Trade deadline has NHL buzzing

One of the most intriguing days on the NHL schedule comes tomorrow with the 3 pm trade deadline. Who’s staying and who’s going and where is a topic of conversation all year, but never more so than now. All the major sports outlets in Canada carry daylong coverage and while there’s some fear that the flurry of trades earlier this month might make Monday anticlimactic, there are still teams who want to load up for the playoffs and others who want to offload potential UFAs and begin or continue their rebuilding.

Fans’ appetites for clues to what might go down in advance seems to have no limit, even if they devour information that is largely false — like that on the discredited Hockeybuzz.com, which one blog surveyed for a year and discovered was inaccurate over 97 percent of the time, plagiarized material and took credit for breaking trade news others had broken, among other things. But fans can’t seem to get enough of rumours regardless of the source or accuracy.

(And for more on Hockeybuzz.com, you can read Adrian Dater’s story on SI.com)

Even those with good and reliable sources on potential player movement are rarely privy to the inner workings of any team’s hockey department, and even if they can pinpoint a player who might be moved, they don’t know which players might be coming back in return and how all that might be factored into teams’ salary caps, and how that might impact a potential deal.

In any case, GMs and scouts must be ultra careful not to make their trade targets public for fear tampering charges and for fear of losing the confidentiality that works best in these situations. They spend most their time going over scouting reports, watching video, assessing their team’s and everyone else’s needs and strengths and drawing up a list of targets, then talking with other GMs to see where they might have a match. They don’t want that hard work compromised.

So that’s why this has become such a big day. because it confirms or
refutes all the rumours leading up to it.

That’s not to say that some speculation and intelligent guessing isn’t justified. Take the Senators, for example: Everyone in hockey knows they want to unload players and begin remaking their team, and identifying those most likely to leave isn’t hard. Teams with specific needs are not impossible to figure out either. So no one was surprised when they started shipping guys out a few weeks ago beginning with Mike Fisher’s trade to Nashville (which suited his country music star wife and the Predators) and continuing through Alex Kovalev’s move back to the banged-up Penguins on Thursday.

Similarly, Panthersr GM Dale Tallon made no secret of his desire to rebuild the club, and he got a little head start on Thursday dispatching Cory Stillman back to Carolina and yesterday sending Bryan McCabe to the Rangers, who had no veterans on their defense corps.

And it’s no secret that a few teams are eyeing Brad Richards. But anyone who tells you they know for certain what is going to happen to Richards is only guessing, especially because it seems Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk doesn’t know himself and won’t until he evaluates the offers and discusses them with Richards, a pending UFA with a no-trade clause and a concussion.

Chuck Gormley in the Philly area Camden Courier-Post was one of those guessing today when he listed “10 best bets for changes in address.” At the top of his list (and the bottom of the story), he’s got Richards and says the possible suitors include the Capitals, Canadiens, Bruins.  Most of the recent talk about Richards has centered on two teams Gormley didn’t
mention, the Rangers and Kings. Maybe he’s right, but the teams Gormley suggested all seem unlikely to be in the Richards auction because of a variety of factors, including the centres currently on their roster, their lack of cap space, and what they be able might offer in return. 

Now, as much as some Habs fans might want to hypothetically see GM Pierre Gauthier move Scott Gomez’s contract in exchange for Richards, would Gauthier really make that trade without knowing in advance if Richards will sign a deal with the Habs — not to
mention whether he can play again this year? No GM is going to give away an asset for potentially nothing. And would Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk want to make that deal, taking on more salary than he’d be surrendering for a team that has ownership problems? Similarly, why would the B’s GM Peter Chiarelli move either of his top two centres, David Krejci or Patrice Bergeron, to
Dallas for Richards for potentially nothing?

For the record, Gormley’s other nine best bets to move are Florida’s Tomas Vokoun (with supposed interest from Red Wings, Capitals, Sharks), Edmonton’s Dustin Penner (Gormley lists the Habs as possible suitors for him along with the Capitals and Stars), Florida’s Stephen Weiss (Capitals, Flames, Wild), Ottawa’s Chris Phillips (Capitals, Sharks, Flyers), Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky (Capitals, Canadiens, Wild), McCabe (who is already gone to Rangers, Gormley listed them as a suitors along with the Predators and Coyotess ), Toronto’s Clarke MacArthur (Hurricanes, Wild, Coyotes), Colorado’s Milan Hejduk (Rangers, Hurricanes, Flames) and Ottawa’s Chris Neil (Lightning, Coyotes, Kings).

There are a few more trade deadline rumour stories to be found in the papers and websites today: Bruce Garrioch in The Ottawa Sun, Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com and Eric Francis of The Calgary Sun.

By Monday afternoon, we’ll all know how right Gormley and everyone else was.

 

850 Comments

  1. JohnBellyful says:

    Trust me, he didn’t see it here.

  2. habstrinifan says:

    Dont know if you are being serious? As a straight exchange, Dumont for Gomez, it seems like a very palpable deal, NOT one that should condemn the manager.

  3. TomNickle says:

    I’m not here to give English lessons.  My point is that you can’t really be in tune with a players’ availibility if your knowledge of him is so limited that you don’t even come close to spelling his name correctly.  

  4. J.J. of Turku says:

    But the shirts weren’t bouhgt the same day…

  5. ProHabs says:

    Reread my post, at what point was I whining. I just stated a fact. Sounds like you are the one bitching.

  6. showey47 says:

    I dont’ think that was the way it happened. The sabres walked away from an arbritration ruling in dumonts favour which made him a ufa. We signed samsonov a couple of weeks earlier. We didn’t have neither the roster spot nor the cap space to sign him. I do believe the first team he did contact was montreal though when he became a ufa.

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    Not by necessity, but the fact is Dumont isn’t worth a bag of pucks in the trade market with 17 points and a contract going into next season, not in the cap era. He doesn’t provide any useful long-term impact and there has to be a better deal for AK’s services than that.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  8. blu3chip says:

    The whining/bitching part implies more than just you.

    And can you point out which part of my comment(s) may be referred as ‘bitching’? Or with any passive meaning that can be viewed as whining?

  9. observer says:

    rangers are no danger. theyll be lucky to make the playoffs.

  10. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    I agree.

  11. otter649 says:

    That guy was also the one who tweeted Wiz would be out for up to 4 weeks with his facial injury……..

  12. Timo says:

    It happens a lot :)

  13. Timo says:

    If you get the t-shirt and Gomez gets traded, I will get SmartDog to refund your money.

  14. ed lopaz says:

    considering AK 46 is worth very little in the real world – other GM’s watch the tape as well – I think it would be a good trade for us.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs don’t need more older players going further and further away from their primes. He has 17 points this season and if the Habs are going to trade for a player they should go for a guy with real scoring finish or jam in his game.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  16. TomNickle says:

    I was just sharing with you what Renaud Lavoie said.  I never said I felt it would be a good move.

    Chill out slugger.

  17. Seps says:

    Yes because his 17 points in 60 games will help us out so much.  Especially with his 4M salary.  Unless the deal includes the -19 Gomez I wouldn’t want him.

  18. Rugger says:

    Thank you Vinnie (game winner to beat NYR in regulation)

  19. TripleX says:

    Arpon Basu, who I feel is one of the best and most objective writers covering the Habs had this to say about Mr. Gomez.

     

    http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110226/mtl_habshub_habit_freed_110226/20110226/?hub=MontrealSports

  20. ed lopaz says:

    Ak46 goes to Nashville for Dumont is an upgrade for us.

    Dumont is a smart player and only 2 seasons from putting up Plekanec numbers.

    he’s experienced.

    66, 72, 65 points from from 2006-2009.

    Plekanec gets a large chunk of change in this town and that’s all he puts up in a good season.

    is dumont the power forward we need? absolutely NOT!

    will he help us win some games down the stretch – I think so.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    I think I’d be on the sack PG movement if he traded anything at all for Dumont.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  22. SLYDER says:

    Good article Stu, however, it is hard to view Gomez as an asset – I think PG would take that trade for Richards in a heartbeat. Richards would be a much needed upgrade for the short-term even if thats all it is…

     

    and even if he doesn’t re-sign, the Gomez salary is gone and will be very useful during the FA frenzy.

  23. Vid says:

    The blockbuster trade I predict will go down at precisely 2:59pm monday is Gomez to Hamilton for Boyd.

    But in all seriousness I don’t see the habs making any moves.

  24. ProHabs says:

    I hope you are right about Leblanc Tom. I am hoping that he turns into a dominate top 2 center at the NHL level. I wasn’t that impressed with him in the World Junior. I know he was the 3rd leading scorer for the team and played on different lines, but I found him to be kind of invisible out there. I have always been a fan of Hemskys (when he is healthy). Hopefully Gauthier knows best.

  25. slapshot777 says:

    How about a Gomez t-shirt.

     

     

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  26. Storm Man says:

    Sounds good Stu, I guess i will finish ordering my super chexx Habs dome hockey special edition for my games room. I sure my phone will be dancing lots on Monday.

  27. samTHEman says:

    1st + Carle

  28. J.J. of Turku says:

    Great idea! 

    At NHL.com you can create own names to T-shirts. Would number 0 be good or is 666 better to those guys?

  29. TomNickle says:

    Yeah let’s trade the future face of the franchise for a 14 months addition who’s battled injuries his entire career.

  30. Habnofear says:

     How bout you get a Martin & Gauthier T-shirt :>

  31. likehoy says:

    Hemsky + Plekanec…man 2 smooth skating silky puck handlers. would be incredible to watch them together!

    I’ve always been a pretty big fan of hemsky so I’d love to pick him up…but at what price!? 1st + prospect?

    - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  32. topher5468 says:

    MAB still has the same problem, he can’t skate. How many times a game does this guy fall down, answer, a lot

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  33. TomNickle says:

    Too many teams with a higher willingness to trade away prospects want him for us to get him.  The only way we get our foot in the door there is if the Oilers don’t want to trade him within their conference.

  34. Rugger says:

    A lot to give up for a total 10 more points than Gomez so far this year.

  35. Storm Man says:

    Stu, What do you see the Habs doing? What are the top 3 players you hear the Habs are after?

  36. habstrinifan says:

    I would pay for it.

  37. Rainrocket16 says:

    Remember PG..As it stands right..we face the Killer B’s in the first round..remember last time we faced them? Chris Neil…make it happen!

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s way, way too early in the day to be that drunk sir.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  39. deuce6 says:

    Gomez is an above average skater, but his “intangibles” do not warrant such a high cap hit…

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  40. Propwash says:

    I have a feeling tomorrow is gonna be a slow one for trades.

    I’m on the fence concerning Gomez. It sucks that he has such a huge salary, but to me, the reason he was brought here was to try and see if he and Gionta would click again like in New Jersey, didn’t happen however.

  41. mrhabby says:

    gomez and PK for weiss and booth.

     

  42. RockinRey says:

    Thats why TFP is the gospel!

  43. TomNickle says:

    Stop dropping acid.

  44. homerbowen says:

    As for Gomez let’s put it this way….Boston’s Thornton has as many goals as Goimez. Move him for anything and enjoy the cap space

  45. Seps says:

    According to Darren Dreger, the Habs could be after Weiss.  I could see a potential trade including gomez eller and a 1st rounder.  Weiss would have a cap hit of 4M next year and since Florida will lose Vokoun as well they would need Gomez’s cap hit.

  46. TomNickle says:

    Gomez, Eller and a 1st rounder?  For Stephen Weiss?

    You could see that?  Where?  The twilight zone?

  47. TomNickle says:

    Right now is a long way away from the middle of April.

  48. kempie says:

    Gormley has us on the list for Hemskey. I don’t usually buy into trade rumours and when it comes to the Habs, I never believe anything that’s rumoured. But this made me a little excited for about 5 seconds. 

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    It appears Dale Tallon may have been getting bad financial advice from Stan Bowman before he left, rather than making the bad decisions himself, Brent Seabrook who on his best day is not a #1 defencemen, just got a 5-year, 5.8 million per year extension.

    That’s more money than LA’s Jack Johnson’s new extension of 4.5 a year is, it’s about 800k less than SJ’s Dan Boyle, 600k more than Byfuglien’s new deal in ATL, 1.7 million more than Mark Streit with the NYI and 2+ million more than what Brent Burns is collecting. Does CHI or Seabrook not understand that a ‘hometown discount’ is somewhat in order for a deal like this, not a UFA period overpayment?

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  50. top-cat says:

    David Jones is a great UFA target for the Habs. Colorado +2  22G 800K. History of injury but what the hey. We could use a 6’2″ winger goal scorer.

  51. TomNickle says:

    You’re on to something about Bowman.  And I keep trying to tell you Tallon bashers that there’s no way in hell that a GM is handling the courier resonsibility of literally sending out tender offers.  There’s no way in hell that was Tallon’s mistake.  That’s what administrative assistants are for.

    To be fair, when you’re evaluating Jack Johnson’s deal it may be one of the best in the NHL.  That is a great contract for the Kings.

     

  52. TomNickle says:

    And Dave Bolland will be the next off-season victim of Stan Bowman.  He’ll only compound the errors he made last summer by dealing away another young and extremely talented player instead of trading a guy like Seabrook or Hossa who could get them a return that would make them better now, later and take money off the books.

  53. kempie says:

    Yeah I know but that guy is a fine player. His cap hit is $4.1? Wow. That’s a good deal.

  54. Psycho29 says:

    MAB just reclaimed his spot on the All-Pylon-Team on the first Ranger goal….

  55. HabFanSince72 says:

    That’s a lot of money. The Hawks now have $50M committed for next year, for 6 forwards, 6 D, and no goalie.

     

     

     

  56. samTHEman says:

    Despite being relieved of Gomez salary for the years to come, we are getting HOSED on that deal. No way.

  57. Rainrocket16 says:

    We could use Neil regardless of who we play, the guy is solid and feared on the ice. We don’t need anyone else to get smacked around like we have all season long.

  58. TomNickle says:

    Good deal if he avoids the hospital.

  59. SeriousFan09 says:

    Johnson’s deal probably is one of the best, but it also just highlights how bad the Seabrook contract is. LA negotiated an excellent long-term deal for a better and more complete player, while CHI just let themselves get their pants yanked down by Seabrook’s agent.

    For me, I still hang the qualifying offers on Tallon because if I’m a GM, I’d be obsessive enough to make sure they were sent out well in advance and a way to confirm delivery of said offers early and at the end of the day, it was still Bowman’s job to get those contracts signed and no one forced him to break the bank for Campbell and Huet.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  60. Wops says:

    and who would take a 30 points guy at 7.4millions cap hit?

     

    He’s here for the next three. People need to get over it and hope he bounces back…

  61. J.J. of Turku says:

    I almost saw that coming… :)

  62. ProHabs says:

    I would like to see Hemsky on the Habs as well. Leblanc and a second for Hemsky.

  63. Wops says:

    I bought a Richard #9 T-shirt to be sure

  64. TomNickle says:

    Not offensively, but with more responsibility he’s a 50 point guy and selke candidate in my opinion.

  65. TomNickle says:

    Your last point is accurate but Huet’s salary has no bearing on what they did this summer.  Campell’s does.  Matching San Jose’s offer sheet was brain dead.  Trading Byfuglien and Ladd was stupid when you consider the return.  They could’ve moved Seabrook for a better return than what they got for Byfuglien and moved him back to defense.  Rick Dudley was part of that organization under Tallon.  I think he would’ve mentioned it at one point or another if that was the plan all along when he traded for him.  They could’ve traded somebody like Hossa to maximize return instead of moving Ladd.

    In short, moving Hossa and Seabrook instead of Byfuglien and Ladd would’ve got them a return that would lower their cap hit and net them players who could play today, and very likely prospects and picks.

    Letting Hjalmarsson walk would’ve freed up cap space and netted them picks.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but that’s a lot of mistakes to have made in one calender year.

  66. Stu Hackel says:

    Honestly, Storm Man, I don’t know. I’m not much for trade gossip or any sort of predictions. I don’t have any hard information from reliable sources and I stopped trusting the rumour mill and gossip long ago because it was so often wrong. And that hasn’t changed.

    The needs are obvious to everyone, a bit more size and consistent production up front first of all, to match up better against Boston and Philly. And you can never have too much depth on D, although the moves for Sopel and Mara help a bit there. I also wonder if they have good enough backup goaltending in Auld.

    But it’s not just what one team needs but what other teams want in return and how willing Gauthier would be to part with specific players in specific deals. Making deals are pretty complicated and each of the other 29 teams have their own strategies and concerns, too. As in the past, I’ll just let the day play out and see what it looks like when the dust
    settles.

  67. J.J. of Turku says:

    When I bought a Kovalev T-shirt, he stayed for a one more season and then he moved to Ottawa.

    Then I bought Komisarek T-shirt and he moved immediately to Toronto.

    Any suggestions? Who’s name will on my next Habs’ T-shirt? There is still room in the bottom of my closet…

  68. mrhabby says:

    no …no…gettin ripped on that.

  69. SeriousFan09 says:

    It would be hard to find a team to take on Marian Hossa considering the length of his deal (and I’m pretty sure that contract has a NTC, not that it needs one really). I wouldn’t call Bolland ‘extremely talented’ either.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  70. likehoy says:

    Please, for the Love of the CH, trade Scott Gomez.

    - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  71. samTHEman says:

    Definately not more than Benny

  72. J.J. of Turku says:

    I have that too & Beliveau & Lafleur :)

     


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