Rumor Roundup: Six big-name players most likely to be traded this season

Eric Staal (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Heading into the American Thanksgiving long weekend, USA Today’s Kevin Allen listed six NHL players most likely to be traded this winter. The candidates are New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal, San Jose Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau, Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Trevor Daley and Calgary Flames rearguard Dennis Wideman.

Of this group, the closest to a certainty is Hamonic. The 25-year-old requested a trade during the off-season for family reasons and Isles GM Garth Snow is trying to accommodate him. A Manitoba native, Hamonic’s preference is Winnipeg or another Western Canadian NHL city. The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche are also possible destinations.

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Jonathan Toews shows you what a perfect shot looks like

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Toews (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It’s sometimes easy to forget how skilled Jonathan Toews is offensively because his two-way play often overshadows what he’s able to do with the puck on his stick. Well, if anyone had forgotten about Toews’ ability to rip a pinpoint accurate wrist shot, the Chicago Blackhawks captain gave everyone a friendly reminder Wednesday.

In the first period of the Blackhawks tilt against the Sharks, Toews scooped up a loose puck that had been tipped by Ryan Garbutt. Toews burst away and defenseman Brent Seabrook hopped up into the play to create somewhat of a 2-on-1. With Dainius Zubrus closing off the passing lane, Toews looked off Seabrook and rifled a shot past Martin Jones that couldn’t have been any more perfectly placed: Read more

Power Rankings: Sharknado devastates the NHL’s east coast

Ken Campbell
Joel Ward (left), Patrick Marleau and Matt Tennyson  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks have proved they can handle their Eastern Conference opponents, but if they truly fashion themselves a legitimate contender, they’ll have to do the same against their geographical rivals.

The Sharks capped off a perfect 6-0-0 road trip, the first in franchise history, over the weekend, with all six wins coming against Eastern Conference teams. That puts their record against the Eastern Conference this season to 10-4-0, compared to an ordinary 3-4-0 against western teams. They’ll have a chance to improve upon that when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight and Calgary Flames on the weekend.

On the strength of that trip, the Sharks hold down the No. 1 spot in’s weekly Power Rankings. Last weeks rankings are in parentheses.

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Streaking Sharks are more than a mirage after off-season retooling

Jared Clinton
Joe Pavelski is leading the charge for San Jose (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks had every opportunity to shake things up this past off-season. Veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were viable trade candidates, goaltender Antti Niemi was on his way out of town and the club looked set to get younger. No one would have batted an eye if the Sharks began to rebuild. GM Doug Wilson went another route, though.

San Jose started to make moves as soon as they missed the post-season in 2014-15. The first to go was coach Todd McLellan. He and the Sharks mutually agreed that it was time to move on, and McLellan packed his bags and headed north to coach the Edmonton Oilers. Wilson then went out and hired former New Jersey Devils bench boss Peter DeBoer, which was followed up by the hirings of Bob Boughner and Johan Hedberg as assistants. Then the roster retooling — not rebuidling — began. Read more

Dainius Zubrus attempting to continue career, now on PTO with Sharks

Jared Clinton
Dainius Zubrus (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Dainius Zubrus is coming off of the worst season of his career. In 2014-15, he scored four goals and 10 points in 74 games while playing with the veteran-laden, offensively stunted New Jersey Devils. It led to Zubrus’ eventual buyout by the Devils. But the 37-year-old isn’t ready to give up on his career.

First, he signed a professional tryout with the injury-riddled Blues, but it was Martin Havlat, who signed a tryout on the same day, who earned a contract in St. Louis ahead of Zubrus. He was released from his tryout Nov. 6, but less than two weeks later, Zubrus has found himself yet another opportunity, this one in San Jose.

CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reported Monday that Zubrus has signed a tryout agreement with the Sharks and is coming attempting to land himself a deal with the club. It’s the second tryout Zubrus has landed where he has a connection, though. In St. Louis, he had previously played with Blues assistant GM Martin Brodeur in New Jersey, and Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was previously Zubrus’ bench boss with the Devils. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Marleau will have to widen list if he wants out of San Jose

Patrick Marleau. (Getty Images)

A recent report claiming San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau would agree to be dealt to the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers attracted swift reaction from several NHL pundits.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (who first broke the Marleau trade rumor story), TSN’s Bob McKenzie,’s Allan Muir, and the San Jose Mercury News’ Mark Purdy doubt the long-time Sharks star would be dealt to California rivals like Anaheim and Los Angeles. Purdy believes Sharks GM Doug Wilson would never ship Marleau to those clubs unless the deal was so overwhelming he simply couldn’t refuse. Don’t hold your breath expecting that deal to materialize.

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Rumor Roundup: Marleau would accept trade to Rangers, Ducks, or Kings

Patrick Marleau. (Getty Images)

The recent trade speculation involving long-time San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau took an interesting twist on Tuesday evening. CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz cites a source claiming the 36-year-old Marleau, who carries a no-movement clause in his contract, would accept being dealt to the New York Rangers, Anaheim Ducks or Los Angeles Kings.

Kurz also reports it’s uncertain if Marleau is pushing for a trade or if management initiated it. He cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggesting it’s more likely Marleau asked the club to explore trade possibilities. Kurz notes Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s policy is not to ask players with movement clauses to waive them.

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Rumor Roundup: Sharks’ Marleau might be on the trading block again

Lyle Richardson
Patrick Marleau. (Getty Images)

Over the course of his long NHL career, San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau has been mentioned several times in trade rumors. Now in his 18th season with the Sharks, the 36-year-old is once again the subject of speculation.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Marleau’s name has surfaced in trade talk, though it’s uncertain who’s pushing for the move. Friedman notes Marleau, who’s carrying a $6.66-million annual cap hit through 2016-17, hasn’t been asked by management to waive his no-movement clause.

Local reporters subsequently questioned Marleau, who joked the rumors were starting early this season. He claims he wasn’t approached about waiving his clause and refuses to speculate over any scenario where he would consider that option.

Following the Sharks first-round elimination from the 2014 playoffs, there was some media chatter regarding Marleau’s future in San Jose. It briefly surfaced against last summer after the Sharks missed the 2015 post-season. Observers noted the decline in his performance through 2014-15, wondering if he’d consider moving on to a Stanley Cup contender.

The latest Marleau trade talk is likely tied to the club’s current performance. After a solid start to this season, the Sharks enter this week having won only three of their last 10 games. Marleau netted five points during that stretch.

Some rival clubs could be calling Sharks GM Doug Wilson to inquire about the veteran winger’s availability. Wilson could also be floating Marleau’s name to see if there’s any serious bidders. His cap hit alone, however, could make it difficult to find a willing trade partner this early in the season.

Marleau still has complete control of this situation. If he’s unwilling to waive his movement clause under any circumstances, it won’t matter if management is shopping him or how many teams express interest in his services.


Approaching mid-November, the Calgary Flames are still struggling to overcome their poor start to this season. With a 5-9-1 record heading into Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers, the Flames face the risk of falling completely out of the playoff race before Christmas if they don’t soon pull out of their tailspin.

Trade rumors continue to dog the club, with defensemen Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell prominently featured. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports GM Brad Treliving continues to gauge their market value.

Wideman carries a full no-movement clause and an annual cap hit of $5.25 million through 2016-17, making him very difficult to move at this point in the season. Russell, meanwhile, is a pending UFA lacking a movement clause and carrying a more affordable $2.6 cap hit. He could be easier to trade, but there’s speculation Treliving prefers to re-sign him.

Should the Flames remain out of playoff contention leading up to the Feb. 29 trade deadline, Treliving could put some of his UFAs on the trade block. Winger Jiri Hudler is the best of the bunch. He lacks a no-trade clause and is coming off a career-best 76-point season.

While Hudler has 11 points in 15 games thus far, the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis notes the 31-year-old winger’s been largely invisible of late. Francis suggests he’s not only costing the Flames a playoff berth, but also a chance for a good return if they opt to deal him at the deadline.

The Flames still have plenty of time to reverse their fortunes. Of late, they’ve shown some signs of improvement, winning three of their last five. However, they’ll have to keep looking to within for improvement. It doesn’t appear any help is coming via the trade market.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website,, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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