Monday, November 23, 2009

Leafs/Hawks nearing deal?

As was reported by AM 640 today, the Leafs and Blackhawks are talking trade and it could go down today, though I am hearing tomorrow is a more likely day for something to happen. Internet rumours suggest it could be Sopel and a 2nd or 3rd headed to Toronto, with the return to Chicago at this point unknown. The Hawks have been scouting the Marlies this week, and sources tell that Tlusty is a player Chicago has an eye for. I will tell you this: if Tlusty is involved, the return from Chicago would be better than Sopel and a pick. Do not be surprised to see a guy like Versteeg or Sharp involved, as that is what Brian Burke is really pushing for.

Sounds like Georges Laraque will get between four and six games for his hit. Sources tell that the league was looking at four games but Bob Gainey himself asked that the league give him an addional two. Thats sending a message.

Things are not good in Minnesota right now, and I'm hearing Josh Harding is being shopped in hopes of bringing back some offensive talent. The Havlat experiment is failing at this point.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blackhawks heading for trouble

While Chicago fans will be thrilled that Kane, Toews and Keith are all locked up long-term, the fact of the matter is that these kids are RFA's and were never a real threat to be going anywhere.

What isn't good news for Chicago fans is that they are now officially in cap hell. Toews and Kane are getting $6 million each, while I'm hearing Keith's deal will be between $4 and $5, so lets say $4.5. Total = $16 on three players.

This brings the the Blackhawks' cap number to $58 million on 14 players. The cap, which is going to go down next year (according to just about everyone I talk to) and I just don't see how the Hawks are going to do it.

Brian Campbell makes the most out of any Blackhawk at $7.15 million, and I just don't see that contract being moved. Huet makes $5.6 and the team may be able to get out from that via trade, but it won't be easy, not to mention it will leave the Hawks without a goalie. Niemi is an RFA after this season.

Andrew Ladd will also be an RFA, but if he wants any type of raise you can expect him to be somewhere else, maybe even by this year's deadline. Madden, Eager and Burrish are all UFA's, and if any want more than league min, they'll be going elsewhere next season.

Yes, the Blackhawka are full of star power, but exactly who is left on this roster come 2010-2011, I really couldn't guess. You have to think that a few of Seabrook, Barker, Versteeg, Sharp, Bolland and Byfuglien (and by a few, I think 3-4) may have to be sacrificed in order for this team to squeeze under the cap.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Rangers could use help down the middle...

The New York Rangers were interested in bringing in another centre already, but today's news that Brandon Dubinsky will miss 3-6 weeks with a broken hand means the search for another centre will likely be turned up. With Dubinsky out and Drury playing like he doesn't belong in the NHL, the Rangers are dangerously thin down the middle. Vinny Prospal is saving this team at this point.

Manny Legace is back in the NHL after signing a one-year, $500,000 deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. This should put an end to the Toskala-to-Carolina rumours we reported yesterday.

You have to think with all the injuries the Red Wings are dealing with that they'll be looking to bring in some help, but Ken Holland continues to tell the media he's not looking at any quick fixes. With that said, has learned that Holland has made a few calls around the league to see what sort of cheap help is available.

One player apparently on Detroit's roster is Miroslav Satan, who apparently is close to making a decision on returning to the NHL. Satan has two or three offers, and while none of them are from Detroit, I wouldn't be surprised if one is made in the next few days. Two confirmed teams who have made contact with Satan? Minnesota and Atlanta.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Canes show interest in Toskala?

With Cam Ward still in the hospital, it was announced today that Carolina is looking at adding goaltending depth to their team. I was told by a source today that one player the team has looked at is Vesa Toskala. Toskala is in the final year of a $4 million per year deal, and is one of the few potential starting goaltenders available on the trade market. To offset the cost, the Leafs would take one of three players in return: Walker, Samsonov, or Cullen. While these tlaks are in the very early stages, I wouldn't be shocked to see these two teams, who find themselves in 14th and 15h in the east, make a trade.

The Caps have placed Nylander on waivers. Nobody is going to take him unless he hits re-entry waivers, and even that is unlikely.

Bruce Garrioch suggests the dallas stars are seeking a big forward, and speculates that Dallas and Toronto could be working on a deal. Poni is the name that comes to mind. Garrioch also says the Panthers are shopping Horton and once again, Toronto could be involved.

Forsberg is still talking with KHL and NHL teams. If he does return to the NHL, Vancouver and NYR are the two teams with the most interest, though never say never when it comes to Detroit and Colorado.

The Oilers are shopping for a d-man and Kevin Lowe has been heavily scouting the lightning. Meszaros and Lukas Krajicek are the two players to watch on this front.

Rumours continue to swirl that the Habs have interest in Chris Chelios. He's played really well for the AHL's Chicago Wolves thus far.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nov. 5 Rumours!

We start in Tampa Bay, where a team with so much talent continues to struggle. Alex Tanguay, where are you? Several sources tell me that Vinny could be dealt sometime in the new year, though the trade deadline makes the most sense. The usual (Montreal, NYR) seem to the be teams most rumoured.

The Blackhawks definitely do have interest in Toronto d-man Tomas Kaberle, and Toronto is listening. A package would include some of Barker, Seabrook, Versteeg, Sharp and a draft pick. I'd say two of them would do it, depending on the strength of the draft pick, but Leafs could throw in something else to bring a third piece over. These talks will likely continue, and nothing is expected on this front until February at least.

As you've all heard, Forsberg is making another attempt at a comeback. The Rangers are interested and have told the public so. Detroit, Colorado, Montreal, LA and Colorado are also rumoured to have interest.

Biron to the Sabres is gaining a lot of steam.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Rumour Mill for November 3

We'll start in Montreal, where it's very interesting that Carey Price will be starting tonight against Atlanta. Some rumours continue to swirl that one of Price or Halak are on their way out, possibly to Chicago. Rumours also suggest that Andrei Kostitsyn and Georges Laraque could both end up in the AHL. I think it may be time for the Kostitsyn's to be packaged together and dealt.

Kessel returns to the Leafs tonight, with Tlusty going back to the AHL. If things don't improve over the next five games, changes will come in Toronto. The Monster will get the start tonight, while it's likely both he and Toskala will split the games this weekend. I'm hearing Toskala will go Friday, with Monster going Saturday against Detroit.

Carolina is apparently shopping Ray Whitney, but he's got a NTC, and I don't see him getting a lot of interest from around the league. I also heard a rumour that the team may have some interest in Shanahan.

Whispers around the league have the Oilers shopping Horcoff. He's really struggled thus far, but I still think he could become one of the best centres in the league if given the right opportunity.

Lehtonen is still on Detroit's radar, but two more goalies can be added to that list: NYI's Biron and Ottawa's Elliott.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Early Season Slumps...

A few teams that were expected to have playoff seasons have started off slow, meaning some changes are going to start to happen.

I'll start in Carolina, which is rumoured to be the first team who will get shaken up. Paul Maurice may not be the target, but his job is far from safe. The Hurricanes, expected by everyone but me to the make the playoffs in 5th or 6th place, currently sit 14th in the East, and are only one point ahead of the Leafs. The Leafs also have a game in hand, just saying. Expect something to happen in Carolina tonight or tomorrow, whether it be a trade, signing or coaching change.

Speaking of Toronto, don't expect any changes just yet. The team has played much better as of late, and Kessel's Tuesday return should be enough change to keep the team happy, at least for now. One thing is for sure, Toskala has lost his starting job and will back up the Monster for the forseeable future.

Nashville, Anaheim and St. Louis all sit in the botoom three spots in the West, and all three teams are searching for ways to improve their teams. The Ducks would love to move Giguere, but thus far the market for goalies is pretty dry. The Blue Jackets are also quickly falling back to earth, and some change could come there as well.

If anyone thinks the Red Wings are content with their goaltending, they are very incorrect. The team would love to upgrade their goaltending, but it has to be affordable. Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen could be their man.

The Rangers are trying to move Chris Higgins, with the Ducks and Wild both showing early interest. The Bruins are another team interested in the young forward.