Rumors from the Edmonton Journal

Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal

This ‘n’ that

– – Columbus winger Raffi Torres, on pace for 25 goals, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. Do the Blue Jackets buck up to keep him or deal him for, say, a second-round draft? Bet on the latter. There would easily be eight to 10 teams willing to give up a No. 2 for Torres, who may be an inconsistent offensive talent but has the ability to turn a game with a hit. Just ask Milan Michalek. who got steamrollered in 2006.

– – Nobody — not even the Pittsburgh Penguins, who badly need wingers — bit on Petr Sykora on waivers because of the $750,000 left on his contract, but some team will take him if the Wild takes a warm body back. Best trade options: Calgary, Boston or Anaheim.

– – Nashville’s 161-pound Steve Sullivan got into his second NHL fight with 210-pound Wojtek Wolski of the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in Denver. Sullivan’s first tussle was in 1997 against Tony Granato). “One in a million,” said Sullivan. It was Wolski’s first scrap.

– – Avs winger Marek Svatos is definitely available for a mid-round draft pick at the deadline.

– – One reason the Stars might want to deal 2005 first-round defenceman Matt Niskanen? They have a really good Russian prospect, Ivan Vishnevsky — big shot, mid-season AHL all-star — who might well head to the Kontinental League next year for big bucks if he’s not in the NHL soon.


Wish upon a Star

An Eastern Stanley Cup contender (maybe the New Jersey Devils) might well make a pitch for Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano at the trade deadline, but Modano sounds lukewarm to the idea of moving even if his club has little chance of winning this year. The Stars would certainly sound him out if there was a deal on the table.