster, but will he give them the chance?
I believe it’s more important to try to get into the playoffs and give our young players some experience and really see where our weaknesses are. Burke has got to resist the temptation to load up with “rental players” for a delusional playoff run and keep this group together.