Rumors from the Ottawa Sun

Net pain for Caps GM

McPhee sniffs around trade market for goalie, but finds few options


The Washington Capitals have a decision to make before the trade deadline: Do they or don’t they trade for a goaltender?

There is a strong belief in NHL circles that Capitals GM George McPhee has toyed with acquiring a netminder before the March 3 deadline, but isn’t sure if who’s available on the trade market is any better than his current goaltenders, Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov.

The Capitals are focused on getting to the Stanley Cup final and goaltending is their only question mark.

Sources say McPhee has sniffed around to see what’s available, but the options are limited with few teams in the mood to sell.

Here are some possibilities:

Marty Turco, Dallas Stars: A looming unrestricted free agent whose days with the Stars are numbered. Making $5.4 million this season, Turco has become expendable with the acquisition of Kari Lehtonen. Turco, who has won at least 30 games for the Stars in each of the previous six seasons, has faltered this season, with a 18-15-9 record and 2.69 GAA entering Saturday’s play. The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks have also looked into trading for Turco.

Martin Biron, N.Y. Islanders: Expected to be the goalie moved among the three-headed monster on the Island — Rick DiPietro and Dwayne Roloson are the others. Biron, 3-11-2 with an .899 save percentage, isn’t the answer for a Cup-contending club looking for a No. 1 goalie, but could end up back with the Sabres as a backup. The Capitals have looked here as well, however, nobody is sure McPhee is serious about Biron.

Jaroslav Halak, Montreal: He wants the chance to be a starter, but it doesn’t make sense to move him. Most nights, he has been better than No. 1 Carey Price — and hasn’t been a distraction. Halak would be the best option for the Capitals, but the Stars were trying to get him before they acquired Lehtonen. That means Halak is likely staying put.

Around the boards

The Blue Jackets have put up the For Sale sign on the trade market. GM Scott Howson is trying to move LW Raffi Torres, D Jan Hejda and D Milan Jurcina. The Jackets, mired near the bottom of the Western Conference, are looking toward next year … There is plenty of talk about the future of Florida G Tomas Vokoun with the Panthers sending out word they’re getting ready to clean house. Would he waive his no-movement clause to go to the Flyers? Philadelphia has shut down G Ray Emery for three weeks because of a hip problem and there are concerns about whether he might need surgery. The issue with dealing Vokoun is he’s been the Panthers’ best player all season. He is the one guy they should keep. Florida could also move C Stephen Weiss to the Toronto Maple Leafs … Condolences to the family of Ottawa-based agent/lawyer Larry Kelly. His father, Lorne, passed away Friday. Our thoughts are with Kelly’s family.