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SUNRISE, Fla. – To sell or not to sell? That is the question for the Ducks.
A setback to New Jersey in a shootout Friday night left them in 13th place in the Western Conference with five teams still to climb past in their longshot pursuit of a playoff berth with just 24 games to go.
But these Ducks have the postseason in their sights as a 14-2-4 run has gotten them to seven points back of eighth place after being 20 points when this all started Jan. 6 against the New York Islanders.
Luke Schenn admits he didn’t see it coming.
“I was pretty surprised,” the young defenceman admitted when asked on Friday for his reaction at being made a healthy scratch in the Maple Leafs 4-3 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers earlier this week. “I had friends there. I had family there.”
Judging by the look on Schenn’s face as he was explaining his feelings to reporters on Friday, there were some other words that come to mind. Gutted. Frustrated. Confused.
The agent for Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina said his client as soon as Saturday could provide a list of teams to which he would accept a trade. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman requested the list from Kubina on Thursday. Kubina, who has a limited no-trade clause, has seven days to comply or Tampa Bay can trade him anywhere.
If there’s interest in Nikolai Khabibulin, there is absolutely no reason not to move him. No reason at all.
For starters, Khabibulin’s value in the grand rebuilding scheme is all but nonexistent. He’s 39 years old. He is not the answer long-term. Even if he weren’t old, he’s been either hurt or lousy for his entire Oilers’ tenure, outside of nine games. The injuries, mixed with stretches of incompetence, have been a big factor in the Oilers’ finish the last few seasons.
For those unable to see Insider Trading. Offer for Grabovski is for a 2nd rnd pick and prospect. Could get more. Still hope to re-sign him.
If I had to wager, I’d say the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings are the most likely new homes for Rick Nash if there’s a pre-deadline deal.
But there’s certainly an Original Six team that would like Nash’s services if this were June and not February — the Detroit Red Wings.
With Ryan Smyth off the trade table, Detroit and Nashville can’t be happy.
They were both hot to trot for Smyth, especially the Predators who are dying for a top six forward, especially one with net presence. Nashville likes Ales Hemsky, too, but liked Smyth more, in large part because coach Barry Trotz has a history with the Edmonton Oilers’ winger from the world championship when he was a coach for Canada. The Red Wings have Tomas Holmstrom, a similar type, antagonistic player around the crease, but Homer, who just got honoured for playing 1000 NHL games, is on his last legs and is basically a fourth-line, PP guy now.
A year ago, Joe Colborne was the prospect involved in a trade by the Maple Leafs, coming to Toronto in a deal that sent defenceman Tomas Kaberle to the Boston Bruins.
For Colborne, a 6-foot-5, 213-pound centre with the Toronto Marlies, once was fine, thanks.
If Leafs general manager Brian Burke makes a swap before the deadline, and many across the National Hockey League think he will, there’s an excellent chance he will have to part with a talented young player.
Time for Tim Connolly to start doing something.
Don’t get us wrong — the 30-year-old veteran has played a significant role in turning the Maple Leafs’ penalty killing around. Among Toronto forwards, only David Steckel has averaged more ice time a game when the Leafs are shorthanded.
But Connolly draws a salary of $5.5-million US this season, the second-highest paid Leafs forward after Phil Kessel, and costs the Leafs $4.75 million against the salary cap.
What is certain about the trade deadline is that the Columbus Blue Jackets will be open for business. The uncertainty is in the magnitude of their moves: Impending free agents, like Sammy Paulsson? Cancerous mistakes like Jeff Carter?
Or captain, star and face of the franchise Rick Nash …
Renaud Lavoie of RDS reported on Monday that an NHL general manager confirmed to him Nash is in play and has been offered around to some teams — news that was confirmed by a second source.
Tuomo Ruutu – The roughneck forward is exactly the kind of skill/sandpaper player the Bruins love for their third line roles, and he’d fit in perfectly with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. The Bruins are interested in Ruutu and have several former Hurricanes players on the B’s that have given their recommendation on the scrappy Finn. Unfortunately two major stumbling blocks stand in the way: it appears Carolina is going to sign him to an extension just as they’d done with Tim Gleason. The price for Ruutu is a first-round pick plus some kind of prospect.
Chuck Fletcher is weighing the present with the future, treading carefully as he tries to help jolt the Wild into a playoff berth as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaches.
The Wild general manager wants to make the playoffs, but he doesn’t want to do something foolish that he’ll regret years from now (i.e. Nick Leddy Part Deux).
After working to build up a prospect pool, he doesn’t want to make a desperation move for a short-term fix.
If Brian Burke is looking at a rental player to give the Maple Leafs an edge in their stretch drive, the club could take a chance with Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner.
At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Penner is one of those big-body forwards that Burke covets and knows well from his days in Anaheim.
Moreover, a change of scenery might also ignite the 29-year-old Winkler, Man., native, who has struggled since the Kings acquired him a year ago in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers.
At the time, the trade was considered one of the big plays of the trade deadline.