Given the recent lack of NHL rumors from the mainstream media, here’s a look at what’s kicking around the blogosphere regarding the Sharks and Maple Leafs. Enjoy!
The “Patrick Marleau to the Montreal Canadiens” rumor continues, with the Sharks supposedly wanting two roster players and a top prospect in return. Any trade of Marleau depends upon his willingness to waive his no-trade clause. So far he hasn’t been asked to do so. The Sharks are apparently still keen to move Marleau and Joe Thornton, depending on their approval. The Sharks could try to move either or both before the season begins or by the March trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, the Sharks are still willing to trade Thornton and/or Marleau. They’re in trade talks with the Canadiens but haven’t approached Marleau about accepting a trade yet. All this despite the fact both players have already stated they don’t want to play anywhere while Sharks management backpedaled from speculation either player could be moved. Sorry, but I’m not buying this “Marleau to Montreal” rumor.
It doesn’t make sense for the Sharks to talk trade about Marleau with the Canadiens if he remains unwilling to waive his no-trade clause. A team usually needs to know in advance what teams a player is willing to waive his no-trade clause for before plunging into trade negotiations. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time and effort.
If Marleau and Thornton are unwilling to waive their no-trade clauses, there’s nothing Sharks management can do. Their no-movement clauses prevents demotion. They can’t suspend them. They can’t demand either player waive their clauses. Even if Thornton and Marleau feel unwanted by management, they can stubbornly dig in their heels and refuse to go.
I will acknowledge the possibility either player could change their minds. In that case, the earliest I expect they could be dealt is near the trade deadline, depending upon their performances as well as that of the Sharks. Otherwise, it won’t happen until next summer, if at all.
The Toronto Maple Leafs still want to add a top-six forward. Goalie James Reimer, defenseman Cody Franson and forwards Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul were discussed in trade talks earlier this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of these, Reimer and Franson are the most likely to be dealt, but it’s a question of both return and destination. I believe the Leafs still wish to retain Kadri, though I don’t doubt there’s interest in him from rival clubs. Last season GM Dave Nonis claimed if he was to move Kadri he’d want a player of comparable age and talent in return. Lupul could get some attention, though I think there’s concern over his injury history. There was talk earlier this summer the Canadiens had some interest but I don’t think it went very far.