Rene Bourque has five goals in nine game this season. (Photo by Brad Watson/NHLI via Getty Images)
It may be early in the NHL season, but there are already an unusually high number of trade rumors coming not just from the mainstream media, but also from the blogosphere. Here's a look at the latest:
In the wake of Toronto goalie James Reimer's injury (which is being describe as concussion-like symptoms, but not a concussion), more than a few Leafs fans are doubtful backup Jonas Gustavsson has what it takes to fill in for Riemer, especially for a lengthy period.
Islanders netminder Evgeni Nabokov had years of experience as a starting goalie with the San Jose Sharks and played for Leafs coach Ron Wilson when he was behind the Sharks bench from 2002-2008.
Seems a natural fit, but the Islanders aren't in any hurry to move Nabokov, given their concerns over the health of Rick DiPietro.
Until Isles GM Garth Snow feels confident DiPietro won't get sidelined again or feels prospect Kevin Poulin is ready to be called up if DiPietro suffers yet another injury, he'll probably hang onto Nabokov.
The “Bourque to Toronto” rumor has the Flames shipping him east for “some defense in return.”
If Jay Feaster were to trade Bourque, the Flames GM will likely want another scoring winger in return - one who isn't as streaky offensively.
Several weeks ago it was reported the Leafs were in the market for a top-six forward, preferably an “impact” player.
Bourque is a top-six forward, but hardly falls into the “impact” category. That's not to say the Leafs don’t have interest, but they'd likely prefer someone who is a more consistent scorer.
The Montreal Canadiens early season woes generated considerable speculation over moves GM Pierre Gauthier might make to shake things up.
It's only natural that with Bourque's name in the rumor mill for more than a week he would be linked to the Canadiens, though the Habs have enough streaky forwards – such as Andrei Kostitsyn and Erik Cole – without bringing in yet another one.
Besides, it's been the Habs’ defensive play and special teams that have been their prime areas of concern and Bourque wouldn't address those problems.
Those defensive problems explain the supposed Habs’ “interest” in Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, though his big contract and no-movement clause means he's probably not going anywhere.
As for the rumor of the Canadiens scouting Edmonton's Ales Hemsky - that's laughable. Hemsky's been sidelined since Oct. 15 after experiencing pain in his surgically-repaired shoulder.
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.