As the NHL season moves from October to November, the rumors from the blogosphere have become more interesting, or at the very least, entertaining. Here's a roundup of this past week's more notable speculations.
The basis for this one has Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, who is off to his usual slow start and feeling the wrath of Vancouver fans still upset over the team's Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup final at home, being dealt back to his former team, the Florida Panthers.
With Cory Schneider, whose personality is supposedly calmer than the “sensitive” Luongo, waiting in the wings, the Canucks will have to make a choice between their two goalies at some point.
Thus, it might be better to return Luongo to the Panthers, the team from which he was dealt back in 2006. After all, his wife is from the Miami area, he could use a clean slate, the two teams have an ongoing trade history, and the Panthers “need to fix their goaltending situation quickly.”
We don't know if Luongo is taking the fan discontent in Vancouver to heart, or if he's secretly pining to return to Florida, or even if the Canucks are ready to roll the dice on Schneider as their full-time starter.
One thing we do know, however, is the Panthers don't need a goaltending “fix.”
Jacob Markstrom, 21, called up to replace injured backup Scott Clemmensen at the start of the season, has not only seized the opportunity presented to him (5 GP, 2-2-1, 2.05 GAA, .944 SP), but appears on the verge of taking over the starter's role from Jose Theodore, who hasn't been too shabby himself (7 GP, 4-2-1, 2.57 GAA, .913 SP) so far this season.
The Canucks currently aren't shopping Luongo, nor are they considering it, but if they do decide to move him, it won't be back to the Panthers.
This one cites “sources” claiming the Boston Bruins were in “heavy talks” with the Panthers about bringing center Stephen Weiss to the Bruins and reuniting him with former Panthers teammate Nathan Horton.
While acknowledging Weiss' solid start to the season (nine points in his first 11 games at the time this rumor originated), the justification was the Panthers were still in salary dump mode.
One glaring fault to this rumor is it appeared a day before the “Luongo to Florida” rumor by the same author, contradicting their “Panthers still want to shed salary” premise.
Yes, they'd be moving Weiss' $3.1 million per season cap hit, which only has one more season to go after this one, but they'd then be taking on Luongo's average cap hit of $5.33 million per season, which still has 10 more remaining. Doesn't make much sense dollar-wise for a budget team.
But returning to the “Weiss to Boston” rumor, it doesn't make sense for the Bruins to take on another center when they're loaded with depth at that position. Even assuming they were willing to make such a move, and perhaps offer one of their centers (say, David Krejci) for Weiss straight up, there's no reason for the Panthers (or Bruins for that matter) to make such a move at this time.
A quick glance at the standings shows the Panthers jockeying amongst teams seeking the eighth playoff seed, while the Bruins are still near the bottom of the standings, trying to shake off their Stanley Cup hangover.
Put simply, the Panthers have no reason at this time to approach Stephen Weiss and ask him to waive his no-movement clause.
This one assumes Alfredsson's days with the Ottawa Senators are numbered, as they're supposedly looking to trade him for young talent to continue their rebuilding.
The rationale for moving him to Edmonton has the Oilers in need of veteran help to get them through the long season.
Sadly, the author of this one forgot the Oilers already addressed that point by bringing in a veteran leader - a chap by the name of Ryan Smyth.
It's possible the Senators will trade Alfredsson near the trade deadline, but only if they get an offer they’re comfortable with, and even then, ‘Alfie’ would have to agree to move. They certainly won't push him out the door, or peddle him like an old shoe.
Trade Talk addresses the biggest rumors being discussed online and appears weekly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla's Korner.