A look at the Forsberg situation
The Kings look to move players
The NHL ready to move past Bettman
The Leafs ready to be buyers or sellers or both
Peter Forsberg is in a tough situation with the Flyers. He is playing for the worst team in the NHL, has chronic injury problems and is in big time demand by other teams. While he or the Flyers would not admit it publicly, you would have to think that it would be in all parties best interest to make a move that would send the game breaker to a contender for a package or prospects or picks. The reality is that come the end of the year, Forsberg is an UFA meaning that the Flyers or any other team will be able to sign him, so it just seems to make sense that if the Flyers are in a rebuilding mode that they would deal him so that they get something back in return. In addition, if Forsberg decides to not waive his no trade clause you would have to think that it says something about his character. Why would any competitor want to remain on a club that is a sure thing to miss the playoffs? He only has a few more cracks at the cup before the end of his career.
If he does decide to waive his no trade clause there will be many teams lining up to bid for his services. The Habs, Ducks, Canucks, Rangers, Avalanche, Stars, Red Wings are just a handful of teams that would love to add the power forward to their arsenal for the playoff drive. If I had to make a bet I would wager on the Ducks landing his services. Brian Burke is a
Speaking of power forwards, both the Blues and Panthers have players that they would like to move before the deadline. Keith Tkachuk is most often mentioned to be heading to the Rangers but don’t be at all surprised if the Rangers do not make a strong pitch for Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi, now almost recovered from back surgery will be a hot commodity and the Panthers will not want to get burned twice by him. If they are not able to sign him to a contract extension they will very likely move him for a prospect. As a side note, it is heavily rumored that Bertuzzi has a strong desire to sign with Phoenix in the summer to be reunited with his buddy Jovo.
The L.A. Kings are another team that is poised to make a plethora of moves in the next few weeks in an effort to stockpile draft choices and make roster room for younger players to showcase their skills to team management. Players that are likely to be moved include Brent Sopel, Aaron Miller and Garon.
An interesting article in NewsDay http://www.newsday.com/sports/printedition/ny-sphow025077037feb02,0,6398524.column?coll=ny-sports-print suggests that Gary Bettman may be on thin ice. Like him or hate him he has been the front man for the NHL for 15 years. I think that it is safe to say that most Canadian hockey fans would love to see a change as under Bettman’s regime the Canadian pastime has undergone a major Americanization.
The Maple Leafs are in an interesting situation. They have players such as Tucker that could easily be moved for a great return however they are not far enough out of the race to start dumping their players. In an interesting way I think that we could see the Leafs buy players in the short term with draft picks to see if they can gain some ground. If they are still out of it at the end of the month you could then see JFJ move the players out for … well … picks.