Take It For What It's Worth…

Everybody is going nuts with rumors at this time of year…especially when you work in a “Sport” bar in Montreal. Tonight was really quiet night, so I had the chance to talk a lot with one of our customers…

Here’s what he had to say…But before, let me tell you who this guy is.

He works for “TEAM 990 AM”, here in Montreal. Don’t know if he still does it, but he used to host a show there, taking phone calls and talking about different things related to NHL Hockey. What makes him a reliable source ? Well, it’s always hard to say what is true, and what’s not, but here’s a couple of things he told me:

- Weeks before it happened, he told me Gainey was going to be named Montreal’s GM.

- He also told me Gonchar was going to Boston, when everybody else was sending him to Toronto…even said Morrisonn would be a part of the deal.

- Told me two or three days before that Ottawa would get their hands on either Bondra or Zubrus (I had to pay him a beer tonight for that one…)

However, he also told me Colorado would acquire Jagr when New York got him, and said that Minnesota would deal Gaborik somewhere else when they had some problem signing him.

So I guess, it makes him a 50% reliable source, but it’s pretty much what a “Trade Rumor” is all about, don’t you think…

So here’s a couple of things I still have in mind: As we spent a lot of time talking about the Habs, let’s start with them…keep in mind, this is what he said, and it doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen…just thought I’d share that with you…

Montreal Canadiens

Gainey was trying to get Lang, before he was dealt to Detroit. Apparently, Gainey offered the same deal he offered to Suther for Alexei Kovalev. Washington however was asking for Alex Perezhoggin and a 1st Rond Pick, which Gainey refused.

My Take: This could be true. I know Gainey was trying to get a tough right-handed center, and Lang at 6’2, 216 pds fits this description perfectly…

He also told me Montreal, prior to Kovalev trade, knocked on a few doors. Some names I still have in mind were Buffalo Taylor Pyatt and Jay McKee, Columbus Geoff Sanderson, Minnesota Andrew Brunette, and Washington Jeff Halpern, Anson Carter and Mike Grier.

My Take: I can see the Habs going after Pyatt and McKee, since one of them is pretty young, plays left-wing (which we lack) and the other is a solid left-handed defenceman, which Gainey said he was looking for at some point. Sanderson, Halpern, Carter and Grier, I’m not sure about…but I also think Brunette could have been in Montreal’s plan at some point.

Here’s an interesting one, but pretty long to explain, so follow me. He told me that Montreal was very close to a deal with Carolina, that was set to happen right after their last game. As reported, Montreal were tempted by O’Neill and Hill. The first reason why it didn’t happen is because Hill didn’t, at that time, say that he’ll waive his no-trade clause. The second reason why it didn’t happen is because Rutherford suddenly changed his mind on the offer, and decided to reject it.

The initially approved offer was, as reported, Richard Zednik, and a fourth round pick for Jeff O’Neill and Sean Hill. Rutherford decided that if he was going to move O’Neill to Montreal, young right-winger Michael Ryder had to be a part of the deal. The trade was cancelled then…

But !!!

Montreal apparently is still talking daily with Carolina…and he told me that’s the reason why Montreal went in New York to get Kovalev. He said Kovalev was brought to Montreal to fill the hole in case Montreal traded Ryder to Carolina. The reason why the trade didn’t take place right after is because Gainey wanted to see how Kovalev would look on the ice before. Unfortunately, he got injured after seven minutes of play, and that might cancel the plan if the injury is serious. Apparently, the offer Montreal was going to make to Carolina was:

Michael Ryder along with either Hossa, Higgins or Hainsey, and a 2005 2nd Draft Pick in exchange of Jeff O’Neill, Erik Cole and Sean Hill.

My Take: I would prefer the Canadiens to get their hands on Hedican, but having Cole and O’Neill on our team would be just terrific. I would hate to see Ryder go tough, as I truely believe he’s going to be a good top-6 foward in any team soon.

The other team Montreal is currently talking with is the Washington Capitals, trying to get their hands on Brendan Witt (if the Carolina deal doesn’t work). Grier is also interesting for Montreal, but the price is too high for Gainey.

If I belive him, Carolina and Washington are the only two teams Gainey is really talking with, so any other rumor concerning them aren’t true.

Other Notes

Here’s a couple of trade he told me were discussed currently…keep in mind he’s saying that, not me, and he may be right, he may be wrong…but again, I guess that’s what a rumor is all about…

San Jose would be interested by Pittsburgh Aleksey Morozov, but are just talking right now. They might make an offer in the next couple of hours with Marco Sturm injury.

New York are still looking to get rid of some big salary players, and if all he said is true, look for Jagr in Colorado, Rucinsky in Vancouver and Poti in Dallas.

Cassels to Calgary and Gratton to Colorado is some other trade he told me were currently discussed.

Still in the “Rumored Trade” section, he told me Ottawa knocked on St-Louis door regarding Keith Tkachuk. I’m having hard time believing this one, but I tought I might as well include it…

Now, let’s move on to three of the most interesting players available out there; Miroslav Satan, Brendan Witt and Shawn McEachern.

Miroslav Satan: Buffalo received two concret offer so far. The one reported a couple of hours ago from the New York Isles, and the other from New Jersey, which he said was:

Brian Gionta and a high ranked prospect (which again, I can’t remember the name) for Miroslav Satan.

There’s other team interested in Satan, but only the Isles and Devils made a concret offer so far…

Brendan Witt is the most asked player in the league right now. He told me that Toronto is the frontrunner right now, offering Stajan or Steen with another prospect and/or one or two low draft picks, but a lot of team are about to make concrete offers. Washington is waiting at the last minute to get the maximum value for him.

Finally, Shawn McEachern is definately going to Boston, and injured defenceman Jonathan Girard could be in the deal. If not, usual combination of prospects and draft picks could be the solution. The only team that could ruin Boston chances to get McEachern would be the New York Isles, but they’re currently waiting to see what’s gonna happen with Satan.

Well that’s it. Like I told you, the guy is well informed about what’s going on, but sometimes, his “sources” aren’t that efficient, so do like the title says, and take it for what it’s worth…