Tons of Trade Rumors on Trade Deadline Eve


Once more round the block


Moves clear way for deal


SNOW WANTS A BETTER DEAL FOR SUTTON

Panthers deal Leopold; more trades may be on way

Frequent Flyers: Source says Flyers near deal; Parent, Coburn to go?

Avalanche’s Svatos prepared in event of trade

Leafs not alone in seeking changes

Once more round the block

By ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI , QMI Agency

The Edmonton Oilers began their rebuild Monday by swapping Denis Grebeshkov for Nashville’s second round draft pick, a move that fans hope is just the beginning. With time running out until Wednesday’s deadline, here are a few candidates for relocation, along with the reasons they might be going … or staying.

Ethan Moreau: Moreau needs a new start. You could see it in the body language at times this season, and if the Oilers are serious about creating a new culture in Edmonton, doesn’t it start with the captain? On the other hand, his numbers (from points to PK stats) are not good and he still has a year left on his contract, so teams wouldn’t be getting a rental, but rather a short term purchase. There’s a difference.

Steve Staios: He could be attractive on the open market. He’s a steady, gritty depth defenceman and leader who brings the kind of calm and experience a contender like Chicago might need. On the other hand, he’s not just a rental either (another year left at a $2.7 million cap hit). The Oilers also need some veteran leadership moving forward and Staios sets a pretty good example.

Fernando Pisani: He is proven in the playoffs, he’s versatile and, most importantly, he’s in the last year of his contract. That alone moves him to the top of the list. On the other hand, will teams take a gamble on a player who’s only been healthy for 60 of the last 143 games?

Mike Comrie: Another rental player, Comrie has a small ticket and put up decent numbers when he was healthy. Easy addition for a team wanting offensive depth.

Sheldon Souray: Brings a lot of ingredients a lot of teams might be interested in — size, toughness, a booming shot, help on the power play. On the other hand, he’s a $5,4 million cap hit until the summer of 2012 and he’s run into some health problems lately (currently out with a broken hand), which could make him hard to move. If they have to a big contract back in return, what’s the point?

Andrew Cogliano: The Oilers are small enough up front and don’t seem interested in giving Cogliano a good long look as a top six forward. He can’t stay as a bottom six, so it might be best for everyone if he got a new start.

Lubomir Visnovsky: If Edmonton is looking to free up cap space on a team that already has a glut of offensive-minded defencemen, they could start here — he’s a whopping cap hit (highest on the team at $5.6 million) until 2013. On the other hand, he’s Edmonton’s best defenceman and has a ticket that’s hard to move.

Tom Gilbert: Had a weak season, but teams might still be very interested in his upside, of which there is plenty. He can put up numbers on a No. 1 power play unit. On the other hand, he’s locked into the second-longest contract on the team (a $4 million cap hit until 2014) and his market value is low right now.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/myoilers/2010/03/01/13074836.html

Moves clear way for deal

With Wednesday’s trade deadline lurking, and goaltender Ray Emery sidelined indefinitely with hip troubles, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren cleared the way for a trade Monday by waiving enforcer Riley Cote and defenseman Danny Syvret. He also placed Emery on long-term injury reserve.

The three moves cleared $2.6 million in salary, opening the doors to a trade that could land the Flyers an offensive forward, a defenseman for depth or both. The Flyers also are rumored to be interested in Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis.

Tonight, the Flyers will begin their 22-game pursuit of a playoff berth in Tampa, Fla., where Michael Leighton will try to tighten his grip as the club’s No. 1 goalie.

Leighton has gone 12-3-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average since the Flyers claimed him off waivers Dec. 15.

“I don’t really have a goaltending situation. You (media) guys make that up,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “We have a goaltender that has played very well, and he goes back in the net. Leights has been terrific for us, and he’ll start (tonight).”

Holmgren, who huddled Monday with his scouts, declined an interview request. Yet, his decision to place Emery on long-term IR spoke volumes. Emery’s rehabilitation from a torn labrum in his left hip has not gone well, and the injury might cost him the remainder of the season.

Emery, 27, has gone 16-11-1 this season with a 2.64 GAA. If he cannot return, the Flyers’ decision to sign him to a one-year, $1.5 million contract will be open to criticism.

In the meantime, they will rely heavily on Leighton, 28, who seems excited by the opportunity to carry the Flyers into their post-Olympic stretch, which includes 16 games in 27 days.

“You don’t have time to think about much more than playing games,” Leighton said. “Personally, I like playing all these games. I feel good and comfortable in the net, and as long as I get my rest, I’ll feel good.”

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20100302/SPORTS04/3020318/1017/sports04/Moves-clear-way-for-deal


SNOW WANTS A BETTER DEAL FOR SUTTON

Point Blank has learned that Garth Snow has offers from at least two known teams of second round picks for Andy Sutton. However, the Islanders general manager is holding out for more before Wednesday’s 3:00 pm deadline.

As we wrote back on Feb. 11, the comparable for a Sutton deal is Pittsburgh’s acquisition of big defenseman Hal Gill from Toronto at the trade deadline two years ago. Penguins GM Ray Shero paid the price of a second and a fifth round pick. Considering Sutton’s strong play this season and knowing the difference he could make for a contender, Snow hopes to acquire at least a second and an additional draft choice.

There is one danger in holding out too long. Just today, Denis Grebeshkov and Jordan Leopold were traded for second round selections. While waiting for fair value for Sutton, the general manager has to make his suitors don’t choose to fill their blueline needs elsewhere.

http://www.islanderspointblank.com/2010/03/snow-wants-a-better-deal-for-suttonholding-out-for-more-than-a-2-for-andy-sutton/

Penguins face prospect of revamping defense

Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Sergei Gonchar isn’t on the trading block, and general manager Ray Shero isn’t looking to move any defenseman off the Penguins’ roster between now and the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

However, developments Monday point toward Gonchar likely playing out the season and testing the free-agent market July 1 – and possibly leaving the Penguins for a long-term contract elsewhere.

There is no other way to read two bits of news from yesterday: That talks between Shero and Gonchar’s agent JP Barry are on hiatus until after the season, and the acquisition of puck-moving defenseman Jordan Leopold from Florida for a 2010 second-round draft pick.

Also, consider these words from coach Dan Bylsma regarding Leopold, who is in the final y
ear of his contract.

“His coaches played him against the top line this year,” he said, acknowledging that Leopold was often assigned to defend against Washington superstar left wing Alex Ovechkin, who torched the Penguins for nine goals in a seven-game playoff series last spring. “To get a guy who skates like he skates, a guy who goes back for pucks and who has the ability to join the rush – that’s a unique opportunity, whether it’s in the summertime or now.”

Those are all roles currently assigned to Gonchar.

Those are also roles the Penguins believe young defensemen Alex Goligoski, 24, and Kris Letang, 23, could handle next season – especially Letang, long considered by management as the heir apparent to Gonchar as the club’s top two-way defenseman.

Leopold, 29, leaves the Penguins with eight NHL-tested defensemen but only two under contract for next season (Brooks Orpik and Goligoski). Gonchar, Mark Eaton, Jay McKee and Martin Skoula are all slated to become unrestricted free agents; Letang can field offers July 1 as a restricted free agent.

Bylsma dressed seven defensemen in eight playoff games last season and said he would consider that unconventional strategy again. Shero said he believes at least eight NHL-quality defensemen are needed for success in the postseason.

He also will not willingly engage clubs such as Philadelphia and Boston in a bidding war for scoring-line winger Raffi Torres of Columbus.

“I’m not really that interested in trading players off our team, because I’m trying to strengthen our team, not weaken it,” Shero said, noting a seller’s market of five teams.

“And if you’re a buyer, there’s not a lot of pickings.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_669584.html

Panthers deal Leopold; more trades may be on way

The Panthers maintain they can still make the playoffs, but that already improbable quest became even harder Monday when they traded one of their best defensemen.

As much as the Panthers would like to avoid tying the NHL record of nine consecutive seasons without a postseason appearance, they need to focus on the future.

So General Manager Randy Sexton dealt Jordan Leopold to the Penguins for a second-round pick in this year’s draft. The Panthers are expected to make more trades before Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

“It’s difficult,” Sexton said of giving up Leopold, “but we have to keep the big picture in mind here. We have to think of the long term along with the short term. We’re trying to balance both.

“But at the end of the day, a second-round pick for Leo, who could be [an unrestricted free agent] in July, we thought was a good value and the right time to make the deal. …It’s just another step in the process we started a few weeks ago.”

Unlike checking-line center Dominic Moore, sent to Montreal before the Olympic break for a 2011 second-round pick, Leopold played a prominent role for the Panthers. He’s second on the team in average ice time (22:25), plays special teams, and has seven goals and 11 assists in 61 games.

The Panthers acquired Leopold from the Flames in exchange for Jay Bouwmeester at last year’s draft, and then signed Leopold to a one-year, $1.75 million contract after he became a free agent days later.

He may be just the first of several notable Panthers to soon be moved. That includes goalie Tomas Vokoun, the team’s MVP this season. His streak of 21 consecutive starts will end Tuesday night against the Thrashers. The Panthers have said it’s for extra rest, but perhaps they don’t want to risk an injury to Vokoun in anticipation of a trade.

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who like Leopold also is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, might also be moved, in addition to forwards Rostislav Olesz, Cory Stillman and Steven Reinprecht and others.

After more than two weeks off because of the Olympics, the Panthers restart play Tuesday rejuvenated and motivated to make a run the final 21 games, but also anxious and uncertain about what will be left of the roster Wednesday.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/florida-panthers/fl-online-panthers-0302-20100301,0,6667275.story

Frequent Flyers: Source says Flyers near deal; Parent, Coburn to go?

Frank Seravalli

With the NHL’s trade deadline just a day away, the Flyers could be resting comfortably tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale, knowing their roster is set for the playoff push.

That’s because it could happen at some point today.

Yesterday, they set a series of moves into motion – officially sending defenseman Danny Syvret and forward Riley Cote to the waiver wire and goaltender Ray Emery (hip) to the long-term injured reserve list – that could clear enough salary-cap space to complete a deal this afternoon.

A league source has told the Daily News the Flyers are close to completing a deal with the Nashville Predators for defenseman Dan Hamhuis, possibly pending Cote’s and Syvret’s waiver status at noon today.

The trade deadline is tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Sources indicated that the Predators were interested in defenseman Ryan Parent – who came to the Flyers from Nashville in the Peter Forsberg trade in 2007 – and Braydon Coburn.

Once Syvret and Cote are wiped off the books – by clearing waivers or being claimed – and Emery is settled on the injured list, the Flyers will have effectively cleared $2.625 million in cap space. Hamhuis, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has a manageable cap hit of $2 million.

Hamhuis, 27, is a stay-at-home defenseman with an eye for bone-crunching hits. In 462 NHL games, he is exactly even in the plus/minus category. Averaging almost 22 minutes per game during his career, Hamhuis also has been one of the NHL’s most durable players. He has missed only nine games in six full seasons.

Hamhuis, a lefthanded shot, is from Smithers, British Columbia, notably home of former Flyers defensemen Joe and Jim Watson.

More pieces fell into place yesterday when Nashville acquired defenseman Denis Grebeshkov from Edmonton, making Hamhuis more expendable. Contract-extension talks broke down between Hamhuis and Nashville, though the Predators reportedly weren’t keen on trading Hamhuis while still in the playoff hunt. Grebeshkov changes that.

Parent, 22, could return from back surgery tonight as the Flyers resume their post-Olympic schedule in Tampa Bay. The Predators originally sent Parent to Philadelphia in ’07 knowing his back issues could be chronic. With those now repaired, Parent could be heading back to the Music City. Coburn, obtained in a trade with Atlanta in February 2007, has fallen out of favor this season after he was named the Flyers’ most improved player in 2007-08.

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/flyers/20100302_Frequent_Flyers__Source_says_Flyers_near_deal__Parent__Coburn_to_go_.html

Avalanche’s Svatos prepared in event of trade

The Denver Post

Marek Svatos had his bags packed Monday night. That was the case partly because the Avs will begin a two-game road trip starting with Wednesday’s game in Anaheim, and partly because he knows he could be traded by then.

“If it happens, it happens. I’m ready for it,” Svatos said. “I just put it in the back of my mind. We’ll see.”

With right wing Milan Hejduk sidelined Monday because of back spasms, Svatos played on the second line with Matt Duchene and Wojtek Wolski. Otherwise, Svatos’ season has been one long struggle. He has six goals and 10 points in 44 games — and a team-worst minus-11.

“The effort is there; I’m trying. It’s just a question of confid
ence,” Svatos said.

Svatos is in the final year of his contract, with a cap hit of $2.2 million. Scouts from at least two NHL teams — Chicago and San Jose — were at the game. The trade deadline is 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“I’ve been here six years. It’s been a while,” Svatos said. “I’ve always been happy to be here, but we’ll see what happens.”

http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_14495264

Leafs not alone in seeking changes

Mark Zwolinski

This time, it’s a seller’s market. By the time the NHL’s trade deadline arrives Wednesday afternoon, the teams with players to move should have enjoyed what is expected to be a bonanza of interest in their assets.

Whether interest translates into a flurry of deals remains to be seen.

In fact, the market was kick started by Leaf GM Brian Burke Jan. 31 when he engineered two head line making deals. Since those moves, and including them, there have been nine trades involving 34 players and 11 draft picks – a rash of activity that may have taken some of the steam out of Wednesday’s deadline.

But from all accounts – starting with Burke’s proclamation of a seller’s market to an abundance of buying teams – there should atleast be plenty of groundwork for player movements.

Burke ignited the expectations of a sellers market over the past few weeks. He’s let everyone in the league know he’s “open for business,” a situation spurred by the continuing makeover of his roster and hockey culture surrounding a Leafs franchise that will miss the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season.

Burke, though, is not the only GM with change on his mind.

Florida’s Randy Sexton hasn’t run the trade market bell as loudly as Burke, but he shares a disappointment with his club and a desire to do something about it.

The Panthers, like the Leafs, can now be creative in what interest they entertain. In Burke’s case, he has atleast three unrestricted free agents – Alex Ponikaorvsky, Lee Stempniak, and Wayne Primeau – who will almost certainly attract interest from contending teams looking to add depth to their playoff runs.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/773609–leafs-not-alone-in-seeking-changes