NHL Trade & Free Agent Rumors – December 28, 2011.

With the NHL holiday “trade freeze” lifted, here’s the latest on the Stars, Blue Jackets, Sharks, Canucks, Rangers and Capitals.


Stars place Raycroft on waivers.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars have informed goaltender Andrew Raycroft they intend to place him on waivers today. If he clears by Thursday he’ll be demoted to their farm team. GM Joe Nieuwendyk meanwhile said the team’s new ownership puts him in a better position to make a move to help the Stars near the trade deadline if a deal can be found to help his team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the Nieuwendyk link. With the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets in need of goaltending depth it’ll be in interesting to see if they take a chance on Raycroft.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Bob Hunter reports Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has seen enough and intends to be active to find ways to improve his team, though it remains to be seen what moves, if any, he’ll make. “Everything’s on the table,” he said. “We’ve got to look at everything. We’ve got to seriously look at everything. Now that’s different than saying, ‘I’m going to phone every GM tomorrow and say who do you want, (Rick) Nash, Carter or (R.J.) Umberger?’ but we’ve got to look at the whole situation and we’ve got to consider everything.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Howson’s “everything’s on the table” remark is going to fuel rumors of shopping Nash, Carter or Umberger, but while he’ll consider all options, I don’t believe he’ll move those three. I think the most likely to be dealt is Derick Brassard, plus I think they’ll also try to move Vinny Prospal and Antoine Vermette.I don’t see him moving James Wisniewski.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: David Pollak reports the San Jose Sharks have a glut of goaltenders with Thomas Greiss and Antero Niittymaki backing up Antti Niemi, but they treat any questions of one of the backups being dealt as premature. GM Doug Wilson scuttled any talk of a trade occurring soon by saying he and his scouts will assess their roster’s needs during their mid-season meetings, which begin on January 14th.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg.  Niittymaki is the most expendable of the two, but given he’s coming off hip surgery, the Sharks have to get him into a few games before they can start shopping him. If he’s healthy, the longer they hang onto him, the better the chance of increasing his trade value.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher reports Canucks defenseman Alex Edler could be the next Canuck to consider accepting a “hometown discount” to remain with the team when he becomes eligible for UFA status in July 2013. The Sedins, Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows all accepted less than market value to remain with the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll depend on his performance beyond this season as well as the team’s, as well as available cap space.

ESPN.COM: Katie Strang reports the Rangers healthier lineup could mean some decisions soon, perhaps by demoting Sean Avery or Erik Christensen, or perhaps the returning Wojtek Wolski, who hasn’t been a favorite of head coach John Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They could also try to move one of those three via trade, but only Christensen would have any trade value, and that would be based more on his affordable salary ($925K) than performance.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman, in his weekly “30 Thoughts” segment, cited a couple of teams saying the Washington Capitals could be a team to watch for a roster shakeup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The coaching change hasn’t worked out as well as hoped, so the next move is a trade, but who do they move? Yes, yes, I know, Alexander Semin, but moving him is easier said than done because of his salary, offensive struggles and reputation for soft play in the post-season. If the Capitals having gotten out of their mediocrity by mid-January, it could spur management to make a move.


  1. Don’t see how Blue Jackets could trade Wisniewski even if they wanted to, isn’t his contract 6 years @ 39 million ( roughly 6.5 mil average a year ) ?

  2. I agree… that salary is ludicrous… it’s a lot for a number 1 Dman, and the Wiz is certainly not that. I liked him as a Hab, and would have loved him back for 4.5 million. But I can’t imagine who would want to take him on for that price.

  3. I doubt the Lightning are interested in Raycroft. His numbers aren’t much better then Rolosons. I was hoping the Bolts would sign Marty Turco.

  4. The Jackets need to consider moving anyone and everyone. Why would they not trade Umberger or Carter? It’s not like they are adding much or are unreplaceable through the draft. Nash has not developed much beyond the player he was early in his career and clearly he is not capable of leading this team beyond a fringe playoff team, so why not start over again?

  5. Sabres will take Nash !!!!! Not a center but they need more skilled big bodies. Please Darcy…. Do something

  6. If Turco does well at teh Spengler Cup tourney, I could see a team like Columbus and tampa taking a shot with him

  7. Most teams would take Nash but his $7.8 million contract and full no trade clause means he controls if and when and to whom and not a lot of teams can take on that contract either

  8. The Kings could use Nash, they desperately need a top line LW for Kopi, and are obviously having trouble getting goals this year. They could lure him with a pacakge that consists of Bernier, Voynov/Martinez, Loktionov and Penner (just so the money the other way works out for LA), and if you have to throw in a draft pick to get it done. I know, I know its a long shot but come on DL do whatever it takes we need scoring especially now that Gagne is out for god knows how long.

  9. alforducks…his cap hit is $5.5 mill/year for 6 years.

  10. Why change anything in New York? The team’s rolling, let them keep doing what they’re doing and if someone gets hurt address it with one of the healthy scratches.

  11. Loo for Nash……………………………

  12. TO Canadian King, I agree kings should go after Derick Brassard -C &
    Rick Nash- RW
    KIngs should trade
    D. Penner
    J. Williams
    R. Nash

  13. Carter would look good in a Flames Jersey next to Iginla. trade Bourque with Karlesson or Irving

  14. Boston Trades Milan Lucic & Ryan Spooner to Columbus for Rick Nash

  15. Wiz was the only option and the Jackets had to get something. They over paid by a mil or so, but they did lock down one offensive threat on the blue line. Once you bring in one, and add Carter it often helps attract other UFAs. Might not work out that way given the teams drop in the standings.
    As for Raycrap….Stevie Y may take a chance on him, worth a try I guess. Still Tampa needs a lot more help then that! Turco must be poor for the dressing room….I can’t imagine sub par performance could push you out of the NHL for good….Giggy managed a descent contract after a injury and sub par year in Toronto.

  16. @Lee…
    I hope you were joking with that…. a Rick Nash trade would get a lot more than what you suggested… that would just be a start.

  17. I’ve seen enough, and for the past 2 seasons have thought the probelm in Columbus doesn’t seem to be the rotating carosel of various players, coaches, or other staff. It seems to be the only constant that hasn’t changed: Howson.

    They shoulda shut this yahoo down years ago. Who eles could stand at the helm of floundering so many young talents careers time and time again? Even in Edmonton or Long Island, with all their probelms, their youngsters still find a way to grow their careers. Then look at Nash, Mason, Brassard, Dorsett. Now add Carter to that list. It’s almost sickening.

  18. I wouldn’t give up Lucic and Spooner for Nash.
    Lucic is just about untouchable.
    Spooner is gonna be good.
    Nash’s salary will cripple your team for years.
    Maybe Krejci and some picks and prospects but not Lucic.

  19. @ Lee and Dave…

    Boston is doing just fine they way they are. Why would they trade anyone? I am not a Boston fan, but feel they deserved to win the cup last year,and most Hockey teams would love to have their problems, which are..well.. none right now!

  20. Columbus should just move Umberger, Propal and/or Vermette and take one more shot next year and hope they get a full healthy year from all their top players (Nash, Carter, Huselius) and their young guns develop. They should get a decent return for those guys and might even be able to convince LA that Umberger and Prospal are enough to land Martinez and Bernier if LA gets desperate enough. Then they could send Mason to Tampa for a pick and package picks, Vermette and either a good young forward prospect or Clintsome to the Caps for Semin.

  21. Jay…Irving isn’t going anywhere. Karlsson maybe but it would obviously not be for Carter. Can’t see Flames going after Carter myself. I hope Irving gets quite a few more starts while Karlsson is on the shelf. I am really happy to see the Flames inserting youth in their line up on a regular basis. Its time for Irving to be there too, perminantly. Maybe we could get a third rounder for Karlsson but I see the back up market pretty weak…we shall see I suppose.

  22. TO EJ
    NO WAY are we going to give you Bernier, Martinez for Umberger & Prospal thats a joke if anything the kings should trade
    KIngs get
    Bluejackets get

  23. The Rangers don’t HAVE to make any trades that will effect the current “on-ice” chemistry… BUT they will have to make some personnel moves as players get healthy. When Stall & Sauer return, they will have to demote some of the D-men back to Hartford. Throw into that they are carrying three forwards (Avery, Christensen and Wolski) in the press box, it’s only natural to think about trading some of that salary away instead of letting it watch games in tailored suits.

  24. my god you guys are smoking some good shit,lol rick nash is going to be traded is like saying the maple leafs will win the cup this year…lol

  25. would love to see the Canucks pick up former Vancouver Giant Matt Kassian but it’s unlikely Minnesota would trade him within their division (altough with realignment possible next year … perhaps).

  26. To Kingsfan1980

    Bernier is a solid prospect but the fact that Quick is a star give the Kings less leverage because Bernier is a luxury for them, not a need. LA needs scoring, badly. Prospal is old and only has a year or two left but is a proven scorer at full-strenght and on the PP. Umberger is a very good two-way player, who if was on the LW with Kopitar would score plenty.

    After a deal like this the Kings give up a reserve goalie and their 5th defenseman (albeit a guy with top 4 D potential) and end up with a top line of Umberger, Kopitar, Brown and a second line of Prospal, Richards, Williams letting Penner play on the the 3rd where he belongs with Stoll. And if you are lucky you get in the playofs and Gagne makes it back giving you even more depth at FW.

    It’s all well and nice having young players with potential like Bernier and Martinez but when you build a team to win now and each of those young players have players blocking their path (Quick, Doughtey, Johnson, Volnov) then get returns for them while they still have potential and make your team better.

  27. EJ… Bernier is probably worth a couple of first round picks. And Umberger (and his salary) are probably in the 2nd round pick range. Brassard is probably in the same boat (2nd round pick) as his salary is high as well. So I have to agree with Kingsfan…. you’re nuts to trade a franchise centrepiece for spare parts. If Bernier is going to Columbus… Nash is the return. Having said that, I get a weird feeling Toronto might try to pawn off Kadri, a decent player or two, and a first round pick for Nash. Sounds crazy but you have to figure Burke has at least made the call.