Are the Leafs about to land Miikka Kiprusoff? Are the Flyers close to acquiring Ryane Clowe? Are the Rangers and Capitals to make moves by tomorrow?
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran yesterday reported Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis still seeks an experienced goalie but is prepared to stand pat by the deadline if he can’t find what he wants.“We’re not trying to sell off players for future assets,” said Nonis. “We’re going to likely add a piece or two or stand pat.” McGran speculated Nonis may have set his sights lower, on Florida’s Scott Clemmensen or Calgary’s Joey MacDonald.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger cited a report yesterday by Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean claiming Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo nixed a trade to Toronto last summer. Luongo apparently believed he was close to being dealt to the Florida Panthers and was holding out up such a deal would materialize.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ve since learned the Leafs received permission to speak with Miikka Kiprusoff’s agent, but I felt it worthwhile to note these stories. If Nonis can’t land Kipper or Bobby Lu, he might consider lesser options. I still believe he should stick with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, whose combined stats are quite good. They’ve been among the reasons the Leafs are poised to clinch a playoff spot. I realize Nonis wants a goalie with playoff experience, but why not let Reimer and Scrivens get that chance? As Jesse (no relation) Spector of The Sporting News observed, the Leafs aren’t a Stanley Cup team, they’re a playoff team, so let Reimer gain some experience now. Anyway, the talk of the Leafs acquiring Kiprusoff garnered mixed reaction among Toronto bloggers and fans on Twitter last night, with the majority of those I read leaning against such a move. Won’t affect what Nonis does, but it does suggests many Leafs fans don’t have a warm fuzzy about Kipper joining their team.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports the Flyers are among the clubs rumored in the mix for San Jose’s Ryane Clowe. “The Canucks, Rangers, Canadiens, Wild and Bruins” are also believed tracking Clowe. There was talk of the Flyers parting with Sean Couturier for Clowe, but that was swiftly denied. Sam Carchidi, meanwhile, reports the Flyers have had exploratory talks with the Sharks about Clowe, and the Dallas Stars about former Flyer Jaromir Jagr. They also had interest in Jay Bouwmeester prior to his trade to the Blues. Carolina’s Jamie McBain is a blueliner the Flyers could pursue.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Paul Holmgren gives up Couturier for Clowe, he should be fired at once. But of course, he’s not going to do something that dumb. I don’t believe Couturier’s available. I could see the Flyers trying to bring back Jagr, and wouldn’t be surprised if they make a pitch for McBain.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: David Pollak reports Sharks forward Ryane Clowe is at peace regarding the trade speculation swirling about him. Clowe is also open to a “sign-and-trade”, but said he wouldn’t commit to something like that unless he saw potential in his new team. He also said if he’s to be a rental player, he would prefer it be with a top club.
NEW YORK POST/NORTHJERSEY.COM: Larry Brooks and Andrew Gross don’t see any deadline deals which can help the struggling New York Rangers. Brooks reports of no league-wide chatter regarding Marian Gaborik, though there is interest in big center Brian Boyle. Gross doubts the Rangers take on a big contract and believes they won’t move their key young players. He advocates reevaluation at season’s end.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Gross. Any moves the Rangers make now won’t save their season. Unless they’re trying to dump salary for the off-season, it might be best simply to stand pat, ride out the remainder of the season in hopes of clinching a playoff berth, and reevaluate their needs when the season’s over.
WASHINGTON POST/WASHINGTON TIMES: The Washington Capitals must decide if they’ll retain center Mike Ribeiro in hopes he can help them make the playoffs (even at the risk of losing him to free agency this summer), or trade him at the deadline for picks and/or prospects.