Plenty of talk as the trade deadline approaches
TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta reviews some of the top
rumors circulating around the NHL.
ON] -- With three weeks to go before the NHL's annual
trade deadline, there are plenty of teams looking to
bolster their rosters.
The Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks,
Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars are looking for first-line
talent, while the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Ottawa
Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins are
trying to acquire secondary scoring.
As the days pass, trade talks will most definitely intensify
[leaving me with little sleep this month], as more and more
teams will know what direction they plan on going with a month
left in the regular-season.
The Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers
are among the current sellers, with the likes of Rob Blake,
Ladislav Nagy, Mats Sundin, Tomas Kaberle, Jarret Stoll and
Joni Pitkanen attracting plenty of attention.
Blake, who will miss a little bit of action because of a
bruised ankle, will waive his no-trade clause and accept a
move to a Stanley Cup contender. Sources say the Red Wings,
Senators, Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils are
who continues to declare his love for Toronto, will be
moved only if the right offer comes across GM Cliff
Fletcher's table. The Ducks are believed to be one of
the frontrunners, with prospect Bobby Ryan and
Edmonton's first-round pick available for trade.
The Red Wings, Senators, Canucks and Flames are also
very interested in Sundin. After speaking to sources
in all four cities, I would have to say the Sens might
have the inside track if they're willing to part with
one of Antoine Vermette or Patrick Eaves as part of a
The Wings have
Jiri Hudler and Kyle Quincey they're willing to dangle, and
Vancouver has Ryan Kesler and Luc Bourdon to offer. Calgary, on
the other hand, only has Alex Tanguay to offer, as they might
not be willing to part with last year's top pick Mikael Backlund.
In Montreal, the Habs are primarily searching for some extra
firepower, but could also bolster their blueline.
According to a source, Canadiens GM Bob Gainey held discussions
with Atlanta GM and head coach Don Waddell over the weekend
about Thrashers sniper Marian Hossa. In fact, Waddell was
spotted at Sunday's afternoon game against the Rangers.
Speaking to one Atlanta-based source, negotiations between the
Thrashers and Hossa's agent, Ritch Winter, haven't been going
well, as terms haven't even been exchanged, and "it's starting
to look like [Hossa] doesn't look like he wants to stay here."
The Canadiens would love to ship Michael Ryder to another team.
It's believed the Habs might try to offer Ryder and one of
Francois Bouillon or Mathieu Dandenault as part of a package for
Hossa that would almost certainly have to include one of their
top defensive prospects [Ryan O'Byrne, David Fischer, Ryan
McDonagh, Mathieu Carle or P.K. Subban] in order to get the deal
While the Habs may have the inside track on Hossa, the Ducks,
Stars, Wings, Penguins and Senators are also hot on his trail.
Down south, the Tampa Bay Lightning has a tough decision to
make. Do they sign Dan Boyle to a new contract or trade him for
some prospects and picks?
Boyle is going to command a high salary and the team might want
to use that money to try and lure a top goalie in the summer. I
was in Tampa last week and from what I was told, the team will
almost certainly trade the offensive-minded rearguard.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been keeping a close eye on Boyle,
who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this July. If
the Hawks land the 31-year-old, they'll immediately try to lock
him up to an extension.
Another Lightning on many teams radar is Vaclav Prospal.
Prospal only makes $1.9 million this season and his remaining
salary would fit well under any team's salary cap. The Stars,
Devils, Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche are also
interested in Prospal.
Tampa's cousin, the Florida Panthers, is also faced with a
little dilemma. Captain Olli Jokinen and GM/head coach Jacques
Martin apparently cannot get along and if the team is intent on
keeping Martin, Jokinen may be a goner. Calgary and San Jose may
be possible destinations.
Speaking of the Sharks, rumors have calmed over a possible
Patrick Marleau trade. The Shark captain has a new two-year
extension, which includes a no-trade clause, that kicks in July
1 and the team is looking to swap him for a scoring center.
There may be a match in Florida, but the Sharks would need to
package one of their young studs with Marleau if they want to
get their hands on Jokinen.
Finally, there's been plenty of talk surrounding Chicago's
Martin Havlat. Yes, the Blackhawks are willing to trade him.
But, he won't come cheap.
Havlat's had a few altercations with some of his teammates about
his willingness to win. If Hawks GM Dale Tallon can get his
hands on someone of equal or better talent, only then would be
pull the trigger.
The Blackhawks are not in all-out sell mode; they're trying to
build for next season. Outside of an unbelievable offer for
Havlat, expect Tallon to move the likes of Martin Lapointe,
Yanic Perreault [poor guy gets moved just about every deadline]
and Andrei Zyuzin. If the team can find a way to strengthen
itself for next season, they'd also be willing to part with Cam
Barker and Tuomo Ruutu.
David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period
Magazine and covers the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL for
TheFourthPeriod.com. He is also a contributing writer for
NBCSports.com and MSNBC.