Monday Evening NHL Rumors – February 20, 2012.

The latest on the Senators, Red Wings, Canadiens and more.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: James Gordon reports Senators owner Eugene Melnyk claims his organization has learned its lesson about acquiring players on expensive contracts. He doesn’t expect his team to be dealing at the deadline after speaking with GM Bryan Murray, who told him there isn’t a pressing need to add players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guess that means Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar will be staying put.

TVA SPORTS: reports the Detroit Red Wings could have interest in Montreal Canadiens winger Travis Moen, despite the fact he remains day-to-day with an injury and isn’t expected back in the lineup this week. The site reports Wings GM Ken Holland has had preliminary talks with Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier, even offered prospect Xavier Ouellet, selected in the 2nd round (48th overall) of the 2011 entry draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meanwhile, TSN’s Bob McKenzie claimed tonight Moen wasn’t available and the Habs wanted to re-sign him. Should be interesting to see how this unfolds.

CALGARY SUN: Steve MacFarlane looks at the potential UFAs who might be available at this year’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those listed, I’d say Zach Parise, Teemu Selanne, Shane Doan, Daymond Langkow, Michael Rozsival, Jason Blake, Ray Whitney, Mikhail Grabovski, Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, P-A Parenteau, Kyle Wellwood, and Ryan Suter won’t be moved, for a number of reasons.

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen listed the ten most intriguing names heading toward this year’s trade deadline. They are: Rick Nash, Tuomo Ruutu, Jaroslav Spacek, Johnny Oduya, Ales Hemsky, Jonathan Bernier, Jeff Carter, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Marek Zidlicky.


  1. From a jet season ticket holders perspective I agree with Spector’s notes on Wellwood not likely being moved, he has been very consistent for the jets this year, very versatile in that he can play wing or center and can play on any line, plus when he is interviewed he is so calm and professional and on top of all this he shouldn’t be a problem to re-sign no doubt will get a raise but will still end up being affordable for what he brings.

    Oduya, I wish he wasn’t going to be traded such a smooth skater who after a rocky start ( can’t blame him for that new city and uprooting family ) to the season has settled in and make smart plays in getting out of the zone. However he is a pending UFA and with NHL ready flood sitting in the press box, as well as Postma who will be in the NHL next year he is likely expendible.

    Antropov on the other hand has somehow got to go, he plays well on occasion but his lazy tendancies just stick out like a sore thumb on this hard working blue collar team, and the Jets do not need him rubbing off on Burmistrov or some of the other young future stars.

    I would even consider trading Antropov for Gomez and a draft pick. At least Gomez still has some speed and could skate with these Jets plus he has work ethic and the Jets could easily absorb his salary.

  2. Unless the return is very good I would not let Moen go, thats the type of player you need on your team and montreal doesn`t have enough of those guys. Letting Moen go would be counter-productive.

  3. I find it funny every article about what the sens will do is melnyk talking and not Bryan Murray.

  4. You’d think, but then around Ottawa, everyone knows that Murray has become nothing more than a puppet since last year where Murray was set to be replaced, only to sign a random extension after Melnyk has a press conference. Maybe its not a bad thing, but then I would also argue that Murray should be working the phones and talking to people regardless of initial intentions. For example, talk to Howson about Nash. they would be stupid to give up the young talent for him, but then those talks may lead into other talks and they could get a Vermette or an Umberger on the cheap. Who knows. Plus if anyone offered anything in the range of a pick or younger player for Gonchar or Kuba, you’d be stupid not to take that deal. But to announce they will not be doing much is a poor strategy in my opinion.

  5. Unless there is no strategy because he doesn’t intend to do much…IMO

  6. I agree with Antropov being traded, I’m a Leaf fan and had to watch that lazy bum for 9 or so years. Everyone says how much upside he has which i don’t see, he’s been the same player year in and year out. Everytime you see this guy get a stupid penalty he gets this dumb look on his face ( like what did I do? ) he’s a 3rd line player tops

  7. jrd and AJ, Eugene Melynk is the sole owner of the team and is also very passionate about hockey and his team. If you’re a fan of a corporately owned team then having someone speak out is probably seems foreign to you. Personally I find his style refreshing vs. a Board of Director’s corporate message vetted by some P.R. flack…

  8. Kc you will really agree on taking Gomez contract? 2 more years on his contract, Antropov only 1 year left… I would do the switch even if I have to had a draft pick like a 3rd rounder.

  9. Ranzeir I agree having a passionate owner is great, but every time there is an article about Ottawa I have to remind myself who the gm is. I can see speaking a couple times a year but he is a little extreme.

  10. Pascal, I know it sounds crazy, but I would end up having to pay an extra 3 mil and some for next year over what I would have to pay Antropov, and then the full 7.3 mil for the following year. I’m one of the few that isn’t convinced Gomez is worthless and done ( definitely not worth over 7 mil ), but needs a change of scenery in a bad way, plus he would fit in way better on the Jets than Antropov does. I could be wrong I’ve only seen Gomez play on tv a few times recently, but I see Antropov every single home game and that guy really is worthless.

  11. Yeah AJ, Murray’s a puppet. You sound like the prototype A class Leaf homer… Maybe you should turn down the Toronto Sports Network. Zero knowledge of a subject(Murray and Ottawa) but more than willing to show how ignorant you can be.

  12. Jrd18, some people just love microphones and it seems to me that Mr Melnyk has never found one that he didn’t love! lol I find it somewhat interesting that he seems to spend more time talking to Toronto media than the media in Ottawa. Anyways, ‘those that pay the piper call the tunes’…

  13. I’ll flip Moen if he wants to resign with us during the summer 😉 Either way.. now that White is back.. I think Moen becomes expendable.

  14. Murray sucked hard his first few years. He did a good job last year, though.

  15. Leaf fans even troll here I see. Melnyk is from the Toronto area… one of those people interviewing him, I believe, is connected to the St. Mikes Majors.. which Melnyk also owns. So just because he owns the Ottawa Senators he can’t do an interview on Toronto radio stations?

    Him and Bryan Murray have good communication… so when Melnyk is asked questions about his hockey club he answers them. Murray runs the hockey club.. but Melnyk is his boss. Get the picture?

    Not every team in owned by conglomorates — just in case you did not know that…. There are a lot of teams in the NHL owned by a single owner… and they tend to be kept up-to-date on what is happening with their team.

    As for not being active at the deadline… good… They are not going to get rid of any of their picks or high prospects for a rental player. The costs right now are too steep in trading for players.. They are still re-building (or re-tooling as you Leaf fans call it) so why would they do that? They made their key deal when they got Turris.

    If this team was not going to make the playoffs Kuba would be gone at the deadline… as well as Gonchar if anyone would take him. He has 1 yr left after this season with a cap hit of 5.5M.
    Ottawa is in a race for a playoff spot… so why would they lessen their team by getting rid of two experienced defensemen to put rookies in their spot. Murray will do his best to keep the team competitive as he can…

    The young players on the team will benefit from any playoff run as long as it lasts — even if it’s only 4 games.

    After all, the Sens don’t have to make the playoffs. Everyone had them at 15th in the East. The team down the 401 is desperate to make the playoffs… so they will be the ones dealing at the deadline.

  16. Though I agree he is underrated at times, the reason Wellwood wont be moved is simply that the Jets are going to be fighting with all they have for the 8th spot, and their offense is spotty at best. There is no way you trade an offensive player at this point.

    I am one who thinks that Nash is 50/50 to be traded by deadline, simply because I think this situation could easily derail into a Dany Heatley situation and that would hurt the team even more than trading him. We all know they are getting Yakupov at the draft, with blue chippers Johannsen and Atkinson along with whoever they get for Nash and Carter (and Paulson and Prospal and Umburger), they will easily be able to put a positive spin on things over the summer spotlighting some of the young talent. If the Nash thing draws out, it is a huge distraction.

    If Murray has the cojones, he will do nothing, absolutely nothing. He is in a can’t lose situation right now, with the team exceeding expectations and a ton of prospects ready for the next step. I think he moves some older contracts over the summer and that’s it.

  17. Pugnacious.serf – With comments like that you sounds like the typical arrogant Sens fan. If I have no knowledge of the subject, please feel free to layout what I don’t know. (Ok all insults aside), Not a Leaf fan, want to make that clear. If anything I have been more negative against the leafs until the last year or so once they are starting to do a proper rebuild. I’m a Penguins fan (despite living in Ottawa), and as you know we not only have a passionate owner, but one who keeps the daily operations to the skillful people that he hired to run them. Sure he makes occasional comments, but then often invites reporters to speak to Ray Shero about hockey operations. That’s more my angle here. Melnyk can have his opinion (I also do think thats great) but if he is constantly taking Murray’s talking points, then it leaves me with a feeling that there is not as much confidence in the GM than you’d be lead to believe.

    As for doing nothing at the deadline, thats fine if they want to go that route and I was never suggesting that they do make a move or have to. Just saying it would be a good idea to kick tires and get a feel for the market. Perhaps they can get a bargain on something useful long term. I know many are saying that they are in playoff position and all of that. Thats great and all, but lets not forget the reasons why the Leafs had nothing int he cupboard for years (outside of trading prospects for aging players) – either slipping in the playoffs and getting beat out in the 1st round or ending up out by a couple points with the 10+ overall draft pick. If Ottawa tanks out and gets the 3rd or 4th overall, you can’t tell me that won’t help the team in the long term outlet regardless of what playoff exposure would do for the young players they have now. The team is not ready for a playoff berth and another year of growing and restocking the cupboard will do wonders.