Rangers looking at Kaberle or McCabe – Vokoun being shopped?
The Rangers; they’ve got to get that 24th-ranked power play going if they’re going to hang on to their playoff spot. I can’t tell you how good Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle or Florida’s Bryan McCabe would look on that power play. Problem is, as Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told me this week, at least 14 teams are looking for defensemen.
Another club looking to add on the blue line is the Chicago Blackhawks, who roll into Dallas tonight in what seems like yet another must-win game for the defending Cup champions. They’re three points out of the safe zone. The Hawks made a trade Wednesday night, acquiring Michael Frolik in a package with Florida. He’s a versatile player and the Hawks hope he can rediscover that touch that helped him post back-to-back 21-goal seasons in his first two seasons in the league.
Burnside: We’ll see. For most of the first half of the season, the Thrashers were skating as well as any team in the league. Players like Andrew Ladd are going to help get them on track. Interesting you should mention McCabe. The Panthers aren’t completely out of the playoff race (six points out of eighth with a game in hand as of Friday morning), but you know GM Dale Tallon is looking at clearing out as much salary as he can to accelerate the rebuilding process. Given the demand for defensemen, Tallon’s phone will be ringing for McCabe, as well as netminder Tomas Vokoun.
A source told me yesterday that the issue is McCabe and Vokoun have no-move clauses, and their big salaries (Vokoun’s cap hit is $5.7 million, McCabe’s is $5.75 million) suggest GMs will wait until closer to the Feb. 28 trade deadline in order to save money and cap space. With deals already being made well in advance of the deadline, another source said GMs, especially in the tightly-packed Western Conference, are getting nervous. No one wants to miss the boat on an asset that could help secure a playoff spot, but no one wants to overpay for an asset or make a move before they have to.