Trade deadline day is officially 1 DAY 18 HOURS and 15 MINUTES away (thanks, TSN!), so now is the time to inform you of ALLLLLL the important rumors out there.
- Brian Burke stated today that the rumors of the Boston Bruins making a 'major pitch' for defenseman Tomas Kaberle are 'total fabrication'. The move would be a huge one for Boston, but Burkie shot this one down immediately. Maybe this was news to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, and he just may realize that Kaberle would in fact be perfect...
- Remember all those Olli Jokinen rumors when he was with Florida? Well, different team, same rumors. Jokinen is rumored in moves out of Phoenix and some possible destinations may include Calgary or Montreal, just as they did last year before Phoenix swooped in and ruined the party.
- Sticking with Calgary: It seems the Flames are after a rival's former hero. Former Oiler and current Avalanche forward Ryan Smyth is rumored in a move that would send him to the Flames. Smyth has a no-trade clause...but a move to Canada would surely appeal to Ryan, especially a move that would send him back to Alberta and away from the Western Conference cellar-dwellars to a contender. Montreal has apparently expressed interest as well. Stay tuned...
- The Ducks' recent acquistion of D Ryan Whitney has opened an already opened door even wider on the prospect of moving big D Chris Pronger. Possible destinations are rumoured to be St. Louis (who are in a playoff hunt and are a former team of Pronger's), Washington, Boston or Philadelphia (who would have to clear up MAJOR cap space, which makes this highly unlikely).
- The Coyotes may be looking to move BOTH of their top-name defensemen. Derek Morris will be dealt, 99.9% sure, as he has already informed the coaching staff that he will sit out until a trade is made for him so as to avoid injury, and now Ed Jovanovski's name is in the mix. With Jovo, however, comes a massive cap hit for a team willing to take him on. Jovo's cap hit stands at $6.5 million per season until the end of the 2010-11 season. Rumoured teams include the Rangers and the Devils.
- Rumours of Erik Cole to either Pittsburgh or Boston are still out there. Pittsburgh seems to have found an answer for Crosby in the Whitney deal to Anaheim that saw them land Chris Kunitz, so Boston appears to be the likelier of destinations. Again, this would be a GREAT move for the Bruins, especially if they would face the Habs in the playoffs...Cole LOVES running the Habs over. However, don't count MONTREAL out of this reace either...rumors have it they're interested.
- What took me so long to mention the Jay Bouwmeester situation? I don't even know, but here goes. Jay Bo is likely headed out of Florida, and it seems that the Flyers are trying to make a massive pitch for him that could include blue-chip prospect Claude Giroux. Philly would of course have to shed huge dollars to land Jay Bo, whose cap hit is $4.875 mil and is a UFA at season's end. I believe the deal would have to include young D Matt Carle, whose cap hit is a RIDICULOUS $3.5 mil until 2012-13. I also feel the Flyers would rather hold onto Giroux and would offer up Joffrey Lupul instead.
- Remember Marian Gaborik? Didn't think so...All joking aside, Gabby has played in just 6 games this season, a career high...also a joke about the career high. The pending UFA is still drawing MASSIVE interest it seems, league-wide. Though his health is unstable, his talent isn't. Gabby is one of the elite players in this league, and if he can catch some luck in avoiding the injury bug for one of the teams he could be dealt to, he'll be a steal. Interested teams include Pittsburgh and Vancouver, who would love to re-unite Demitra with Gaborik.
- The Thrashers are still on the bubble when it comes to moving Ilya Kovalchuk. Obviously, everyone would be interested, so no use on getting into it. He's just a name to watch for...a BIG name. Atlanta are also fielding offers for Niclas Havelid, Colby Armstrong and Ron Hainsey.
- The Flyers are also rumoured to be in the hunt for Thrashers G Kari Lehtonen. Detroit are also rumored to be in these sweepstakes.
- The Maple Leafs are reportedly shopping G Vesa Toskala and F Jamal Mayers.
- Tampa Bay will be hearing loads of offers over the next 48 hours. Likely targets? Vincent Lecavalier, who GM Brian Lawton stated would "never be traded", Martin St. Louis, who is reportedly being eyed by the Penguins, and Mark Recchi, who is fresh off a 5-assist outing in an 8-6 TB win in Calgary. Recchi can bring a LOT to a contending team, and despite Tampa's recent run of good results, they are still highly unlikely to make the big dance, and surely one of these three will be unloaded, likely Recchi.
- The L.A. Kings will listen to all offers for Alexander Frolov. The talented left winger is expendable with the emergence of Patrick O'Sullivan, and the Kings would like to add another scoring forward. They are also entertaining offers for D Tom Preissing.
- The Blues have stated today that they intend on being buyers at the deadline, which should formally put an end to all the Tkachuk out of St. Louis rumors. As I read this, I immediately thought of Bill Guerin. I can't explain it, but it would seem to me that Guerin would love to Join Tkachuk in a run for the playoffs.
- The Senators are very likely to part ways with Chris Neil. The bruising forward does have decent hands, and would be a huge addition to any team for the playoffs. Look for him to go west.
- The Sabres are finally getting production from a HEALTHY Tim Connolly...and that just may prompt them to move him. The man is too fragile, and I believe that Buffalo would rather unload him than wait for the next injury to hit, which it will, for sure. The Blue Jackets are rumored suitors for Connolly, who would be a perfect (if healthy) playmaker for Rick Nash. Rumored return to Buffalo would include stay-at-home D Rostislav Klesla, who had massive potential on draft day but has never really met it.
The Blackhawks seem content with their roster moving forward, but would like to add a premier 3rd line centerman. Ducks' Sami Pahlsson and Avs' Ian Lapperierre may be atop their wish list.
- The Stars are now back in the playoff picture. The team, who at one point was last in the West, are looking like contenders again. They SHOULD be buyers, but rumors of Jere Lehtinen to Detroit are emerging.
- The Penguins are involed in many rumours, as you read above, and the likely player to be moved to acquire one of those stars would have to be Jordan Staal. With Malkin and Crosby in the middle, Staal is expendable, and any team would LOVE to add him.
- Although I haven't read rumors about it anywhere, I - being a huge fan of the team - fully expect to see the San Jose Sharks trying to move former Rocket Richard winner Jonathan Cheechoo. He seems to be the only guy on the team having difficulty playing at either end of the ice, and his low output thus far is proof. Cheech is on pace for just 11 goals and 27 points. The Sharks should definitely move him...please! Also, an upgrade on Alexei Semenov would be nice...thank you, Mr. Wilson.
- As for the Canadiens: It seems likely that F/D Mathieu Dandenault will be dealt. Though he carries a $1.7 million pricetag, Dandy's future seems non-existent in Montreal, and his experience and versatility could help a contender. Kovalev appears back to last season's form, so the likelihood of him being dealt is dim. Montreal are rumoured to be interested in one of Guerin, Cole, Antropov, Jokinen, Bouwmeester and Lecavalier, and would have to part ways with a LOT to land the latter three.
More to come as it develops.
One last thing to add: The Isles have recalled Jesse Joensuu from Bridgeport. Maybe a Guerin deal is done?
^UPDATED: Isles defeat Avs 4-2...Joensuu scores...Oo0o00oo0 controversy brewing. ;)