Category Archives: Trade Rumors
Luongo’s stock skyrockets after Penguins snap-up Vokoun
Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis took a couple of days off this weekend to go fishing and clear his head for the decision-making process which is about to begin in earnest over the next couple of days. And while he did that, he and his team got lucky.
At least that’s the way it would appear to anyone watching the goaltending situation.
With the Pittsburgh Penguins snaring of Tomas Vokoun from Washington to back up Marc-Andre Fleury for the next two seasons Monday, and Tim Thomas announcing he was going to sit out next season, the chances of improving the return on any Roberto Luongo deal just took a significant leap forward.
Pens GM Ray Shero seemed to catch others who would have liked to consider Vokoun for their own organizations napping with his pre-July 1 strike, giving up just a seventh-round draft pick to leave teams like Toronto, Chicago and Tampa with their pants at half mast. And assuming Thomas does indeed wish to step away from the game as he says, this leaves the number of experienced available goaltenders depleted by two pretty good players.
The Washington Capitals’ trade of Tomas Vokoun, and his subsequent two-year contract in Pittsburgh, takes a talented veteran goalie off of the market. Boston’s Tim Thomas has decided to take a year off to spend more time with his family. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets’ Curtis Sanford has agreed to play in Russia next season in the KHL.
In a roundabout way, those moves may improve the Sharks’ chances of landing Columbus captain Rick Nash, something they reportedly did around last February’s trade deadline.
The Blue Jackets have already made it known that they are looking for a different look in goal next season from starter Steve Mason, who was dreadful, as Columbus posted the worst record in the NHL. Our friends at ProHockeyTalk.com point out that the Blue Jackets have just two goaltenders signed for next season – Mason, and the 22-year-old Allen York, who has just 11 games of NHL experience.
If they do in fact decide to move Nash, as is expected, you can assume that the Blue Jackets would want a netminder in return as part of the deal. The Sharks’ prospect pool is thin, but goaltending is still one area that is considered a position of strength within the organization.
The Sharks have starter Antti Niemi locked up for another three years at a cap hit of $3.8 million according to CapGeek.com, while backup Thomas Greiss is signed through next season at $587,500. Prospect Alex Stalock, who looks to be completely recovered from a serious nerve injury more than a year ago, is a restricted free agent, as is AHL All-Star Tyson Sexsmith. Harri Sateri, another minor leaguer, has one year remaining on his deal.
Acting with deliberate speed in the wake of the news 41-goal scorer Marian Gaborik will require right shoulder surgery that could sideline the sniper into December of next season, Rangers general manager Glen Sather has been in touch with Predators GM David Poile regarding impending Group II free agent winger Alexander Radulov, The Post has learned.
Radulov, who will turn 26 next month, has a lucrative contract offer on the table from CKSA of the KHL, the league in which he played the last four seasons before returning to the Predators for the stretch run and the playoffs, but a well-placed source has told The Post the winger would prefer to continue his career in the NHL.
The 6-1, 190-pounder scored 18 goals as a rookie in 2005-06 and 26 goals the following season before defecting to the KHL with one year remaining on his Entry Level contract.
The degree to which these discussions between Sather and Poile have advanced is unknown, but The Post has learned this is more than the GM “kicking the tires.” The Blueshirts, of course, would have to be given a window in which to conduct contract negotiations with Radulov before agreeing to trade for his rights.
It is unlikely Poile will play hardball, given the alternative is losing him for nothing to the KHL.
That offer from CKSA, whose GM is Sergei Fedorov, adds a degree of urgency to the Blueshirts’ pursuit of Radulov, who recorded seven points (3-4) in nine-regular season games for the Predators before getting six points (1-5) in eight playoff games.
Holland is eyeing Nashville’s Ryan Suter if the Predators can’t sign him. Holland has said with respect to the prize free agents (Zach Parise is in the same boat), he would be willing to trade for their negotiating rights, usually a window of a few days around the draft and before July 1 when they hit the marketplace for one and all.
“I’ve never done it and it would depend on what the price is, but I’m not opposed to anything,” said Holland, who knows the Philadelphia Flyers have made a history of trading for negotiating rights of UFAs such as Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and the Predators’ Dan Hamhuis. They signed the first two, and couldn’t work out a deal for Hamhuis in 2010. They dealt his rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins six days later.
The salary cap is going up to $70.3 million from $64 million as of July 1, but only until a new collective bargaining agreement comes in, when the cap will likely drop substantially because the owners don’t want to give the players 57 per cent of the league revenue, more like a 50-50 split. The Red Wings, like most teams, are likely operating under the old model, so they won’t be spending fools. But they would love Suter; they’ve played against the Predators constantly in the playoffs. Parise, they envision, could play with Datsyuk.
For now, they have Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl as their top five on defence, with two huge holes. Holland knows he’ll have to get somebody to replace Stuart too, but he doesn’t have a lot to trade.
Earlier this week, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun linked the Flyers to Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar as one of the possible replacements for Chris Pronger, whose career may be over as a result of post-concussion syndrome.
Bill Meltzer of HockeyBuzz.com cited a source within the Flyers’ organization, who said the Flyers’ chances of trading for the 38-year-old Gonchar are “slim to none.” While I think the Flyers might be kicking the tires to see exactly where Ottawa stands with Gonchar, there’s also something a little more to the story than the possibility of adding an over-the-hill blueliner, who at one time was one of the best two-way defensemen in the NHL.
The Flyers could very well be searching for a defenseman with just one year remaining on his contract. In the case of Gonchar, he has a cap hit of $5.5 million and he’s an unrestricted free agent after 2012-13. Sure, the Flyers would love to get their hands on Ryan Suter if he hits the open market come July 1. But perhaps the Flyers can still upgrade defensively, though only in the short term for two reasons:
1. I don’t think the organization wants to completely close the door on a Pronger return. If he takes a year off and shows significant improvement between now and the summer of 2013, then it would make sense to make a trade for a veteran D-man, who would come off the cap after 2012-13. I believe Paul Holmgren when he says he looks at Pronger as “a cup half full.” The idea of him “officially” retiring makes no sense at all. Not only would he forfeit five years of salary ($19 million), but the Flyers would be on the hook for his $4.9 cap hit over the next five seasons as well.
While the Senators will likely try to deal blueliner Sergei Gonchar — who has one year left at $5.5 million — to make room for Erik Karlsson’s new deal, there could be a lot of attention paid to the club’s depth in net.
At least three teams — Columbus, Toronto and Tampa — are looking to shore up goaltending before the draft. There could be a fourth if the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup and Martin Brodeur decides to retire on top.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is gearing up for what’s expected to be serious and lengthy trade discussions with his counterparts about captain Rick Nash.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Howson will be in New Jersey on Wednesday for meetings with other GMs, some of whom will want to resume or kick-start trade talks for Nash.
The Blue Jackets had shopped Nash during the season and tried moving him before the Feb. 27 trade deadline, but Howson wasn’t able to land what he had been looking for.
When the Maple Leafs embark on their annual quest for a better on-ice product, they’ll be attempting to solve an age-old problem with a man of a certain age.
Acquiring a proven veteran goaltender ranks among the club’s biggest off-season priorities. That means there will be internal debates about no end of possibilities, be it a trade for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, or a free-agent signing of one of the handful of seasoned NHLers expected to be available this summer.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo hasn’t just agreed to waive his no-trade clause, he’s also asked to be traded, according to Sportsnet. Luongo reportedly asked to be moved during his exit meetings with the Canucks. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis wouldn’t confirm that Luongo has asked for a trade while talking on a Vancouver radio station, TEAM 1040.
The whole hockey world understands that he is the biggest name, and most talented player, available as the NHL trade deadline looms. The deadline is Monday at 3 p.m.
Nash was asked whether the specter of it had any impact on the team.
“We’ve got such a tight group of guys in here, a good bunch of guys, but everyone realizes there is a business side to this,” he said. “There have been so many rumors, so much speculation.”