Habs, Sens seem to be leading Hossa lottery

The Canadiens and Ottawa Senators might be leading the race for prized Atlanta Thrasher Marian Hossa, according to Bob McKenzie. And the well-plugged-in TSN commentator thinks a deal could be completed as early as today, expedited by the decision Sunday of Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin to not waive his no-trade clause.

180 Comments

  1. nightmare_49 says:

    If you own a building and in your budget you put a certain amount each year for say renovations and each year you put it off the building will still be there but it won’t be what it should be. Some posters which i respect say build from within but you know no matter how you draft there will be holes so you have to fill them and what we need is a sniper so lets gamble while were dealing from strength cuz this may not come around in the near future. All these prospects can’t all play for the Habs so use your assets to improve the structure.

  2. mrstewart61 says:

    I didn’t read any comments from management or media about the reason for Latendresse sitting out the CLB game, but I wonder if he may be part of an offer for Hossa??

    Also, Garrioch reports that a possible offer from Ottawa for Hossa would be ‘Antoine Vermette, a prospect — possibly Brian Lee, Nick Foligno or Ilja Zubov — and a top draft pick’. I think we can easily beat that.

  3. mrstewart61 says:

    He would look good in the lineup. I wonder what they would want in return??

  4. arcosenate says:

    Here’s an interesting article from the Hamilton Spectator:

    http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/330043

  5. Blitzen says:

    Not sure how I get the “Gainey is in a position of strength” angle. I think it’s just as likely that he’ll be outbid for the top players by desperate GMs. The only way he would be in a position of strength is if one of the sellers desperately wants to sell to the Habs, and no one else.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  6. Blitzen says:

    As I’ve said before, the only way Ottawa gets him is if they accept to be raped by Waddell who would be trying to make up for the Hossa/Heatley trade. I have no doubt that Waddell is asking more from Ottawa than from any other team.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  7. 24 Cups says:

    I know I’m sounding like a broken record on this one, but if Philly is getting desperate I sure hope Gainey is inquirying about Jeff Carter. We could offer Phily what they need although I doubt they would trade with a team that is so close to them in the standings.

    The Original 24 Cups

  8. Richard B says:

    Couple of comments,
    I agree that it is likely that Mr. Gainey would like a new contract signed with any new player before executing a deal. It is for this reason that I think it will be difficult for Gainey to pull it off.

    I also agree that he will be consious of team chemistry. Thus bringing in a top line talent like Hossa, may be risky.

    My last comment is about Ryder, without any personal knowledge of the relationships in the Habs dressing room…I expect Ryder is a key part of the team for more reasons than for his goal scoring ability or lack of ability.

    When I see Ryder on the Bench…he is talking with Higgins or Koivu ect.and he and the person he talks to are smiling and laughing and seem to be enjoying themselves.

    Contrast this with some other players or players on other teams that sit on the bench next to each other and just stare straight ahead?

  9. ccs says:

    I really hope that Bob brings in some real talent this time. Did he not promise Koivu in the off season that he would do this??? I say go after Hossa, we have the depth in this organization to do so. I would hate to see Ottawa get him. That would be a bad day for us all.

  10. coutNY says:

    They also have 3 great centers… and seeing that that Fluery has faultered this season and is coming off an injury I would question him going in the deal??

  11. piche says:

    Good points. We will know who has the greater value soon enough… although it is relative to the trading team’s needs. Philly is getting desparate and could end up giving up a boat load for Richards.

  12. Bill H says:

    Nightmare: I don’t recall what Bob offered Briere. And has a number been confirmed, or is it just rumour?

    No, I don’t want to see Gillette’s bank account get any fatter. It will be getting plenty fat in the next few years with deep playoff runs. But I think Bob must be careful how he spends the money, especially at this time of year. If he can make a deal that will improve the club without costing too much in prospects and picks, then that would be great.

    The Canadiens should be spending at close to the cap maximum. Having a little bit of space to make a deal is a good strategy. Doing a deal just because the money is there and we don’t want Gillette to get it is not a smart thing to do.

  13. Bill H says:

    Good point 24. But Hossa might be willing to sign with a “contender” for less than he would for Atlanta. In any case, it would seem he’s looking for $7M – $8M.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    Another factor that comes into all of this trade talk is how secure each GM’s position is within their individual organizations. There have been rumours that Martin’s job could be on the line if Florida doesn’t make the playoffs (I find that hard to believe). Waddell must be close to using up all of his lives in Atlanta and Feaster may be under the gun from the new owners to shake things up. I would also think that Murray in Ottawa is really feeling the heat. He won the powerplay with Muckler so now he has to come through win a Cup win. Contrast all of that with the teams in Detroit, Anaheim, Dallas, Montreal, and Vancouver where the management structure is pretty stable.

    Some GM’s may be desperate to make an earth shattering move in the next two days but I don’t think Gainey will be one of them. In that respect, he’s dealing from a position of strength.

    The Original 24 Cups

  15. Bill H says:

    You made your point about +/- while I was doing the same for Hossa below. I hadn’t looked up Richards stats though, and your point is a good one. I guess that’s why people think $8M is too much for him. Never a 30 goal scorer and lifetime -55 are not strong stats to support that kind of money. So looking at his playoff stats, I see 23GP 12G 14A 26 +/- +5 in ’03-’04, which I guess is the year he won the Conn Smythe.

    I agree with you. I wouldn’t sign either Richards or Hossa given what we think the cost would be. Especially Richards due to high salary and relatively poor performance historically.

  16. johnnyhab says:

    Watch the Pens land Richards now with 3 goalies in the system Tampa needs help in the net I could see Flurey going.

  17. 24 Cups says:

    Bill – Hossa turned down $7mil a year in Atlanta so I would imagine he will be looking for something a little bit sweeter than that. He also might be looking at one of those front end loaded contracts – he gets a ton of coin up front but has the cap hit average out at say 7.5 mil.

    The Original 24 Cups

  18. Bill H says:

    Good point HKisses. I think Hossa will get extended before he is traded, and his extension will be based on his current production which is on pace for 36G 40A 76Pts, and his past production. He’s not having his best season this year. His best season was 43G 57A 100Pts in ’06 – ’07. This year his +/- is -14. Last year he was +18. Maybe he won’t sign for $8M, because his numbers are down this year, but I think he will go for close to that based on past years.

  19. coutNY says:

    But you also have to consider the now,

    Hossa has put up has put up 6 above 30 goals seasons (working on 7) and is a lifetime + 85 player. Although this year this year -14.

    Richards never a 30 goal scorer and -55 lifetime and -25 currently. Yes he’s never been given the opportunity to be the goto guy but he also does not face top defenses either because not doubt their facing the LeCavalier line. He’s not a big imposing Center we all dream of being that he’s 6’0 198 pounds. His stats aren’t much better than that of Koivu’s which I would assume would be what we would be aquiring him for…

    I like Richards and would be happy to have him playing in Montreal but his salary at this point does not justify giving up as much as Hossa. Not that I would give up too much for Hossa either.

  20. nightmare_49 says:

    Didn’t Bob set the precedent with the offer to Briere , and every year Bob has set aside millions (mad money) for a special deal or two and nows the time to use it for the fans or do you want it to go back in Gillette’s bank account again.

  21. showey47 says:

    yeah, that has happened before. it may be a lousy example but when tremblay and brashear had their fallout and brashear was traded shortly afterwards to vancouver. The teams played shortly afterwards and this was part of the deal.

  22. HKisses says:

    Hmm don’t you think a player has to have a productive season to get a good pay raise….. So if Hossa doesn’t produce to his expectations, should he get paid like Richards?

  23. Bill H says:

    Beauchemin, Hainsey and Ribiero may not be BG’s best moves as a GM. But let’s face it, some players have trouble developing in the high pressure atmosphere that is Montreal. They do better in cities like Dallas. I don’t think there is anything Bob can do about that. At some point, he’s got to pull the plug and get something in return, especially when it begins to affect team morale.

    As I said in another post, I don’t think Bob will go for a rental player at this time. Ryder, Fischer, Perezhogin and Emelin is way too much for Hossa, unless the deal includes an extension.

  24. Cable Guy says:

    Bob wouldn’t agree to a trade with Hossa unless a long term contract could be signed with him. Bob won’t get a rental player.

  25. likehoy says:

    I think here’s the interesting question…if Hossa is traded to us tomorrow before 3pm…is he eligible to play for us right away, considering we’re playing atlanta tomorrow night?

    I mean all he has to do is report to the team and pass his physical and it’s going to be pretty hard not to report to montreal when his team’s already in montreal, but can waddell agree a deal where we get hossa but he has to sit out the game against them?

  26. HKisses says:

    Yep Showey47 is right…Gillett for sure up to get a high impact player, I know Joey Eilias’s Girlfriend from CJAD and she knows Komi. And she told me that Gillett is one of the reasons Price was called back up (No im not starting Rumors)

  27. Bill H says:

    It depends on what Hossa will extend for. His value is way down unless an extension is part of the deal. And I don’t think he will be extending for $5M a year. More likely it will be a number much closer to what Richards is signed for.

    The other thing to consider is that Richards is a Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Hossa’s playoff production drops off from his regular season play.

  28. Bill H says:

    I think Bob is looking hard at players like Hossa, Tanguay, Richards, and Jokinen. He’s said publicly that he is looking for an impact player and I believe him. I don’t think Bob considers a bottom 6 forward to be an impact player.

    The problem, if you can call it that, is twofold. I don’t think Bob wants to trade a key rooster player. I would call Higgins and Koivu key rooster players. I would say Ryder and Huet are not. Of course Bob may have a different opinion, but I’m guessing that he is of like mind. But the point is that Bob is aware of team chemistry and given our depth and youth, I don’t think he will risk too much.

    The second part of the equation, in my opinion, is salary. Richards is signed at just under $8M if I am not mistaken. Hossa will probably extend for a similar amount. I think Bob would be reluctant to sign someone for those numbers as they set a precedent and really throws the whole team salary structure out of balance. Jokinen is the only one who is signed for an amount that is in line with other Habs players. But this fact makes him worth even more in a trade. His so-called grit and size do too. I don’t see Bob getting into a bidding war and paying too much.

    Lastly, I don’t see us signing a rental. If anyone is coming, either they are already signed through next year, minimum, or Bob will extend them before the deal is finalized.

  29. mjames says:

    I posted this on M. Boones’s thread. Maybe it belongs here!

    I kind of wish Gainey would sit this one out. I have a hard time justifying giving players, prospects and draft choices for a rental. We saw last year the experience of the Flames, Nashville, Detroit and Islanders. They gave up good assets and all are left with nothing this year. That is not good business. While Montreal’s managment has done a stellar job in drafting and growing players they tend to give them away for nothing or very little (i.e. – Beauchemin, Hanisey, Ribero,) We can’t keep on doing that. It makes no sense. The max I would give for Houssa as a rental would be Ryder, Fischer and rights to Perezhogin and Emelin. Halak stays as we will lose Huet next year.

    mjames

    mjames

  30. piche says:

    If you had to give the same package for either player, who would you rather have on your team: Hossa or Richards.

    Richards has had a tough year this year… illness and lack of line mates on a terrible team have contributed to his stats this year. Also he may be expensive but you are assured he is not a rental.

    Personally I take Richards… hands down. Although I would probably take Jokenin over both of them.

  31. showey47 says:

    true gainey maybe a conservitive guy, but his boss definatly isn’t. Gillett would also like the extra playoff revenue i’m sure.

  32. coutNY says:

    Maybe True… but his stats are not Teir 1, maybe in potential but diffentaly not proven. Couple that with his salary, I would make the anguement for 2nd teir status. A player that would not command much in return at this point Richards or Marleau and even Ryder at this point in time because of their poor years can’t command much as much as players like as a Jokkenen or Hossa which I would consider teir 1.

  33. Bill H says:

    Thanks Count. I am sure Spector is getting tons of traffic these days. But I suspect it might be a problem with my firewall settings, since I haven’t been able to get Spector’s page for weeks now.

  34. coutNY says:

    I actually do on occaisions. With all the traffic their servers might be getting overwhelmed, so it might be something you have no control over. Also firewalls, because the site might run macros in the background, which trigger blocks by some systems. I can’t even get on Fourthperiod rumors anymore.

  35. HKisses says:

    I agree….atleast if we had brought up Halak he knows the game and has experience from last year….His experience is more then Price’s i would rather have seen Halak get a chance to play over Price… My two cents

  36. piche says:

    Richards is not a 2nd tier player… just too expensive.

  37. Bill H says:

    Thanks countNY. That is what I thought it was. Every time I go there, it won’t load properly. I get a page that says “Internet Explorer can not display this webpage. Likely causes,…etc.” Anyone else have this problem? Its not just this morning. I’ve tried several other times and its always the same thing.

  38. coutNY says:

    Its hard to believe he didn’t take something like that know he will probably not be picked up next year by the laffs and fall out of media favor for not “helping” the cause to better the franchise with accepting a move, but thats why he had the clause to begin with so good for him! Seeing how JFJ got run out of town, I bet the Laffs will do the same with him at year-end.

  39. nightmare_49 says:

    It’s money that Sundin likes and he has major investments around TO so why leave them for to help the club which is just a hobby for him.

  40. Bill H says:

    I don’t think your comment is fair. Winning can be a major priority even while loyalty is a higher priority and winning at all costs is not.

    Sundin has stated that he does not believe in the concept of a rental player, so I give him credit for being true to his beliefs. It is clear that the majority of players believe that the only loyalty they have is towards themselves, and making as much money as possible is the most important priority for them.

    That being said, I am surprised Sundin has not considered extending with whoever he is traded to. Then he wouldn’t be a rental, but rather it would be a more legitimate trade. However, whatever his decision, I give him credit being true to his own principles and not being swayed by money.

  41. Habs64 says:

    Another source passed along word that the Detroit Red Wings offered Sundin a two-year contract extension if he would waive his no-trade agreement with the Maple Leafs. However, he refused to OK the deal.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/hockey/bruins/view.bg?&articleid=1075780&format=&page=1&listingType=bru#articleFull

  42. nightmare_49 says:

    Thank God for the laffs country club and president Sundin. If Sundin had waived the NTC the laffs might of started down the road that the Phoenix Coyotes took and rebuilt to a decent playoff contender but now they are on the avenue called mediocrity and will stay there for a long time. The funny thing about this is that the laffs weren’t sure if they should resign Sundin this summer and now he is the true leader of their country club , FORE.

  43. coutNY says:

    I agree, Like I said in an above post, I’d be surprise if we get either now that they’re a couple of the most coveted assets in a market now that it is less players such as Sudin and Forsberg…

  44. Smart Dog says:

    People – let’s not talk about a “dissappointing trade deadline”. The only dissappoinment would be a bad trade and that won’t happen.

    It’s Bob & co’s smart drafting that has us in a sweet position – our pipeline of strong developing players and our youth puts the Habs in a strong position. If we land Hossa it won’t gut the team – odds are we’ll lose one or both of Valentenko and Grabovski – as well as an NHLer, another prospect or pick. But we have a lot more good developing players and so much youth on the current team we can take the hit.

    If we don’t get Hossa we’re in a much better position to sign a star free agent this summer. Our many strong rookies and young players will be a year stronger next year, and our prospects another year stronger for another deal.

    Gainey will take the best shot at Hossa he can without messing up the strengths of the current team. (In other words, he’ll trade maybe one current player). But he knows his hand is strong and just grows stronger if he doesn’t get Hossa.

    So whatever happens let’s be supportive of Bob and of our team. Trust Bob to manage our resources well. We’re in a sweet spot – and will be for some time. Unlike the latter 90’s, it’s GREAT TIME to be a HABS FAN!!!

    And if that’s not enough for you – look down the river at Toronto. You have to respect Sundin. He’s always been 100% class, and pride. And now his very pride is slamming it to the Leafs. Ouch! Tough day to be a Leaf fan. A little icing on the cake for us!

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  45. coutNY says:

    With Sundin going down with the Titantic with the band still playing, (meaning all of the others with NTC following suit), leaving a TO franchise with no picks, no future, and chuck full of overpaid underacheivers with NTCs; This will be a consolation if nothing happens in the way of trade for Mtl knowing many years of trouble ahead for the laffs.
    The truth is with players like Sudin not moving leaves the market’s supply without top 2 assets (Sundin & Forsberg), so guys like Hossa, JOkkenen, and Tanquay are now demanded by a greater number of teams once focusing on these other top players. Not to mention 2nd teir players such as Richards, Gratton, or a Prospel. Sure things could still happen, but I am not holding my breath…

    Good luck BOB…GO habs Go!

  46. Bill H says:

    Can someone please post the url for Spector’s page. It moved and I can’t seem to find it, not even with google’s help. I’d like to check in and stay current with developments. And of course Eklund’s page is useless for that as it is all unfounded rumours.

  47. RH says:

    Sounds about right. The Habs are MORE than one player away from WINNING the Cup. I question whether Hossa is even capable of leading the Habs over ANY of the Western Conference teams, in the big show. The Habs need, not necessarily bigger, but tougher players. Grinders, that know what it’ll take to get to the promised land. Players that will leave EVERYTHING on the ice, each and EVERY game by sacrificing the body, with tough body checks, by crashing the net, and by being resilient after a loss.

    The Habs ALSO need to figure out the goaltending situation. Either send Price down and call up Halak or, trade Huet and allow Price to develop his game at the professional level. Personally, Price should never have been called back up. He should have stayed in Hamilton, to work out ALL of the kinks in his game. The position the Habs are in, they can’t afford for Price to work through his deficiencies with THEM.

    The lack of defensive effort the past few games are self explanatory.

    Uneventful letdown? I prefer to call it staying on an even keel. Let’s not get carried away with big name free agents when there are other areas of this team that need to be addressed. Toughness, goaltending, and better team defense.

  48. habsguy says:

    Maybe good old Mats just wants to take his $$$$ and go home instead of playing an extra 3 months with a cup contender???

  49. HotHabs says:

    I, for one, will be very surprised if that goes down.

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  50. Cable Guy says:

    Don’t be surprised if we end up with Hossa and Tanguay.

  51. HKisses says:

    Yep im the “insider” , My name is Bob McRumor and his jersey has been made and he will have the number 69… I didn’t make his jersey as i don’t have the proper machinery to make it,although my friends at Mission have made 3 of his jersey’s already

  52. HotHabs says:

    So, are we saying the Leafs need balls?

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  53. Y says:

    Nice. I hope it’s in Comic Sans Serif

  54. Blitzen says:

    $8M
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  55. HotHabs says:

    LOL!!!

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  56. Blitzen says:

    No they’ll be new balls. Whiffle balls.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  57. Y says:

    Are you this insider? Did you make his jersey? What number is he going to have in Montreal?

  58. Blitzen says:

    “Yeah Mats? After talking about it some more, we’ve decided to put you on waivers and use that money to get a big ticket item to Toronto. We’ll be happy to sign you back next year of course. Oh and we’ve just put out another press release saying that Kaberle is the one with the season-ending injury so you’re OK!”

    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  59. tony d says:

    someone on this blog mentioned trading McCabe for a bag of golf balls…. I hope they didn’t mean NEW golf balls!!
    that would be a bad trade

  60. HotHabs says:

    I suppose the hopes of Toronto Centric Network are hanging on that one!

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  61. HotHabs says:

    Why am I getting the strong sense that this year’s trade deadline will be an uneventful letdown?

    We all know Gainey is ultra conservative with deals. Why would he suddenly change? Will one or two players make a big enough difference to push the team deep in the playoffs and contend for the cup? I know anything can happen, but the Habs are more than a player away from winning it all. I’m sure, with all his wisdom and brilliance, Gainey is fully aware of his team’s hopes and potential.

    If anything, the west coast teams are going to make the most splashes on trade day. It is the stronger conference and one of its constituents will likely take home the hardware this year.

    TSN must be hoping and praying for a Gainey anomaly. And if Ottawa can’t pull something off, there won’t be much Canadian team drama. That means ratings will take a hit! Man, they must be hating the Leafs and their no-trade loyalists right now!!!

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  62. Blitzen says:

    The next move from classy MLSE regarding Sundin:

    “Yeah Mats…great that you would not want to lift the NTC we gave you but would you mind pretending to be hurt for the rest of the year so we might have a better shot at Stamkos? TIA! Hope you don’t mind but we’ve already put out a press release about your season-ending injury.”
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  63. Habs64 says:

    Hossa to the Habs on Monday according to insiders!

  64. Ian G Cobb says:

    This is a business and to get him the Leafs signed a no trade clause. Sundin wanted it in his contract for his reason and the leafs agreed. At his age and what he has done in this game, he defiantly deserves to not move his family if he has honored his part of the agreement. Why do you think Don Cherry is an entertainer,? Because he knows nothing about hockey and honoring agreements.

    Never thought i would be backing a leaf. But people have to start putting honor and quality back into this game. We have it back in Montreal now.!!!

  65. Blitzen says:

    I agree with you on that. To blame Sundin now is ridiculous but what do you expect from Leaf fans?

    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  66. Blitzen says:

    Now there is no way that he goes back to Ottawa unless he brings back an absolute king’s ransom. Everyone says the Thrashers came out the losers of the Hossa-Heatley trade and Waddell will not want that to happen again. If Ottawa gets him, it’ll be for a package that:

    a) no other team will be willing to match; and
    b) will gut the Sens à la Leafs for years to come.

    What if the Habs pull a reverse-Sundin with Hossa? i.e. keep all your prospects by NOT trading for him and then sign him as a UFA this summer?
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  67. Cable Guy says:

    Why should Sundin waive his no trade clause that he bargained for in good faith to help out a team that was mismanaged by JFJ? What does Sundin owe that team?
    Yes winning is important to him but he doesn’t want to go somewhere and win a cup if he hasn’t been with that team the whole year and he’s earned that right to stay put. i don’t blame him.

  68. Richard B says:

    There has ever only been one leaf that I thought was worth their salt, and that was Sundin. And while you have to admire a guy who wants to stick with his team, you have to believe that if he really wanted the best for his team he would allow himself to be traded for a boat load of talent!
    I don’t get this guy?
    I guess it is apparent that winning in the NHL is not his major priority.

  69. HKisses says:

    U’d be surprised…His jersey is already made….They are just hoping he picks Montreal now

  70. HKisses says:

    U’d be surprised…His jersey is already made….They are just hoping he picks Montreal now

  71. tony d says:

    yeah I’m staying inside today too, too friggin cold out there

  72. Blitzen says:

    Letdown? Come on man, McCabe is still up for grabs. What more could you possibly want?
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  73. Ian G Cobb says:

    I’M an insider.! and no one has called me about it yet.?

  74. tony d says:

    Sundin is the only classy guy to come out of the Leafs organization
    I admire his loyalty and he deserves to be with a team who
    cares more about him…I wish him luck in the future and hope he can retire one day with a sense of victory….unfortunately it’ll never be with the Laffs
    Toronto, you blew it!

  75. Blitzen says:

    The sobbing and digging sounds you’re hearing are coming from TSN, currently burying their ratings for their 10-hour show now that the only Leaf player left will be McCabe and he’ll be traded for a bag of golf balls.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  76. habs33 says:

    Blizten, excellent point. As much as I love TSN, I know they’re Toronto-centric.

  77. port elgin says:

    Sounds like the fat man is trying to get people to watch tsn tradecentre. This years deadline will be a bust, all there is left is a bunch of overpaid bums. If I had a nickel for every one of Bob Mckenzies rumours that never came to be I could afford front row season tickets at the bell.

  78. wild flower says:

    Canadian spotlight falls on Hossa

    By Craig Custance
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Published on: 02/25/08

    Montreal —- The Toronto Maple Leafs’ locker room was opened to the media after Saturday’s morning skate and at least three-dozen journalists crammed into the room.

    “Here comes the herd,” announced one of the Leafs, who stepped aside to let the group by.

    But the herd’s main attraction was gone. Toronto captain Mats Sundin, the center of trade rumors, escaped long before the media arrived.

    As the media milled around, Toronto Sun columnist Mike Zeisberger spotted something, then sprinted out of the room.

    On instinct, the group rushed out with him, where Zeisberger led them to Sundin in street clothes, making his exit.

    “I would have led the lemmings off a cliff if I could have,” Zeisberger joked later about the followers he had to share the interview with.

    It’s such a stark contrast to what the Atlanta Thrashers are used to. One NHL coach likened the intensity surrounding the Leafs to the New York Yankees media on steroids. And Montreal is just as intense, only in French.

    Those are the conditions Thrashers GM Don Waddell and Marian Hossa are dealing with as the clock ticks toward Tuesday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline. It just so happened that the schedule maker put the Thrashers in the world’s two biggest hockey media markets in the days leading up to the trade deadline, which has virtually become a Canadian holiday.

    Once Sundin left Saturday morning, the attention turned to Hossa, who is the other big prize on the trade market. With the crowding reporters creeping ever closer to Hossa’s stall, Hossa patiently answered questions about his future.

    “Don’t worry about my personal space,” shouted a sarcastic Bobby Holik as he tried to shed equipment after practice despite the crowd of media around his stall next to Hossa’s.

    Hossa’s neighbor on the other side, Brad Larsen, has learned to stay on the ice a few extra minutes during practices on the road to give time for the Hossa craziness to die down.

    But in Toronto, that extra time wasn’t enough. When he entered the room, his stall still was blocked by reporters.

    “I’m always beside Hoss on the road. There’s always media around but never for my stall,” Larsen joked. “I knew today was going to be bad, I’m guessing Montreal will be worse.”

    Following the loss to Toronto, the Thrashers flew to Montreal where rumors have been circulating for weeks of a Hossa deal between the Canadiens and Thrashers.

    The Thrashers practice in Montreal today, then get to face the Montreal media again the morning of the trade deadline following Tuesday’s morning skate.

    Hossa said he stays focused on hockey by avoiding newspapers and television, but he couldn’t escape the Montreal rumors.

    He got a laugh when it was reported that he had special gloves ordered in Canadiens colors and shipped to Montreal last week in anticipation of a trade.

    “I don’t know who ordered those gloves. It made me laugh,” Hossa said. “Somebody told me they saw me in a Montreal airport already; that was another good one.”

    And while Hossa is the big catch, Waddell acknowledged there’s been increased interest in all of the Thrashers’ potential free agents, including veterans Holik, Mark Recchi and Johan Hedberg. Right now, he’s exploring all options.

    Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik, who didn’t play in Toronto, is also being shopped.

    “We knew coming into these media markets that it would be much busier than normal,” Waddell said. “It’s just something you have to be prepared for. I don’t run from it.”

  79. Cable Guy says:

    I think it’s a forgone conclusion were gonna get Hossa, Wadell has been attending alot of Habs games in recent weeks and was at the Hamilton game yesterday. Grabs will definately be a part of the package.

  80. gfunkdoc says:

    As much I hate the Leafs, I respect Sundin. Even more so now that he’s decided to stay in Toronto. He could have easily been traded to a team with a good chance of winning the cup this year but he decided to stay loyal to a team in the bottom 5 and their fans. Kind of refreshing in today’s NHL, and sports scene in general.

  81. johnnyhab says:

    What I’m worried about if we do land Hossa or any other and give up future talent plus a player is he going to be a rental? I hope the Montreal organization does not give up too much and gamble future players if the Habs can’t sign anyone to a contract extension.

  82. johnnyhab says:

    Please keep the young D untouchable!!

  83. wild flower says:

    Five teams that covet Hossa
    Possible destinations if Thrashers make a trade

    By CRAIG CUSTANCE
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS

    Five places Marian Hossa could end up if he is traded by the Thrashers:

    1. Detroit: Waddell is close with Detroit GM Ken Holland and the Red Wings have the depth to pull it off. And the pressure to do so.

    2. Montreal: Both organizations have been scouting each other heavily lately.

    3. Anaheim: Ducks have excess draft picks and young players ready to contribute.

    4. Dallas: The Stars would love to add a scoring winger to play beside Mike Modano.

    5. San Jose: Sharks center Patrick Marleau would fit the bill of a player who immediately helps the Thrashers.

    Your Turn
    Marian Hossa says chances are ‘slim’ he will re-sign by Feb. 26. What should the Thrashers do?

    Pay him 32.28% 706
    Trade him 63.33% 1385
    Play out season and lose him 4.39% 96

  84. Blitzen says:

    The best thing that could happen to them right now would be for all remaining big ticket items to get traded today so they can cancel the show tomorrow. As it is now, they’ll still have to go ahead with it and it will be the absolute S.U.C.K.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  85. habs33 says:

    I don’t know…sometimes MacKenzie is better when he’s unscripted, and while that’s definitely not true for Pierre MacGuire, I think MacKenzie has some good insights. They’re going to be tethered to their blackberries regardless of Sundin.

    I’m actually glad Sundin did what he did. It shows a backbone and a willingness to stay the course. Of course this means utter disaster for the Leafs, but you can’t expect Mats to bail out a team who have made bad decision after bad decision.

  86. anotherhab says:

    NO RENTALS PLEASE!!!!
    I’d sooner if possible have the big center that we been after for ever in “Jokinen” he’s signed for two more seasons at $5.25 & 5.50 million. Probably would have to package up Higgins who I’d hate to lose — however Jokinen won’t come cheaply! He’s a Finn like Koivu, move Koivu on his right side and trade Ryder etc for Tanguay to play on the left side (he’s signed for another year at 5.4M).
    This should take us far for this playoff run and also next season.

    Do it BG!!!!

  87. HotHabs says:

    Tanguay doesn’t want to play in Montreal. And, apparently he was injured last night and left the game without returning. I haven’t heard anything else re his status.

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  88. arcosenate says:

    This stuff is getting out of control! Check this out:

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=13623

  89. HKisses says:

    SORT OF BREAKING NEWS

    According to the Fan 590 on air report they are reporting a deal with Montreal and Atlanta is almost done and has been send to NHL offices in approval. Could be completed by this afternoon. They didn’t report the players in trade.

  90. mrstewart61 says:

    Are they reliable?

  91. HKisses says:

    Not tu sure…but it sounds pretty reliable, they don’t really go all out crazy with rumors like other sites (eg, TSN,Team 990)

  92. nightmare_49 says:

    In the interview yesterday between periods of the Dawgs game Waddell sayes he does all of his GM work on the off days and game day he’s strickly a coach only but i wonder if he would keep up this discipline Tuesday. I sure hope O’Bey isn’t involved in a trade like rumoured.

  93. HKisses says:

    Or he’ll get all his GM business done today…..and no need to be GM tomorrow if he gets everything done today

  94. Smart Dog says:

    Sources say the sticking point in the Hossa deal is a really hot Thrasher prospect they don’t want to part with. Don’t give in Bob – the Habs need more players like this one!:
    http://thrashers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&id=20807

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  95. mrstewart61 says:

    Do you think the free massages will help or hinder the other ‘players’?

  96. gmd says:

    damn Smart Dog, I fell for it LOL

  97. arcosenate says:

    medical massage therapy, hmmm…

  98. Bill H says:

    LOL What’s the matter. A little fur not to your liking?
    http://www.youppi.ca/index_en.php

  99. rogus says:

    That would help morale…mine anyways!

  100. mrstewart61 says:

    I was reading on RDS that Cory Urquhart went to Phoenix in the trade for Olivier Latendresse. Hadn’t heard that before. Coulda had Bergeron!

  101. nightmare_49 says:

    Old news from a week ago at least.

  102. HKisses says:

    HAHAHAHAHa…type in EXPOS Or Hossa lol

  103. Smart Dog says:

    Nothing wrong with a LITTLE fur. 😉 I draw the line at the arms and back tho.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  104. habsgod says:

    look i think bob gainey is in a good position here!he can make a deal and we have the stuff go give up!!but if bg doesn’t it no big deal!!because we’ll just draft some very good young prospects that will make us even deeper and better!i’ve read some of the post and i can tell you this!!don waddell thrasers g..m. doesn’t hold the cards in a potential hossa deal !we do!!he has to trade this guy or he walks away and he gets nothing and loses his job in atlanta!!so i can tell you this the kostitsyn’s won’t be traded!!i don’t even think higgins would go in the deal!!yes i think if this trade was made 3 weeks ago higgins would have been the center piece of the deal for atlanta!but not at the last minute!i think waddell has to make a deal and take it back to his fans and sell them on this deal!!i think this will be part of what is given up for hossa potentially!!ryder,grabovsky,emelin and a pick!!!look! this is a deal i think waddell will ultimately accept!!i know you guys on here will say atalnta can get more!!but seriously!!will they?what team has stuff like this to give up?we can and will and it won’t hurt us!this deal also helps atlanta somewhat by giving them a couple of a list prospects and a 30 goal man in ryder!

  105. RS says:

    Lots of teams have a couple decent prospects in the system. I’m sure Atlanta is getting some other offers.

  106. TradeRyder says:

    You’re right Bob is in the driver’s seat but only because we don’t NEED to trade and because we have so many good prospects that if we do trade we don’t need to gut the team or the farm. If we don’t get Hossa, it will be because they want the Kostits or Plekanec or Komi, or someone else Bob wont’ part with. I trust Bob on this one.

    _____________________________________________________________
    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  107. mjames says:

    Wow – A thirty goal scorer, two good prospects and a draft pick for a rental ?????? I will trade with you any day. You are paying too much. I agree Gainey holds the cards. Waddell can keep Houssa and lose him. Ryder and Emelin and maybe a 2009 third round pick.

    mjames

  108. TradeRyder says:

    Was that a trade? I thought it was a loan?
    _____________________________________________________________
    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  109. Blitzen says:

    It’s a loan that will become a trade after the season.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  110. cautiousoptimist says:

    I’m pretty sure it was.

    http://www.flickeringpictures.com

  111. mrstewart61 says:

    I hadn’t seen who it was for at the time.

  112. habsgod says:

    rs that’s true but realistically not many teams have the kind of prospects that we have to offer in trades!

  113. Blitzen says:

    One guy just called team 990 and suggested the Habs should go out and get Paul DiPietro. People become ret…I mean insane at this time of year.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  114. coutNY says:

    who the helll is Paul DiPietro? Rick’s evil twin?

  115. Blitzen says:

    Former 36 year old Hab player.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  116. showey47 says:

    In his prime he is the kind of spark plug the habs could use down the stretch he was a big part of the habs stanley cup in 1993.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=00001355

  117. coutNY says:

    Hey Paul’s got 22 goals in the Swiss A league last year almost a pt per game this year. Played 6 games back in 96-97 with LA. Sounds like a playoff performer. I think were in the market for a 5’9 – 185 lbs. 37 year old right winger. Hey he does have a right hand shot??? THese clowns are funny… We already have Breezer with playoff experience in the press box are they saying he needs company?

  118. RS says:

    No, no, Rocky’s son. (cousins really)

    Actually he looked pretty good last Olympics (along with Streit). And I liked him when he was a Hab.

  119. cautiousoptimist says:

    Help me out with this one, guys.

    We all know perfectly well that any Web rumour citing only “sources” or “league insiders” is worth about as much as the Internet ether it’s written on. So why do we eat it up so darn much? And why are these Hossa/Jokinen sweepstakes so much fun? I’m not proud of it, but I can’t get enough of this nonsense.

    http://www.flickeringpictures.com

  120. KeepRyder says:

    Hey,

    Just back from watching the game this weekend. The ceremony was excellent! The game wasn’t. :(

    I didn’t even get to cheer a goal. Watching the game live, at least for the Columbus game, you tend to see how soft the first three lines were. Columbus was physical and abrasive to Kovalev’s line, Koivu’s line and Lapierre’s line. We need a physical presence going through to the playoffs. I would be more inclined to see if we can get Jokinen or at least someone with his type of physicality. The playoffs are a different game. It will be needed.

    What are the odds of me having to change my onscreen name by tomorrow? I did an informal poll of my section and it was a 50% – 50% split to keep Ryder. FYI!

    I give myself an 80% chance of changing the name, especially if Tanguay is up for grabs.

    ____________________________________________
    It can only get better!! Go Ryder, Go Habs!

  121. TripleX says:

    Sportsnet is reporting that this mornings practice of the Thrashers was closed. Don’t know if it means anything…..but I sure hope so…lol.

  122. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    exactly…YOU ARE CORRECT.

    that was my MAIN COMMENT after the game….AGAIN KOVY HAVING TO PUT UP WITH FACEWASHES…..

    GAINEY..DO NOT TRADE FOR WIMPS..like hossa…
    ———
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    1. ONLY BELIVEAU CAN CONVINCE LECAVALIER…
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  123. HotHabs says:

    I’m not expecting much from Gainey. But, should he pull something off to get Hossa or Jokinen (or Sundin – TSN “off the record” panel thinks he’ll reneg NTC at the midnight hour), you can expect Grabovski will go and very likely Ryder plus a 1st round pick.

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  124. Rocket9 says:

    Please Bob, no Hossa for Les Habitants. He’s an excellent regular season player, but we don’t need any more of those. We’re challenging for 1st in the conference.

    What we need are gritty, playoff performers. Guys like Corey Stillman (who unfortunately is no longer available.)

    We don’t want to be like the Ottawa team with Hossa and Havlat who for so many years played really well in the regular season and then disappeared in the playoffs.

  125. HotHabs says:

    Sorry to disagree, but look at Hossa’s playoff stats and you’ll see he is a strong playoff performer. The only year he sucked was last year – but the entire Atlanta team sucked with him.

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan

  126. mrstewart61 says:

    My armchair GM deal:

    Grabs, Gorges, Lats, Valentenko for Hossa

    Huet, Ryder for Chris Gratton and a 1st.

    Okay, go ahead with your comments/abuse. :)

  127. HKisses says:

    Your Fired!!!!

  128. mrstewart61 says:

    Do I get a buyout?

  129. mrstewart61 says:

    How about Hossa and a 1st? Then Hossa gets 6 year deal.

  130. krob1000 says:

    http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?service=page&page=PlayerDetail&playerId=8458943&tab=crst

    Stillman a playoff performer and gritty????? His stats are worse than Hossa’s in the playoffs and as for the grit that just confuses me. One year he had 56 penalty minutes(the most of any season in the NHL). Hossa is 6’1″, 210 pounds while Stillman is 6’0″, 200 lbs. Stillman is also 34 years old. Ottawa is in a win now mode and we are looking for guys to help this year and for the next two or three as well. A guy like Hossa or Jokinen would be a very productive over that time frame. All of the guys we are looking at are experienced top six forwards around 28-30 years old who could help us now and later. We are not looking at 35 year olds folks.

  131. Rocket9 says:

    Hossa, playoffs = 55GP, 13G,22A, 55pts, -9, (0.63ppg)
    Stilman, playoffs = 78 GP, 17G,32A, 49pts,+11 (0.63 ppg)

    Their PPG are basically identical. However, their +/- is vastly different. And Stillman’s got two cups and Hossa has never really had a sniff, other than one year in the conference finals.

    I didn’t realize Stillman was that old, however, I wasn’t saying to get Stillman, I was saying to get a gritty playoff performer. If Stillman isn’t a gritty playoff performer then I used a bad example, but the bottom line is, in my opinion, Hossa is not a gritty playoff performer.

    As for Hossa, I guess I was going by my recollection and not stats. The stats may say he’s a playoff performer, (from a points perspective), but that’s not at all how I remember him in his Ottawa days. Maybe it was an entire team thing rather than just him, but the fact is that they never got over that hump until they made the Hossa/Heatley trade and got rid of Havlat.

    Again, my impression of Stillman was just that, an impression. He’s won cups and has been an integral part of those teams. However, again, I wasn’t saying to get Stillman, he’s not even available. I was saying that we need grit.

  132. RS says:

    Um, right now we could use some regular season performers!

    And Hossa’s “playoff disappearing act” is an overblown myth. He’s no Claude Lemieux, but he hasn’t always been so bad either.

  133. Rocket9 says:

    Sorry one more thought. I guess the other point I’d like to make is that I wouldn’t necessarily be against getting a guy like Hossa if we already had a team full of grit, and we needed some finesse and scoring. However, that’s not the situation the Habs are in. They have tons of talent. What they need is grit.

    We all know the playoffs are a totally different game of hockey. They have the talent to get themselves securley into the playoffs now, but that talent needs to augmented by other types of players in order to bring Lord Stanley home.

  134. nightmare_49 says:

    I’m sure Tampa wants to give up it’s 1st round pick which is in the lottery.

  135. krob1000 says:

    Let’s hope the Sens never get over that playoff hump. I like Stillman but Hossa is a top fifteen in the league guy and we haven’t had one of them in a long time. He also plays a better two way game than people give him credit for. He grew up in the Sens system which is a two way system and to excel there he had to learn both aspects of the game (they let Spezza spend a year in the minors when he could have played ont heir top line because he made the occasional drop pass). I like Hossa a lot and I think he can help us over the long haul as could any of the names being tossed around the rumour mill. Gainey will do what is right.

  136. Rocket9 says:

    Krob, please see my comments below to HotHabs, as they were meant to be in reply to both of you.

  137. Rocket9 says:

    I agree it would be nice to have a top 15 guy. I’m also not dead set against Hossa, I could be made to change my mind. You guys make good points as to why to get him. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

    I agree with you re trusting Gainey. Last year, when he traded Rivet, I was furious. Now, looking at that trade, with him having getting Georges who’s looking good, and signing Markov and Hammer, I have to say it’s a good thing he’s making the decisions and not me! If he trades for Hossa, I’ll support it because I trust that he knows what he needs for this team.

  138. showey47 says:

    i wonder if the plus minus difference has more to do with the fact that ottawa goaltending always took a massive dump in the playoffs before last year. Stillman had 2 cup runs were involved strong goaltending performances from khabibulin and ward. Just a thought

  139. Rocket9 says:

    That’s a good point. It’s always hard to know with the +/- stat, and I know it’s been debated on this forum to death.

  140. cautiousoptimist says:

    I think your math’s a little wonky there rocket. How can Stillman have more goals, more assists, and less points?

    http://www.flickeringpictures.com

  141. HKisses says:

    OMG LOLLLLLLLLLLL…….i jus came across this….Habs r cleaning press confrence room LOL…pretty funny article..Its in french

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.corussports.com%2Fcanadiens%2Fcentre_bell_menage_dans-20080225-746512.html&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8

  142. cautiousoptimist says:

    And don’t forget that first-round pick that came along with Gorges, which Gainey turned into Ryan McDonagh. He’s young, but has 33 points in 23 high school games this year.

    http://www.flickeringpictures.com

  143. Rocket9 says:

    oops, sorry

    Hossa should read:

    55GP, 13G,22A,35pts, -9 (0.63ppg)

    sorry for the typo. thanks for pointing it out.

  144. mrstewart61 says:

    Okay, we’ll add in a proviso that O’Byrne won’t steal Feaster’s purse.

  145. 1010 says:

    Trades are a scary proposition. You’ll usually lose one for every one you win. Is it our turn to win one?

    GO HABS.

  146. mrstewart61 says:

    That first round pick was actually Max Pacioretty. And those were McDonagh’s stats from high school last season. He has 12 points in 34 games this season at the University of Wisconsin.

  147. Bouleau noir says:

    Whats wrong with having a team that can win in the regulard season ? … I shure didn’t complain watching our club doing it in the late 70,… neither that particular year when only 8 losts were recorded during the whole season,… superlative hochey is fun to watch but hard to get back once it falls,.. like it did here.
    Hossa is the best avalaible piece to improved our team in Montreal,… there is no forwards that come even close to that quality in next’s summer’s UFA market,.. its now or… forget it.

  148. showey47 says:

    Landing him and resigning him now is a hell of alot cheaper than bidding for his services on july 1st. Our history on july 1st also says this is a better move.

  149. Bouleau noir says:

    Tons of talent ?

    Thats your interpretation of our team,… not mine, neither’s Gainey’s own… and that is the reason why he is looking for an impact player.

    The day that our 5 on 5 scoring will have improved and that our third line will be clearly harboring scoring talents giving us true scoring depth,… this day I will say our team has tons of talent and has playoffs participation security.

    Our scoring hability and numbers are fine but we are dependant on the numbers of PP opportunitys our team can generate in any given games in order to be fine,… we are a vulnerable team and we forget to see that our fair position in the standing also reflect the luck we had with injurys compared with most other teams.

  150. planet habs says:

    Forsburg just signed a 1 year deal with Colorado

  151. Rocket9 says:

    I’m just saying that I think we’re in pretty good shape as far as the regular season goes. I think we’ll improve in that department over the next 2 to 3 years without making significant trades or signing big name UFA’s. This is based on the young guys getting better and prospects coming up from Hamilton.

    What we don’t really have in the system is hard-nosed, in your face type players. That’s the type of player you need in the playoffs.

    Yes, regular season sucess is nice, but everything needs to be done with the goal of winning the cup. There is no point in building a good regular season team if it doesn’t have the ingredients needed for playoff success. The goal is to win the cup. That’s the only goal.

    Other teams like Nashville, have other goals. That’s why teams like that put banners up when they win a playoff series or come first in their division. In Montreal, the only measure of success is the cup. That’s the way it always has been and that’s the way it always should be.

  152. V. says:

    Hossa to Sens? That would be so unfair. As if they need another goal scorer!

    >:()

  153. Rocket9 says:

    I haven’t looked atthe stats, but it feels like lately our 5 on 5 scoring has been much better. I do agree that we are too dependant on our power play, and that would be a problem in the playoffs.

    However, I do feel we have lots of talent. 5 on 5 scoring is not always an indication of the talent of the team but also of the way they are playing. Earlier in the season, when we were really struggling 5 on 5, we were playing much more passively when we didn’t have the puck, and our breakout was terrible. Lately, the breakout is better and our forecheck looks really good, and so we get more 5 on 5 chances.

    As for third line harbouring talent, what I’m saying is that over the next couple of years, we will have more than enough talent ot have 3 scoring lines. Look at the guys in Hamilton. We don’t need a trade to improve this team, we have the players in the system, we just need time.

    As for “tons of talent”, I say yes, we have tons of talent. Listen to any analyst talk about the Habs and they’ll tell you, we are one of the most talented teams in the league, with even more talent on the farm.

  154. HotHabs says:

    How about “Why, Bob, Why?”

    enjoying the high’s & enduring the lows of being a Habs fan


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