Rumors From Around The League
Rumors Circulating Around The League…Rumors:
With the Sabres nearing a playoff spot, mostly because of the poor play from Montreal and with injuries to 2 of their key defensemen, Jay McKee and James Patrick, Sabres GM Darcy Regier says he will look to acquire a defenseman at the NHL’s trade deadline but he also said it wouldn’t be easy. The biggest names being shopped around are Washington’s Sergei Gonchar, New York’s Brian Leetch and Chicago’s Alexander Kapovtsev. Leetch would help the Sabres in the experience department but I see him retiring as a Ranger.
New Jersey had their eye on Zhamnov until he was traded and with Gonchar’s trade value getting higher everyday, the Devils might be more interested in acquiring Brendan Witt. The club that acquires Gonchar (most likely the Leafs) will try and get Witt included in the deal so the Devils may try to acquire him quickly. Also, as a replacement for Zhamnov at the center position, Lamoriello may be looking at Phoenix’s Chris Gratton.
With Colorado recently acquiring 2 defensemen, Bob Boughner and Kurt Sauer, the Avs now have 7 defensemen and couldn’t consider scratching any of them come playoff time. With the result of Morris’ poor offensive play, the Avs may look to move him for a good forward before the playoffs.
With Sullivan playing so well since being acquired, Predators GM, David Poile already wants to sign him to a contract extension! The reason the Blackhawks traded Sullivan was to unload salary (He makes 3 Million this year) and were worried they could not re-sign him at the end of the year as he will become an unrestricted free agent July 1st. When Sullivan rejected an offer from the Blackhawks worth 2.5 Million a season for 3 years the Blackhawks then started shopping him.
Gonchar reportedly approached GM Mike McPhee within the past month to let him know that he wants to be traded to a contender and would like to be traded to Toronto. Every website I visit there is an article about Gonchar going to Toronto that I am starting to believe this Leaf rumor will happen!!! Gonchar said that if his team is rebuilding and wants to get younger (which is obviously what they are doing) he wants to go somewhere else. He said: “I’m not getting any younger, and I want to win a Stanley Cup before my career is over.” While discussing a trade players names going to Washington that were mentioned included defeseman Carlo Colaiacovo and forwards Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Colaiacovo said he wants to stay in Toronto but knows he may not have the choice. Gonchar said it would be nice to be moved to Toronto, he has a lot of friends there and he could play with ex-partner Ken Klee.
The Islanders want to make sure they stay in playoff position and are looking to acquire a hard-hitting defenseman. Brendan Witt is being shopped and a lot of teams seem to be interested, add the Islanders to that long list. The Isles could also be interested in Edmonton’s Jason Smith and Anaheim’s Keith Carney. Although Carney is a great under-rated defenseman he is the core of Anaheim’s team and I don’t think he will be moved anytime soon.
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Bob Pulford expects to move one more player before the NHL Trade Deadline but won’t name who he is thinking of. Various sources say he is thinking of moving defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev and with many teams looking to add a defenseman he could be moved easily.
Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager says he doesn’t see any free agents that will be on the market this summer that will attract his interest, therefore he doesn’t want to part with his “quality veterans”. He mentioned he would love to deal Scott Lachance and would be listening to decent offers for forwards Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson. However, he does not want to part with defenseman Luke Richardson.
If the Panthers are nowhere close to a playoff position by the trade deadline, Lyle Odelein will “almost certainly” be traded to a Cup Contender. Dudley said several teams are interested and have inquired about Odelein as many Cup Contenders are in the market for a veteran defenseman. Dudley said he won’t make a move until he see’s he is nowhere close to a playoff spot. Dudley said if it doesn’t look like the Panthers are going to make the playoffs he would sit down with Lyle and ask him what he wants to do. If he wants to be dealt to a contender, Dudley would like to do for him. And if that were the case Dudley would like to re-sign Odelein in the off-season and apparently Odelein would want to do so aswell. He told the newspaper if he gets traded and doesn’t win the Stanley Cup he will come back and re-sign with the Panthers in the off-season to play for another year or two. Odelein said he would re-sign with the Panthers because he doesn’t care about the money and he’s made enough money. He’d rather play in South Florida and be part of a winning organization because he knows the future of this team will be awesome.
So far this season, the Boston Bruins have been bidders and not buyers. They were in involved in the bidding for Steve Sullivan and Alexei Zhamnov reports the Herald. Apparently the Bruins would like to acquire 28 year old Jeff O’Neill from the Hurricanes to play the same type of hockey along with Joe Thornton but they know the price would be high and if they couldn’t beat the two 2nd Round Draft Picks for Sullivan than I don’t think they are ready to seriously bid on O’Neill. The Bruins are also interested in 40 year old Ron Francis from the Hurricanes but they will only deal him if he wishes to.