Chris Pronger may find himself in a new uniform after the trade deadline if rumors ring true. (Getty Images)
It’s trade deadline week and the rumor mill has spun into overdrive. Here’s a look at those players getting the most mention.
• Jay Bouwmeester: The Edmonton Sun reports all eyes will be on Panthers GM Jacques Martin and his plans for Bouwmeester, claiming the Flyers, Senators, Flames and Oilers were believed to be interested in the blueliner.
The Sun reported the Flyers are believed to have an offer on the table of winger Joffrey Lupul and prospect James van Riemsdyk, but the Courier-Post Online recently suggested it might cost much more than that – perhaps adding a defenseman like Matt Carle into the mix – which would probably be too expensive for the Flyers.
As Martin has repeatedly told the Miami media, unless he gets an offer that can help the Panthers now and in the future, Bouwmeester won’t be moved.
• As for Chris Pronger, The Los Angeles Times recently reported a rumor that has Pronger and Travis Moen heading to Boston in exchange for defenseman Mark Stuart, prospect Joe Colborne and a draft pick, suggesting it could make sense for the Ducks over the long run.
The problem with the “Pronger to Boston” speculation is his $6.25 million salary for next season, which would bite deeply into the Bruins’ available cap space at a time when UFA goalie Tim Thomas and RFA forwards Phil Kessel and David Krejci will be seeking substantial raises.
Even if the Bruins were to offer up Kessel for Pronger, the big defenseman’s salary would still eat up valuable cap space, giving them little room to flesh out the remainder of the roster.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently suggested the possibility of Pronger returning to St. Louis, but it remains to be seen if the Blues want to deviate from their rebuilding program and its focus on youth.
• The Ottawa Sun is reporting the Calgary Flames might have interest in Olli Jokinen, based on the fact Jokinen’s career took off in Florida when current Flames coach Mike Keenan was the Panthers bench boss earlier in the decade.
Flames GM Darryl Sutter gave no hint of this to the Calgary Sun on Saturday, suggesting he didn’t want to upset team chemistry unless he was in a position to make a significant upgrade.
There’s also the little matter of Jokinen’s $5.25 million salary for next season, which would cut deeply into the Flames’ cap space for next season. And if the Coyotes’ reason for moving Jokinen is to dump his salary, it wouldn’t make sense for them to agree to take on significant salary in return.
It’s been suggested the Coyotes might wait until the June entry draft to peddle Jokinen as they could get a better return for him then.
• Reports out of Minneapolis-St. Paul claim Marian Gaborik is ahead of schedule with his recovery from mid-season hip surgery, but don’t expect the Wild to move him at the trade deadline.
Wild GM Doug Risebrough said he wouldn’t get a return for Gaborik at this point that could help his club, adding they would be better off to retain the talented, but injury-plagued winger even at the risk of losing him for nothing to this summer’s UFA market.
• Canadian sports network TSN reported Saturday Derek Morris had presented the Coyotes with a list of Western Conference teams he’d agree to waive his no-trade clause to join and by mutual consent will be a healthy scratch up to deadline day to avoid the possibility of injury.
Last week there was talk of Morris possibly returning to the Calgary Flames, who recently lost Mark Giordano to an upper body injury. The Blackhawks and Blue Jackets might also have interest, but they’re more focused on landing depth at center.
• The Buffalo News and other sources report the Sabres could consider shopping Tim Connolly if he fails to sign a contract extension by the deadline.
Various reports have suggested a potential destination for Connolly could be the Blue Jackets, who are seeking a center for Rich Nash’s line.
Connolly has plenty of talent, but his injury history could scare away most teams. Still, he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and the return for him might be an affordable gamble for a GM seeking an offensive center for the playoffs. .
THIS AND THAT
ESPN.com reported Ducks management has apparently told Scott Niedermayer he won’t be traded.
…TampaBay.com reported Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi and perhaps Jeff Halpern are the most likely to be dealt by the Lightning at the deadline.
…The Ottawa Sun reported over the weekend contract talks between the Senators and Chris Neil remain at a standstill and he could be moved by the deadline.
…ESPN reported Jamal Mayers has been added to a long list of Maple Leafs who could be on the move soon, reportedly telling management he’d like a change of scenery.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Niclas Havelid, Marty Reasoner, Eric Perrin, Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and Garnet Exelby are the Thrashers who could pop up in trade discussions.
…MLIVE.com reported Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t under pressure to make a deadline deal and he’s not in a position to trade for a rental player.
…The Ottawa Sun claimed Sunday Nashville Predators GM David Poile will be a seller at the deadline, but Poile told The Tennessean on Saturday he’d like to be a buyer and is seeking more offense.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.
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