Jarome Iginla has been a hot rumor topic this season. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster has stated repeatedly in recent weeks he won't shop Jarome Iginla, but that hasn't stopped some rumormongers from dreaming up trade scenarios for the Flames captain.
The Calgary Sun recently noted rumors tied Iginla to the Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, prompting mockery from Feaster, who reiterated his intent to retain ‘Iggy.’
Feaster acknowledged teams have contacted him, but wouldn't elaborate on which ones or which players they might be pursuing. He did say whenever a rival mentions the subject of moving Iginla one day he would “take note of their interest.”
In other words, when Feaster's ready to move Iginla, he’ll let them know.
Those trafficking Iginla rumors obviously aren't paying attention to the Flames recent performance. After weeks of being mired near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, they've entered the all-star break only two points out of the playoff picture, going 6-1-3 in their past 10 games.
Iginla's a major factor in that improvement, having been held off the score sheet only nine times in the past 35 games dating back to mid-November.
No wonder Feaster treats those trade rumors with derision.
Marc Savard's recent concussion could put the Boston Bruins into the trade market, but perhaps not for another center.
The Boston Globe suggested if Savard's latest injury merits placing him again on long-term injury reserve they could use the savings to seek assistance in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, possibly for a puck-moving defenseman.
The Bruins began the season without Savard in the lineup, so it wouldn't take much for them to adjust to his absence again, perhaps by recalling rookie Jordan Caron or Jamie Arniel from the farm team or shuffling around players such as Tyler Seguin or Zach Hamill.
Lack of skilled puck-moving defensemen, however, has been an issue this season for the Bruins, which the Globe noted they were seeking to address prior to Savard's injury.
Damien Cox of The Toronto Star recently suggested any notion of the Maple Leafs adding talent at the trade deadline for a late-season playoff push was “at best fanciful and at worst incomprehensible.”
With the Leafs headed into the all-star break 14 points out of a playoff berth, coupled with GM Brian Burke's fruitless efforts this season to add talent, there's little point in Leafs fans arguing with Cox's opinion.
Burke remains intent on adding promising talent to his lineup rather than merely dealing for draft picks or unproven prospects, but those kinds of deals will be difficult to make, especially if he tries to shop pending UFAs J-S Giguere (who claims he's willing to waive his no-movement clause) or Tomas Kaberle (who hasn't said a word about it).
Either he'll have to relent and accept lesser offers or stand pat on deadline day.
Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province recently suggested Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber will soon face a decision about his future. Is he willing to commit long-term to a team that will remain competitive, but lacks the resources to improve to the next level? Should he re-sign for only one season to become eligible for UFA status in 2012? Or tell Predators management he's unwilling to remain beyond next season so they might as well explore trade options?
Of course, it's far too early to speculate on Weber's future. Reports out of Nashville earlier in the season claimed management hoped to re-sign him, but as per team policy don't intend on opening talks with the blueliner, or any of their other potential free agents, until season's end.
Weber will become a restricted free agent July 1 if he's unsigned, making him a target for an offer sheet from a rival club. That move could backfire for Weber if he wants a change of scenery, however. If he accepted an offer sheet on a long-term deal, the Predators could match, ensuring he'd remain in Nashville for a long time.
Regardless of what the future holds for Weber, don't expect the Predators to shop him at the trade deadline.
Keep an eye on the Atlanta Thrashers in the coming weeks.
While still in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, the Thrashers have struggled in recent weeks, winning only three of their past 10 games prior to the all-star break.
With the Carolina Hurricanes nipping at their heels, the Thrashers' playoff hopes will be in jeopardy if they continue to struggle through injuries and inconsistency.
Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported he'd been told the club had no imminent deals. But the fact they need another top-six forward remains apparent, leading Vivlamore to advise his readers to “stay tuned on that front.”
No word on which players Thrashers GM Rick Dudley would peddle, but it's a safe bet Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Tobias Enstrom, Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec won't become trade bait.
Dudley was rumored back in December to be shopping winger Niclas Bergfors, but his performance has improved since he was a healthy scratch several times in mid-December.
Struggling third-year blueliner Zach Bogosian has been the subject of blogosphere-generated rumors, but it seems unlikely Dudley would give up on the 20-year-old because of one bad season.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 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.