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There will come a time during the next few weeks when Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets hockey operations department decides whether they will be in the business of buying or selling leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27.
The chances of it being the latter and not the former is where the smart money currently resides.
The Jets will be open for business, but let’s be perfectly clear — nobody is expecting a fire sale and Cheveldayoff isn’t going to be giving players away just for the sake of making changes.
So, I figured I’d join the Leafs trade talks, and discuss some possible names of interest to Burke and the organization. I know a previous article mentioned Ryan Malone, who may very well be a target. But who else:
Could John Ferguson Jr. be the next general manager in Columbus?
The former Toronto Maple Leafs GM is being mentioned as a possible successor for Scott Howson, according to a report from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
Howson, who is still under contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, is expected to be let go at the end of the season. The Blue Jackets already fired head coach Scott Arniel last week.
Ferguson, who was the Maple Leafs’ general manager from 2003-2008, struggled during his tenure in Toronto. His teams did not make a playoff appearance after the lockout in 2005.
The Canadiens were prepared for more personnel changes following the decision to trade left winger Michael Cammalleri to Calgary for Rene Bourque.
“At a certain point, you can’t keep firing coaches,” veteran Mathieu Darche said, referring to the firing of head coach Jacques Martin and assistant coach Perry Pearn earlier this season. “It goes down to players. We felt things might happen if we didn’t get better. We have a new player and we move on.”
As the trade deadline approaches, the Flyers are in the process of determining exactly how much salary they can take on. But if it was hard to predict in December how Pronger will feel in May, it’s more daunting to guesstimate now how Pronger will react to physical exertion in September, should he even want to risk his future day-to-day health.
As it stands, the Flyers have north of $3 million in cushion to add for the rest of this season. That’s not the problem. It’s predicting the future. Next year, the Flyers already have $21.3 million committed to Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Andreas Lilja and Erik Gustafsson. Matt Carle ($3.437 million) is the Flyers’ only unrestricted free agent.
The door is still open for the possibility Teemu Selanne could end this season a Winnipeg Jet.
While Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray has said the 41-year-old and Finnish teammate Saku Koivu are the only two untouchables on his squad, Selanne refused to confirm his plan is to end his career with the Ducks or that he’d turn down a chance to be a Jet again.
The Minnesota Wild, like many teams, don’t quite know yet if they’ll be buyers or sellers, as it depends on where they sit in the standings come Feb. 27.
They’re certainly hoping to be buyers and, if that’s the case, it’s pretty obvious they’ll be looking to upgrade a 29th-place offense.
“We’ve been talking to teams for a couple of months now,” Wild GM Chuck Fletcher told ESPN.com Thursday. “We haven’t scored a lot of goals this year. I think there’s room for internal improvement, I think we have guys who will score more goals. But obviously if we could find a way to upgrade our team, we will.”
The Devils have a decision to make before next month’s NHL trade deadline: Do they deal star winger Zach Parise?
With Parise set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, the Devils are desperately trying to keep their 27-year-old captain from testing the market, but if he’s not signed in the next month, GM Lou Lamoriello may have to consider moving him before Feb. 27.
You want to give up JVR, Couturier & top pick for Weber. Preds will ask for that RT @kevinms1161: @RandyJMiller U would take gus over weber?
Lost in the shuffle that brought Mike Cammalleri back to Calgary is the fact Calgary may just have landed Miikka Kiprusoff’s replacement as part of the six-man deal.
And if indeed Karri Ramo is as good as advertised, how soon will the Flames look to make the move many fans in the Sea of Red have long dreaded: The trading of No. 34?
After all, his no-movement clause expires this July.
Flyers left winger James van Riemsdyk isn’t going anywhere _ at least for now.
A Flyers official denied a report that JVR was headed to Toronto for defenseman Luke Schenn.
“Not happening,” he said.
Schenn is the older brother of Brayden, the Flyers’ rookie center.
Van Riemsdyk, 22, has limitless potential (see last year’s playoff outburst), but has had a mediocre season (11 goals, 11 assists), one that has been slowed by injuries. Still, he has drawn interest from numerous general managers who are trying to persuade Flyers GM Paul Holmgren to move him.
It doesn’t appear that the Ducks are going to finish anywhere near the playoffs in yet another “final” season for Teemu Selanne. (Remember, he was thinking about retiring after the Cup season of ’07). Selanne doesn’t want to go anywhere at the trade deadline and the Ducks won’t trade him without his permission. But as we get closer to Feb. 27, what if Selanne gets Stanley fever? Here are some feasible alternatives.
Could Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn soon be joining his little brother Brayden in the black and orange of the Philadelphia Flyers? Trade speculation will tell you that it is a possibility.
But Schenn, whose name has come up in trade rumours in the past, shrugged off the idea on Thursday.
“I’m happy being here in Toronto,” Schenn said. “They’re just rumours and it doesn’t really mean much to me.”
Trade rumblings: Habs move Cammalleri; B’s, Devils, Wild have tough decisions
The NHL trade deadline got an early jump Thursday night with the Montreal Canadiens shipping outspoken winger Mike Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames.
Just a day after spouting off about his frustrations with the way the team was playing, Cammalleri was gone.
Brian Burke says he’d be willing to start the playoffs with the Maple Leafs’ roster as currently constituted, but intends to make a trade in the coming weeks to try and extend any post-season run.
Speaking on The Fan 590 radio Wednesday night, with his team in its best position to challenge for a berth since he arrived, the general manager said just qualifying for the first time in six years was not good enough.
“I’m not interested in getting our asses kicked in the first round,” he said. “I’m not paid just to get in the playoffs. We could have got in last year if we’d traded our kids for a couple of 30-year-olds.
Sean Avery will remain a member of the AHL Whale for the time being despite the fact the Rangers have been asked by a NHL club to place the exiled winger on re-entry waivers, The Post has learned.
Sources have told The Post general manager Glen Sather rejected that request, instead offering to trade Avery in a minor-league deal under which the Rangers would take back additional dollars but the responsibility for placing Avery on re-entry would then pass to the acquiring club that would then bear the burden of carrying dead salary-cap space upon a claim.
LA PRESSE: Francois Gagnon reported Mike Cammalleri’s “read between the lines” comments in a recent interview suggests the unhappy Canadiens winger might welcome a trade. Gagnon acknowledged Cammalleri’s poor play this season and expensive contract could make him hard to move, he doesn’t consider it impossible, suggesting a team seeking scoring punch, like the San Jose Sharks, might be interested.
That’s about as close to a Gordie Howe hat trick as Nikolai Kulemin is going to come.
The Maple Leafs forward, eager to leave a dismal first half of the regular season in the dust, had his best performance of 2011-12 in a 2-0 Leafs win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
As Jonas Gustavsson made 32 saves for his second shutout in three games, Kulemin scored his fifth goal, set up linemate and buddy Mikhail Grabovski for another and destroyed Sabres pest Patrick Kaleta with an open-ice hit in the third period.
BAINES: To what extent does Bryan Murray go to get to the playoffs and perhaps ensure a bit of a run? Does he trade away significant young assets to acquire impact players? Or does he deal mid-round draft picks for role players.
GARRIOCH: They need to get one more forward. Just think they need a little more scoring depth. I’m not sure I’d trade a first-rounder to do that, but they do have three picks from the first round last year. Maybe one of those guys could be used (Not Zibanejad, of course)
Derek Roy has enough issues. The Buffalo Sabres’ center has a balky shoulder that will likely keep him out of the lineup tonight in Toronto for the second straight game, he’s on pace for his worst offensive season in six years and he’s getting plenty of blame from fans for the team’s continued struggles.
Now there’s this: Roy is the hottest name in the rumor mill if the Sabres make a trade.