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If there’s a Toronto Maple Leafs player who’s a little underappreciated around the league, it’s probably Mikhail Grabovski.
Although you can make an argument for Carl Gunnarsson, too.
But when some of those trade rumours began to start up last month with Grabovski’s name included, it appeared perhaps he was underappreciated by Leafs management as well.
Of course, things can change at a moment’s notice but the Leafs’ wish list is very specific, they want a top six forward with size who can score.
And there just aren’t too many of them floating around right now.
James van Riemsdyk has a concussion, he’s not a factor for the Leafs at this point.
Jeff Carter has a contract that Leaf GM Brian Burke would have difficulty taking on, especially when the Leaf GM has been so vocal against those long-term deals with the bogus years at the end.
Sportsnet has been running the HOCKEY CENTRAL Trade Tracker for a few weeks now in anticipation of the Feb. 27 deadline. It comes as no surprise that some of the players discussed will not be moved. And I think we’ve been pretty honest in saying that. But one player who just might be in the mix is Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash, who continually plays down the fact he will never ask for a trade.
The Maple Leafs’ group is not only helping to keep the puck out of the net, to the tune of 27 goals against in 14 games in 2012, but also is adept at contributing at the other end.
Leafs defencemen, led by captain Dion Phaneuf’s 30 points, have accounted for 119 points in 2011-12, third most in the National Hockey League behind the Ottawa Senators (127) and the Vancouver Canucks (123).
Stan Bowman doesn’t like what he sees. But, at least for the moment, the Blackhawks’ general manager said there’s nothing he can do about it.
Before his team extended its losing streak to a season-high five games with a 3-1 loss Friday to the Calgary Flames, Bowman told reporters that he is in regular contact with GMs across the league but he can’t find any sellers.
In spite of the Hawks’ second losing streak of at least four games in a month, Bowman pointed to the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins as examples of teams with talent and depth who rebounded from terrible starts with what they had.
Ryan Smyth is getting plenty of interest as the trade deadline nears.
A looming unrestricted free agent on July 1 with 16 goals and 18 assists in 51 games with the Oilers heading into Saturday, Smyth is going to have to decide whether he wants to head to a contender before the clock strikes zero on Feb. 27.
Sources say there’s at least four teams — including the Rangers, Sharks, Bruins and Wings — that have expressed interest with Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini.
If Smyth does decide to waive his no-movement clause, there won’t be any tears shed. The 35-year-old could easily go to a contender as a pure rental, take the chance to win the Stanley Cup and then return to the Oilers.
As we near the trade deadline we will start to get a better idea as to who is truly on the trade block. Usually this time of year we hear a ton of names but how many of them are actually in play is a different story.
Tuomo Ruutu is a name starting to circulate as the 28 year old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Carolina Hurricanes is one team identifying which players they want to move forward with versus the ones they’re willing to move on without.
TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discussed the Flyers’ need for a defenceman and Ryan Suter’s market status last night on Insider Trading.
LeBrun says that with Carolina inking Tim Gleason to an extension the Flyers now have to regroup in their defensive search. He says that Montreal’s Hal Gill could be an option with his experience, shot-blocking and penalty-killing ability. He says that Dallas defenceman Nicklas Grossman and Toronto’s Luke Schenn could also be targets.
Dreger says that many teams around the league believe the Predators All-Star defenceman to be in play leading up to the deadline. He also discusses what the potential asking price would be for Suter, saying the Predators would want a four-piece-deep package in return.
With still four weeks to go before the NHL trade deadline, Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter already is caught up in the swirl.
Multiple sources confirmed to The Dispatch that Carter has been put on the trade block by the Blue Jackets, barely seven months after he was acquired from Philadelphia and deemed the No. 1 center the club has always needed.
“There’s not much I can do about that,” Carter said. “That’s something I can’t worry about or control. My main focus right now is just getting healthy and getting back into the lineup.
Two trade deadlines after the Wild signed defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a three-year contract extension, the Wild might now look to trade Zidlicky before this year’s Feb. 27 deadline.
The Wild has an unhappy veteran on its hands.
Zidlicky was a healthy scratch for a third game in a row Tuesday night, and in a bruise to his pride, it came against his former team, the Nashville Predators. During an unsolicited interview after Tuesday’s morning skate, Zidlicky said he would consider waiving his no-trade clause if he continues not to play.