NHL Rumors – Tuesday, February 8, 2011.

Updates on Joni Pitkanen, Roman Hamrlik, Peter Forsberg, Ty Conklin and Jarkko Ruutu, the latest on the Sharks and more.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who’s eligible for UFA status this summer, is hoping to stay with the team after this season.

CYBERPRESSE.CA: Marc Antoine Godin reports Montreal Canadiens blueliner Roman Hamrlik said he’s willing to accept less money to re-sign with the Habs. Hamrlik is also eligible for UFA status this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Neither player will be shopped at the trade deadline but it remains to be seen if they’ll be re-signed before July 1st. Pitkanen would certainly command plenty of interest as a free agent as he’s in his playing prime while Hamrlik at 36 might find it tough to continue his NHL playing career despite being “a workhorse” for the Canadiens this season. Hurricanes management probably wants to re-sign Pitkanen but of course it’ll depend on his salary demands and their budget for next season. The Canadiens might be willing to re-sign Hamrlik to a one-year deal for less money but of course that’ll depend upon any possible additions they might make to their lineup by July 1st.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Peter Forsberg has a no-trade, no-movement clause in his new contract with the Avalanche but wondered if Forsberg might become trade bait by the February 28th trade deadline if the Avs should fall further out of playoff contention by then, though Dater considers that possibility “unlikely”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huh? The Avs just signed Forsberg and already someone in the media is talking about shopping him? (*Plants face on keyboard…*).

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan finds it inexplicable the Senators sat gritty forward Jarkko Ruutu during last night’s Senators-Vancouver Canucks game. With three weeks until the trade deadline Brennan believes the Senators should be showcasing Ruutu for a possible trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Sens didn’t want Ruutu taking liberties against the team some observers believe he would be a good fit on their fourth line? 😉

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Dan O’Neill reports Blues backup Ty Conklin has been coming through for his team while Jaroslav Halak was sidelined by an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I mention this because there’s been speculation the Blues might shop Conklin or that the Detroit Red Wings are interested. As long as the Blues remains in playoff contention I doubt they’ll shop Conklin. Meanwhile Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland recently said unless Chris Osgood suffers a setback in his current rehab he’s not in the market for a backup goalie.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: David Pollak reports Sharks GM Doug Wilson doesn’t sound like a general manager about to wheel and deal, pointing out he’s already made changes with his recent acquisitions of Ben Eager and Kyle Wellwood.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg. The Sharks have won seven of their last ten games, including four of their last five, and have moved up into sixth in the Conference standings. If they continue this pace Wilson probably won’t have any need to make a significant trade by the deadline.

USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen reports the Detroit Red Wings lack the cap space to pursue an expensive goalie like Toronto’s J.S. Giguere…Chris Phillips is far more attractive to rival clubs than Sergei Gonchar and he’ll be surprised if any team took on Gonchar’s contract at this point…Take Flames GM Jay Feaster at his word when he says he’s not trading Jarome Iginla or Robyn Regehr…Allen thinks everyone in the NHL believes the Penguins will end up with Alex Kovalev because he played his best hockey there and was very popular with the fans…The Predators are seeking offensive help and the Thrashers are aggressively shopping for help but so far haven’t found anything…

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ken Holland said he won’t shop for a goalie unless he gets bad news on Chris Osgood’s rehab…The Senators are stuck with Gonchar…The Flames are now in a playoff berth and have no reason to move Iginla or Regehr…Why in Buddha’s name would the Penguins want an aging, indifferent, past-his-prime winger whose last best season was three years ago? Kovalev’s best years in Pittsburgh were nearly ten years in the past. He’s not that player anymore…The Preds will boost their offense but I don’t expect them to sell the farm to do so…The Thrashers are in big trouble and might not find the right deal to help them. Their defensive play has been weak throughout the season.


  1. Peter Forsberg hasn’t even played a game yet and he’s trade bait already. Who are the editors of some of these papers?

  2. You’re a good man Spector! You kept your word not writing about Forsberg until he was signed… and with ridiculous rumours like that one from Dater it’s easy to see why you made that commitment!

    • Yep, now you know why…;)

      • want to talk about Kaberle some more? just kidding. That as good as a Manon Rihome 5 hole joke

  3. With so much parody regarding teams in the west, I think the silver lining just got more silvery (sorry lol!) for the bottom dwellers of the east. Edmonton is the only western club that doesn’t have a reasonable shot at the post season. That being said, NYI, NJ, ott, Toronto, Florida and possibly buffalo should clean up very nicely at the deadline. With so many buyers and not enough sellers, expect overpayment.

    • too true…even the Blues aren’t in a position to think sell. Dale Tallon must be getting a lot of calls (but even they are gonna ‘see how the homestand goes’). Looks like demand should far exceed supply.

  4. So with Peter Forsberg, doesn’t he have to pass through waivers like Nabakov and Wellwoood did? I doubt another team would want him, but why isn’t this being talked about after all of the buzz with Nabby?

    • Forsberg never played in another league this season so he does not have to clear waivers

    • You doubt another team would want him? That’s about as silly as he may be “trade bait”! What team wouldn’t want Foppa? Even if he is past his prime, he is still freakin Peter “the great” Forsberg

  5. Kovalev to Pittsburgh ONLY makes sense because they have so much LTIR cap space and Kovalev is one of the few scorers currently available. Even though he’s overpaid and past his prime, he’s still on pace for a 15-20 goal season. Sadly enough, without Crosby or Malkin, that would be an upgrade for the second scoring line. They trade for Kovalev, and they’ll still have LTIR cap space to make another deal by the deadline.

    • Milan Michalek.

  6. Kovalev to PIT (or anywhere else) only makes sense because I’m sure he can be had for nothing (e.g., future considerations; 7th rounder conditional on winning the cup, etc.), same as Freddy Modin last year and Marco Sturm this year. Especially a team like the Pens, who’ve shallowed their system significantly over the last few years.

  7. Is Dusitn Buf on the market in Atlanta?

    • how bout no? his potential is nearly unlimited

      • You look at how much they have dropped off, and how bad they are defensivly, buf would bring alot back to that team specially with his contract running out no?

        • When I say dropped off, I mean there ugly times, and how many games the canes have in hand on them

          • he may not want to sign there, but i think Dudley got him knowing how good he could be and is planning to build around him. I think they’ve dropped off because they ran out of steam after playing a playoff-style for the first 3 months; often happens with young teams that win on energy (see Colorado).

          • Honestly I would rather see what Phx wants for Lee Stepniak and make a run at him. he’s an affordable winger who has shown to be a respectible sniper over the last couple of seasons. Give him smoeone of Crosby’s talent, I am confident he could pot 30 goals + every year. he’s also an affordable cap hit and could be more of a long term option for the Pens instead of the rental someone like Kovalev would be. But as you have claimed, if they have shallowed the prospect pool on thier farm team in recent years, why make a move for even a 7th rounder for someone like Kovalev who’s washed up, over paid and under producing that could also potentially ruin the team chemistry and locker room attitude (See NJ with Kovi as an example of someone coming in who doesn’t jive with the system). He’s just not worth it and hat tip to Spector for not drinking the kool aid like everyone else on this one.

  8. Unbelievable that someone would rumor monger Forsberg being trade bait before he has even played a shift lol. That’s funny. As for Hamrlik, as much as I’ve appreciated his services over the last few seasons, it’s over for him in Montreal. They need to resign Gorges, keep wisnewski as he can prob be signed for 4 million per year, we have subban and weber playing better ever week, speck for one more year and probably Markov and Gill for one more. His 5.5 million (combined with AK’s 3.5 million) are going to be used elsewhere to keep younger players and sign/trade for a power forward. It’s sad to see a player that has played so hard for the team go because of cash but his age and the amount of quality D and prospects on the blue make that a actual position of strength (IMO) forth Canadiens. If Gorges or Markov were due back for the Playoffs I would say Hamrlik is as good as gone at the deadline but that isn’t the case. The more games subban and weber play in this home stretch the better off the D will be come Playoffs and next season.

  9. hey spec, im a long time reader, first time poster here. great site. just wondering if you have heard anything about justin williams? hes a ufa and with his injury history and with LA having a bunch of good young talent do you think he could/will be traded? i think montreal should make an offer for him. good skater, some grit and offense and plays right wing. gauthier should try and package AK46 (ufa) with a prospect or pick. i think hed be a good fit. yes hes injury prone but AK 46 is missing most of the time too hahaha…

    • Williams name has only popped up occasionally as a possible trade candidate. While anything’s possible I don’t think he’s being shopped at this time.

  10. Let me tell you, as an avid Avalanche fan, there is something intangible and brilliant within Peter Forsberg that makes him unlike other super stars, and other people, on and off the ice. He’s captivating on and off the ice. A humble man who awakens to new life on the ice. We love him in Denver, and to see him don his Avalanche sweater with his number 21 looming larger than life is oh so sweet! It’s not about reliving, reclaiming or proving anything with his true fans. We just want to watch him play!

    As for Adrian Dater, he’s been in a bit of pessimism lately. He won’t allow himself any optimism concerning Forsberg and I think his self-denial is turning him gloomy and I think it’s starting to boil over into other things Avalanche. Either Forsberg will accomplish what he wants to or he’ll have closure. And, either way, I believe Adrian will rebound ok.

  11. Why in hell, would the Pens be looking at Kovalev? Recent call up Dustin Jeffrey has been playing up to his potential, 6 points in 11 games and was 12th overall in the AHL with 45 points in 40 games playing for Wilkes-Barrie. They’re better off going after a younger player that can have an impact in the lineup right now, like Stephen Weiss. Now if they’re looking for a pilot for their charters Kovi might be the real deal.