Two Quick Rumor Tidbits – June 22


$4 million reasons to trade Spezza


The Pittsburgh Penguins may consider trading veteran defenceman Sergei Gonchar’s negotiating rights.

Gonchar has a no-trade clause and the Pens would still like to extend his contract, but sources say there’s a good chance Gonchar will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so the possibility of following a trend of trading a player’s rights will likely be explored.

Pittsburgh is a cap team, but on the open market, the 36-year-old Stanley Cup champion could lure upwards of $6 million.

Over the past decade, offensively speaking, Gonchar has produced on a neck-and-neck pace with Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom as the NHL’s top point-getters among NHL defencemen.

Meanwhile, firm offers for Toronto defenceman Tomas Kaberle are expected to materialize by Wednesday or Thursday. Based on the inquiries, the Leafs will likely be able to make a deal, however the Draft is a starting point, so it’s possible any trade involving Kaberle may not happen until later this summer.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Andrew Ladd , Kris Versteeg and Dustin Byfuglien continue to draw interest, but sources say Chicago isn’t interested in trading Patrick Sharp.

Ladd , a two-time Stanley Cup winner, is scheduled to become a restricted free agent and is believed to be among the Hawks’ most shopped players.

In Florida, Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss are attracting the most interest, but Panthers GM Dale Tallon says he’s receiving calls on a number of different players.

$4 million reasons to trade Spezza

If the Senators are going to deal Jason Spezza , you can bet they’ll do it before July 1.

The Ottawa Sun has learned Spezza, like Dany Heatley a year ago, is owed a $4-million bonus on Canada Day.

If Senators GM Bryan Murray is going to trade his star centre, it likely has to happen before “no move” kicks in July 1. Spezza is heading into the third year of a seven-year, $49-million extension he signed in 2007.

Murray confirmed Monday that Spezza , in a post-season meeting, said a trade out of Ottawa wouldn’t bother him.

“He said he wouldn’t object to one,” said Murray in a pre-draft availability at Scotiabank Place. “He didn’t come in and say, ‘I have to be traded.’ He didn’t object to the fact that ‘Maybe it’s time with the way I’ve been received and maybe it’s time that I look around.’

“I said, ‘Well, unfortunately, that just doesn’t happen. You’ve signed a long-term contract. We have committed to you and you have committed to us.’ We will look at everything that’s going to help our hockey team, but I’m not going to make a bad trade.”

Spezza’s agent Rick Curran was tight-lipped. He said Spezza “didn’t demand a trade.

“I think that Bryan presented a pretty fair assessment of the situation so I really don’t think there’s any need for anything more to be said,” said Curran.

Even if the Senators determine they need to deal Spezza, it won’t be easy. Not many teams can fit the five years and $33 million left on his contract into their salary structure.

And Murray won’t give Spezza away. The club’s top pick in the 2001 NHL entry draft had 57 points in 60 games last season, with seven points in Ottawa’s first-round playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

told Murray he didn’t like being booed at home.

“The impression I got was that he was unhappy at the end of the year only because of what happened in the playoffs: No. 1 that we didn’t win and No. 2 that the response to him wasn’t very positive,” said Murray.

“(Spezza ) is under contract. He’s a player that we’re counting on being an important part of our hockey team. Like every player, it’s a possibility I get an offer that I can’t refuse. In turn, it’s not something I’m trying to do in a real intense way. I’m going to talk to teams about a number of things.”

The Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild could all be in the market for a centre. But not at any cost.

The Panthers are the most active team on the market with GM Dale Tallon trying to put his stamp on the team and trade Nathan Horton.

One Response to Two Quick Rumor Tidbits – June 22

  1. LeafsneedSteen says:

    It's been five years of Kaberle rumors, we'll never get closure on the Muskoka Five, he's not ever getting trading so let's hold breath until next year's deadline when he won't waive his no trade.

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