More Saturday NHL Rumors – February 25, 2012.

The latest on the Leafs, Kings, Oilers, Red Wings, and Flames.

TORONTO STAR/TORONTO SUN: report Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is feeling the pressure of finding a spark for his struggling club at the trade deadline. The Leafs have been linked to Columbus’ Rick Nash, Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone. The club also needs help in goal, but there aren’t many options available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading for any one of those three won’t improve the Leafs goaltending, which is their most dire need right now.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/TORONTO SUN: reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi denied he was peddling team captain Dustin Brown.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggested Friday night the Kings could move Brown if they got a good deal for him by the deadline. We’ll have to wait and see if that possibility unfolds.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have effectively taken Ales Hemsky off the trade market by re-signing him to a two-year, $10 million contract.

TSN.CA: reports the Oilers are in contract talks with winger Ryan Smyth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect Smyth to be dealt if he’s unsigned by the deadline. He wants to stay and the Oilers want to keep him.

DETROIT NEWS/MLIVE.COM: The Red Wings are in the market for a penalty killing forward. Possible options include Montreal’s Travis Moen, Columbus’ Samuel Pahlsson, or Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moen is reportedly unavailable, but Pahlsson or Gaustad could fit well with the Wings.

CALGARY SUN/CALGARY HERALD: Flames GM Jay Feaster backed away from his comments threatening moves by the trade deadline after his team was beaten on Thursday by the Phoenix Coyotes.


  1. “Trading for any one of those three won’t improve the Leafs goaltending, which is their most dire need right now”

    You know, goaltending isn’t the Leafs only big need. Far from it. There simply aren’t any goalies available at the moment who would fix their goaltending problems so what’s wrong with them trying to fill other holes in the meantime? They have needed at least one top 6 power for years now and their forward group is far too small and soft at the moment, any one of those guys listed would be a big help.

    I think it’s silly and kind of narrow minded to suggest that the Leafs shouldn’t pursue power forwards like Nash or JVR just because they need a goalie as well. The Leafs need for a big power forward like Nash is evident every time Toronto plays a physical team like Boston.

  2. @BruinsMike
    You obviously know the Leafs problems very well and I couldn’t agree more. There shouldn’t be anyone on the Leafs that is untouchable if the player coming back makes them bigger, more physical and is ultimately an upgrade. Other then Gardiner and Lupul I would say everyone should be made available but even those two could be moved for the right player coming back although I think with Gardiner we MAY be looking at a Lidstrom type of defender one day… Yess I said Lidstrom… but please see I put the word “MAY” in cap’s before you jump all over me. If trading a guy like Kessel gets you a guy like Nash or Getlaf then you do it in a heart beat. The Leafs are 4 years into this rebuild but heading in the wrong direction in the standings for numerous reasons. I don’t think the team should be blown up or the cupboard of prospects emptied for a quick fix I’m just saying there should be no untouchables for the right player to come back in return especially if that player makes them bigger, stronger and is unintimidated by top teams like the B’s, Van, and the Rangers among others. I’d rather miss one more year of playoffs and do a little selling to get even better next year and give it a good run with a new coach and a fresh start.

  3. Bruinsmike, I couldn’t agree more. Let’s face facts, my Leafs have skill but lack a top 6 big bodied forward. I’m happy with the progress of the Leafs over the last couple of years, but our scoring lines get tossed around too much. Nash or Brown are on my wish list. If they prove to costly, I’d throw a first rounder to get Ott in the mean time. I’d also throw a 3rd rounder for Roloson for insurance. If goaltending costs us a playoff spot so be it…address it in the off season. There isn’t exactly a plethora of great goalies availible right now.

  4. P.S.
    TSN is listing Luke Schenn as a 5/6 defender on all their trade programs (which is a joke) so if that’s the case why dangle him out there at all? If the concenses is he is that poor of a defender then your return will be F%$# all so why not just take him off the market and tell him he’s off so he can relax…

  5. Totally agree with the comments here. The Leafs need improvement at every position. The group of forwards they have are not skilled, gritty of tough enough. Their defense is soft and you have people who can’t move very well like Phaneuf and Schenn playing prominent positions. The quality of goaltending doesn’t even need to be mentioned. The problem is that Burke has high-salary anchors like Lombardi, Armstrong and Komisarek preventing him from adding players and moving people out. I don’t think they are a particularly bad team, and their play would improve dramatically by getting rid of Wilson and replacing him by someone who actually cares how his team plays and players develop, but they definitely need better players at every position. The problem is that it takes time to develop a winning team. Remember that it took the foundation Burke and Nonis built in Vancouver ten years to really become the team they are now. Many of Burke’s players that he drafted are just entering the AHL phase of their development. He needs to add some foundational players and then build with youth; if that means trading away guys like MacArthur, Schenn, Grabovski and Kulemin for help at forward and goaltending then so be it. I’m tired of the Leafs goaltending blowing it for them every year. Just trade assets for an established goaltender and stop with the Raycroft, Toskala, Pogge, Gustavsson nonsense.

  6. roloson for a 3rd rounder

  7. I would have to disagree with spector for the first time…the goaltending situation is going to be quite hard to fix and is one of their most glaring issues right now however having one big problem doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to at least fix the other problems that are around…they still need a big top 6 forward…If they can get that possibly they can spend more time in the offensive zone as opposed to their own hence relieving the pressure off the goalies…I however do agree with spector that the leafs should not mortgage away their future for that big body as it will not make them that much better of a hockey club until the goaltending issue is resolved

  8. Sportsnetspec just tweeted that NY has become the frontrunner on Nash. Del Zotto or McDaunagh (sp?) a first rounder and Tim Erixon believed to be the best package so far. Really? The Leafs can’t do better? That’s a low ball offer if I’ve ever seen one.

  9. Not posting as a Leaf’s fan, but just simply a hockey fan and goalie myself. But with goalies and TOR I’m not sure what the answer is. I don’t think there are any trade available or soon to be UFA’s that could answer the bell. It’s not just about being a good goalie in TOR it’s about being better than all the BS that you have to endure while wearing that jersey. Look at Belfour, that guy was a hot mess attitude wise and that’s why he survived cause he had the ability to just play and was a good goalie at the same time. Over the past few years if you rank their goalies on “TWO 1-10 scales”, one for ‘mental’ truculence and one for sheer ability then you’re looking at Gustavsson (5/6), Reimer (4/7), Toskala (2/6), Cujo (8/8), Raycroft (3/6), Tellqvist (4/6), Belfour (9/8), Potvin (7/8).

    Even looking at historically, all the ‘good’ goalies they’ve had since the mid-90’s haven’t stuck around for long exc. Potvin at 7yrs. Cujo lasted 4 and Belfour 3. But look at other teams with great, strong and all around tough goalies and the length they’ve of invested: Brodeur (18), Kipper (8), Ward (7), Lundqvist (7), Miller, Fleury (8), Luongo (6), Thomas (7). Almost all of these guys are draft picks and yes, definitely top of their classes but it just seems that TOR just misses the boat on what it means to find/get/keep a goalie that could be this type of player for them.

  10. Leafs trading for Ryan Malone would be like the Blue Jackets trading for Jeff Carter and we all know how that turned out!!

  11. no one has been talking about moving the higher priced Leafs like Komisarek<sp or Armstrong at all, which leads me to believe there is no market for them at their current salary at all. There is more talent on the Marlies than they can provide ie Kadri Colboure and Frattin. and can anyone tell me why Boyce and Crab are playing ahead on all these others mentioned? sorry I know this isn't a Leaf site

  12. Have to agree. Let’s go with the crazy idea of going for forwards while at the same time looking at goalies. Not like the Leafs don’t have a massive management group that might actually have the ability to multitask. Goaltending definitely is a need they need to resolve, but that doesn’t exclude trying to solve other problems at the same time. Unless they are trading for some super elite goalie they can do both.

  13. @moto
    Crabb is a banger that can score the odd time while Kadri, Colborne and Frattin are not bangers. The Leafs lack grit so sticking one of those three guys from the Marlies in and replacing Crabb makes the Leafs even less tough to play against from a grit perspective. oyce plays 5min a game and I don’t think they want to put any of their top prospects in for that amount of playing time and stunt their growth.
    Komi has a no trade and can veto which makes it tough but yes their is no market for him. Armstrong has a market although it would probably be a second rounder at best coming back at this point

  14. Sorry meant to say Boyce not oyce

  15. I think Paul Gaustad would be a great fit in TO. What would it take to get him?

  16. Being a Leaf Fan i myself would to see Rick NASH in the blue&white but never at the price i heard,Mr. Burke don’t make this 1 happen if it’s going to cost you these player’s #1Jake Gardiner#2Joe Colborne#3Matt Fratttin and a first round pick for Rick Nash please don’t trade Jake Gardiner this will blow a few minds in 2yrs or less he is a keepper, anyhow i just heard new york rangers are the front runner on the rick nash sweepstates..

  17. I think Gaustad would be a better fit in Detroit or possibly Vancouver. Or I guess any team rumoured to covet a hard checking 3rd liner as a rental lol! He’d be a good pick up.

  18. I also agree with most of the comments so far, except one. @DC, the forwards are not skilled enough? Your joking right, if they were not skilled enough they wouldn’t even be in the league. I get it, your pissed just like the rest of us as to the recent collapse but please don’t say they have no skill. Both Kessel and Lupul are top ten in the league for points. Grabovski is inconsistant but has tons of skill. I could go on but geesh.

  19. Jackets trade Carter and if they move Nash both for D-men then who will score for them? They will have a solid young defence but they wont score ago. They need young stud forward for Nash.

  20. I think Paul Gaustad would be a great fit in Detroit

  21. People … remember what Burke and company did in ANA and VAN, it took a long time and patience. I trust Burke is going in the right direction and am happy he isn’t just unloading. There is a lot of talent in the AHL and a bit of size. I do agree we have some anchors that need to be gone Komisarek, Connolly to name two and some players we could live without in Lombardi, Armstrong, MacArthur. But I want to see us stay the course, create cap space, make smart moves. Lupul and Kulemin both have nice size on them, Colborne is sniffing NHL and is a big guy, they will all play top 6 and all can score … so we will begin to get some size into the lines next season.

    Then I think we do need to address those character guys and if we can nail a guy like Steve Ott who is signed long term then I think that we should. I just think we are on the right path and just need to adjust the vision a little bit. As a fan I am willing to be patient because I don’t want to be just a three year contender, I want the Leafs to be like the Wings of the East … it takes patience and smart moves to get there and I do think Burke can bring us there … but Wilson needs his ass fired.

  22. Dallas is in the thick of a playoff battle. They are not likely going to move Ott. All the reason you guys want him on your club, is why I see the stars keeping him. Unless of course another team overpays :)

    As for Toronto and Nash. There are two sides of the argument I keep hearing. Nash is a franchise player which the leafs need to get and build around, and he’s too expensive the leafs need to keep their current direction.

    Personally I don’t think Nash is going to help the leafs get anywhere if they don’t get the Center. Nash will have the exact same problem in Toronto as he has had in Columbus all these years no one to feed him the puck effectively. So why blow all your trade-able assets on a guy that will not change anything? Because he fits the description of what Burke said he wants to build his team?

    Look at the teams that have won the cup or have had the best chance each and every year. The leafs only target should be a young enough center to build around for the next 5 to 8 years. Then you can start working on the mix and match pieces to put you over the top. If you don’t have that center, you are basically throwing crap against the wall and seeing what will stick.

  23. I am surprised no one has suggested the Leafs look at Brown. He seems to be a Burke type player and would be better than Malone, IMO. Of course I do not know enough about the player or the Leafs to suggest that with any firm conviction.

    I’m not sure Detroit would seek out Gaustad as much as a defensive winger to replace Mursak. Moen would have been a great fit but his injury and PG taking him off the market kill that notion. That said, Gaustad would be great as a Hab. If he makes it to free agency I really hope Mtl takes a run at him. They should not go for him now though as I’m not sure he would then sign with Mtl in the summer so giving up anything for a rental is bad bussiness for Mtl this season. I think, though if Detroit lands him, he will get re-signed by the Wings.

  24. Don’t the Maple Leafs have their own fan forum ? in Calgary, there is CP (Calgary Puck), I mean, all of the comments on here are usually are from Leafs fans talking about ridiculous trades, their over-rated prospects, and Brian Burke- who cares !! It would be nice to come on here once in awhile and read comments about the actual topic being discussed above.

  25. Mr. Richardson, what about the idea of having a completely separate Leafs forum on here, so the fans can fill those pages with Brian Burke, impossible trades and lack of understanding about team salary caps, and that every FA wants to go to Toronto – on and on so that the rest of us don’t have to keep reading the same dribble over and over again every single day- It’s not even worth reading the comments anymore as they usually don’t have much to do with the topics being presented.

  26. I’d still like to see the Kings rent Smythe for the next couple months for like a third round pick. He’s familiar with the team and city and could return to EDM as a free agent this summer.

    Brown isn’t going anywhere.

  27. cowtown75 if you notice the first thing written for this article was about the leafs and the majority of the comments are discussing the leafs needs in response to it. I also bet on your Calgary forums you have the same type of people who overrate their players etc. Best to just skip what you don’t wish to read.

    habsfan1 it has been mentioned before the Burke might make a plan for Brown in out threads however I think it is just overshadowed by the amount of speculation of Nash. It was also not as engrained in many peoples minds as it only came out he might be available after the Carter deal.

    Bickleton I am not sure if LA wants to even try to make a deal with Edmonton that includes Smyth after difficulties they had this summer with it…lol

  28. As usual leafs rule trade rumors but few realize they can trade for anyone and no one and it would not matter if the coach cant get them to work and produce as a team.

    Wilson had his chance for four years now, they end up the same position no matter what. Can him.

  29. run and gun can only work when a team is rested. the leafs are too tired for wilsons approach now. if they collapse and dont make the playoffs, he’s gone

  30. Latest leaf offer is reportedly frattin, colbourne, gardiner and a 1st for Nash.

  31. My Gut Feeling is that NASH …is holding out to be a LEAF ……very serious about this ……..he is 27 years old and from Toronto has qurenteed money all ready ……and this would most liekley be his fianl trade in his prime …this is a dream come true fro heim and reality is he may be pushing Howson to get this done to Toronto ….do you know how much MONEY NASH WILL MAKE being the face of the Toronto maple Leafs for the next 5 years …seriously think about that ….he would be the adopted son of Canadas hockey team ..he would be rolling in it ….he has the final say !!!!

    keep yur fingers crossed boys and girls….Nash jerseys go on sale tonight!!!!

    Just saying ….lol

  32. Hope so Chris !!!!!!

  33. If he’s available, the Red Wings should pick up 39 year old Mike Knuble. Doubt the Caps would want a ton in return, and its a very Red Wing-esk thing to do, bringing in an established veteran.

  34. @innovator, yeah you’re probably right but I just can’t help but feel like he’s exactly what the kings need to help them out of their goal scoring funk.

  35. I don’t see how the leafs don’t make a play for Nash. The leafs are desperate, small and tired. They wont be able to survive the gruelling playoff push without a big body.
    Any deal not involving Lupul or Gardiner should be done.
    The beat down the Leafs face from Vancouver and the Bruins is because they are small. Kessel can be parted with because you have to give up quality to get quality. Lets face it, even if the leafs make the playoffs in the next few years they aren’t getting anyway near the Stanley cup finals.

  36. I was reliably informed here that Mathieu Darche was not a warm body filling a roster spot on a bad team but a rather capable and efficient penalty killer whose very existence on a team insistently makes them better. Perhaps Detroit should call Montreal and see what Darche is worth…

  37. I don’t see how the Leafs improve by trading Kessel for Nash. In fact, Kessel is a point per game player in his playoff career – moreso than Nash, anyway.

    There is a deal for Nash to be made, if the rumors out of NY about the package currently on the table are accurate. But it would cost Gardiner for sure.

  38. Looks like the Leafs might be show casing Matt Frattin tonight. Colburne didn’t get the call so he must be untouchable thank god. Most GMs have already seen Kadri so he could also be in play. As it stands now it looks like Frattin is on the block as part of a deal.

  39. If jake gardnier gets traded for anyone i’m finding a new team.