Sunday Rumors from Larry Brooks

Larry Brooks

So Atlanta general manager Don Waddell will not allow clubs interested in acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk to speak to the winger’s representative about a contract extension before a trade is completed.

We were told a while ago that Waddell doesn’t want agent Jay Grossman to control the process, but we are duty bound to suggest that might not be such a bad idea given the Thrashers’ track record in these matters.

It would be no surprise if canny Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero, who acquired Marian Hossa, Pascal Dupuis and Hal Gill at the deadline two years ago and Chris Kunitz and Billy Guerin in deals late last season, moves sooner rather than later in the trade-constipated NHL.

The Penguins, who don’t appear to have the depth to stay with the Capitals this time, would seem the perfect landing spot for Ray Whitney, the veteran Carolina left wing who will be a rental proposition.

If Paul Kariya, who has spent his entire career in the West, agrees to waive his no-move clause if the Blues so request, he would be a very interesting fit with Sidney Crosby, don’t you think?

If Hurricanes GM Gentleman Jim Rutherford has a notion of moving either Joni Pitkanen or Tim Gleason from his back end, the Rangers would stand on line overnight in order to get an early shot at either defenseman.

Pitkanen has one year at a $4 million hit remaining on his contract following this season, and Gleason has two more at a bargain $2.75M.

The Candy Canes also have Matt Cullen on the market as a rental. A team with a need at the power-play point might want to take a look. Rangers could be interested, but they have Ales Kotalik for that job.

It will not be a giveaway, not at all, but the development of Andrew McDonald and Dustin Kohn would seem to free Islanders GM Garth Snow to move veteran Brendan Witt, just the type of crease-clearing defenseman whose value increases in the playoffs.

Witt, tougher than a truck, has one year remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $3M, with a salary of $2.5M. Two years ago, the Maple Leafs were able to get a No. 2 and No. 5 from the Penguins for Gill. If Snow can wrangle that kind of a return for Witt, who turns 35 next month, the general manager would be advised to make the deal.

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