NHL Trade Rumors – December 29, 2011.

The latest on Ales Hemsky and Eric Staal, wondering if the Bruins should make a move, what the Lightning must do to improve, trade storylines to watch, and more.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports winger Ales Hemsky’s future with the Oilers is murky as the trade deadline approaches, suggesting Hemsky hasn’t done himself any favours with his responses to media questions over his performance so far this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky’s performance and injury history could hurt his trade value, but I still believe the Oilers will move him by the trade deadline. They just won’t get as good a return as they might’ve had they dealt him at last year’s deadline.

Staal wasn't bothered by trade rumors.

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal didn’t take seriously the recent trade rumors linking him with the Toronto Maple Leafs, praising Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford for quickly dismissing that report.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, Staal would make a good fit on the Maple Leafs first line. You know where else he’d make a good fit? The Hurricanes, where he remains their franchise player, and judging by his comments, isn’t in any hurry to seek a trade. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rutherford received some inquiries about Staal, but I don’t believe he wants to move his  first line center just because of one bad year, especially when the entire team has performed poorly.

NESN.COM: Their staff wondered if the Boston Bruins should consider making a big-time acquisition this season, suggesting on the one hand if someone like Columbus’ Rick Nash were available, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli should make due diligence in trying to land him, while on the other hand suggesting if the team continues playing as well as it has since early November, there’s no need to make a major move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli will consider all options if it’ll help his team’s chances to repeat as Cup champions, but I don’t see him making a major acquisition if it means parting with a key player or two, which is what it would take to land a player like Nash.The Blue Jackets wouldn’t just give him away. They’d want more than just draft picks and prospects.

TAMPABAY.COM: Tom Jones suggested five ways to improve the struggling Lightning, which included getting a starting goalie, like perhaps Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders, and shoring up their defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thanks in part to the salary cap, there’s not a lot GM Steve Yzerman can do to adequately address the situation right now. Yzerman got lucky with Dwayne Roloson last season, but the odds of lightning striking twice are long.

TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski listed the trade deadline among six storylines to watch in 2012, suggesting the Philadelphia Flyers could be the team to watch leading up to that date.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All the anticipation now is the Flyers pursuing a big name defenseman in the new year to replace the sidelined Chris Pronger, but such a move requires shipping out significant salary to make it happen, and that could mean trading away one or two significant players. I know Matt Carle’s been mentioned in trade rumors, but for me that doesn’t make sense if the need is to bolster their blueline depth.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports trades are coming for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but GM Scott Howson won’t be dealing Rick Nash, and has no intention of trading Jeff Carter “at this point”. LeBrun assumes Derick Brassard and pending UFAs Kristian Huselius, Vinny Prospal and Sammy Pahlson will be in play…The LA Kings and Detroit Red Wings could have some interest in Oilers winger Ales Hemsky…Shea Weber’s contract talks with the Predators could start soon. The Predators current priority is re-signing Ryan Suter, who’s a UFA this summer, while Weber will be a restricted free agent…The Bruins have six UFAs to re-sign, and LeBrun guesses Chris Kelly could be the next one to be re-signed…The Carolina Hurricanes can’t afford to be sellers in January because such salary dumping would put them under the salary cap minimum. It would be better for them to wait until the February 27th trade deadline, as the cap hit and payroll hit should be minimized.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Howson’s “at this point” remark regarding Carter will be seized upon by rumormongers to suggest he’s available. While I won’t fully dismiss the possibility, I believe it would take a significant offer for Howson to move Carter, who has a no-movement clause which would limit potential trade destinations. Unless Carter demands a trade, I believe he remains in Columbus…The Kings could sniff around Hemsky, as could the Wings, but his trade value is down because of his injury history and declining production…Weber and/or Suter won’t be dealt as long as the Predators remain in playoff contention. I believe GM David Poile wants to re-sign both and will do all he can to make that happen…I think Kelly is the most likely of the Bruins UFAs to be re-signed…Interesting point about the Hurricanes. Unless they do a straight hockey trade virtually dollar-for-dollar, they cannot make any salary dumping deals until the trade deadline.

28 Comments

  1. Unless they have a MAJOR season ending injury, the Bruins would be crazy to tamper with the chemistry with this team. Perhaps getting a D-man for depth insurance end of February but would not tamper with goalies or forwards unless they have a season ending injury.

  2. On the Flyers, why would they have to move salary if Pronger is on LTIR? They have up to that amount to bring in. The only challenge is if Pronger returns for the playoffs, but with the team already saying he’s done for the year, you’d have to mitigate risk and make a move. Whether it has to be for a big name or just a top 6 kind of guy is the question. But more Matt Walker and Andreas Lilja aren’t helping Easy Brzy sleeping at night.

  3. So let me get this straight, a guy (Nabokov) with a slightly worse GAA (2.76) and slightly better save percentage (.910%) then the guy we currently have in (Garon) is supposed to be our savior? I think giving Roloson a one way ticket to Norfolk and signing Turco is much feasible. We need to look to defense instead and turf Clark and Kubina. Perhaps throw in the hyper penalty magnet too.

  4. So that’s where Tom Jones is……Tampa Florida and he’s a hockey fan ! How Unusual !!!

  5. I really think the Kings should go after Carter and play him on the wing
    offer bluejackts
    J.Bernier-G
    V.Voynov-D
    J.Williams-RW

  6. Kingsfan 1980…wow, thats a lot for Carter IMO

    Also, Oilers shoula traded Hemsky last year when they would’ve been dealing from a postion of strength. I however have always felt oil country always over valued this man made of glass…

  7. Kingsfan1980…not a bad idea but if were giving up that much talent, Nash better be coming back the other way.

    jerryALBERTA…agreed, Hemsky has always been overrated. I hope LA doesn’t trade for him, if they do I wouldn’t give them anything more than a 3rd rounder at most.

  8. Not sure if anyone knows this or not. How long can the Flyers keep Pronger on the LTIR? He’s signed for 5 more seasons and signed after 35 so the contract stays on the books no matter what. Just wasn’t sure if they would make a trade if they could go for a Suter, Weber etc.

  9. I think Bruins should sign Kelly Thornton and Boychuk maybe Corvo. If I were them I wouldn”t chase a top forward Parise or Nash because you would need to give a lot up. I would sign another D-man like Suter next July. Dougie looks like the real deal also maybe a yr. away.

  10. Kingsfan: I think that’s way too much for Carter, WAY too much….

    As for the rest of the trade rumors, Boston would be nuts to break up their team. They have a legit chance of repeating as champs, and maybe make moves in the off-season (It would be interesting to see what happens to Thomas since he is getting up there in age and Rask is capable and chomping at the bit to be a #1 starter)
    I agree with Boltsnation on the TB goaltending situation, Roloson might get picked up via waivers if demoted, and if Turco can’t be had, they can consider taking a chance on Raycroft or Nittimaki.

    As for the Isles, considering both DiPietro (aka Mr Injury) and Montoya are now out, they will more than likely hang on to Nabokov.

  11. @Boltsnation – interesting that you point out on the one hand (and rightly so) that Nabokov wouldn’t be a vast improvement (even though his stats are coming from playing with a crummy team) and on the other hand call for Turco to play that roll. Turco looked downright awful the past 2 seasons he played in the NHL and doesn’t seem to be tearing it up in Austria (stat-wise anyway). Enough with the creeky knee fillers, it’s time to bring in a real goalie either established or with promise. And yes, it’s gonna cost you.

  12. LA should just stay away from Carter all together. Way more trouble to get into in LA then in Philly. Boston should hold onto their prospects. Dealing for Kabby last year was a little bit of a blow to their prospect pool.
    Please, nobody entertain Staal to the Leafs. Not that I intend to control the thread, it’s just not going to happen. Staal is the franchise player in Carolina and will not be moved…at all.

  13. Reading my post again, I shouldve specified, way more trouble for Carter and Richards to get into in LA.

  14. LeBrun is off when he suggests that the Hurricanes can’t be sellers because of the cap floor. There will be a glut of teams looking to shed salary to make a big pick up. Use the Kings for example. If the Kings wanted to go after a big fish, they’d have to shed salary. While he’s playing better now, Penner is the obvious target. Penner is a UFA at the end of the season. So they pick up Penner to stay close to or above the cap floor and then let him walk. It will not be hard to find players with big contracts ending after this season.

    @ KingsFan1980

    Your trade is interesting but the Kings are giving up too much. I doubt they’ll move Williams as he just signed long term for a very decent amount. I can’t see the Kings trading him unless it was a deal-breaker. I would see somethng along the lines of Penner (for the Kings to clear cap space), Forbort (young college prospect), and Bernier. We may have to throw in a pick as well. Columbus could then flip (since it seems like something they want to do) Mason to another team for more prospects and picks.

    My only concern with Carter is can he play the wing? I believe he’s a natural center, and the Kings don’t need any more centers.

  15. I really don’t see Lombardi making another deal with the Oilers after the last two questionable trades he’s made with Tambellini. I can sort of understand the Penner deal as he was trying to make something happen and prices are high at the trade deadline but the way the Smyth thing was handled makes me question Tambellini’s ethics.

    Something Lebrun overlooked is the Hurricane’s do have a very attractive asset to offer in January and at the trade deadline in addition to players, cap-space. The Hurricane’s can be sellers while also acquiring a bad short-term contract or two along with picks and prospects to stay above the cap floor.

  16. @ Alex. I won’t argue Nabokov vs. Turco. However I have never herd of Turco having any Character issue’s were as Nabokov’s “I don’t wanna play for the NYI” last season was pretty childish and Yzerman is all about character. Honestly I believe that the Lightnings best bet is to lock up the defense with some stay-at-home kinda guys like Gleason (UFA) and the likes. Then let our prospects fill other spots. Barberio is an absolute stud. He has 27 pts in 29 games with a +19 as defensemen and Gudas will hit and fight anything that moves. As far as goal is concerned I would rather see a better D and use Garon as a stop gap and Tokarski as a back-up seeing is after this season there really isn’t anything else he can learn from the AHL.

  17. To: JDBiGC , Konstantine
    Ok if thats to much than lets do
    KIngs get
    Nash
    Bassard
    Bluejackets get
    J.Bernier
    Martinez
    Willimas
    Hickey
    Williams is overrated he doesn’t put up any good numbers and he only has one more year on his contract, Hickey is a 4th overall pick that hasn’t been used yet do to injuries and Martinez is a good 2-way player and Bernier could be a very good goalie if someone gives him a starting role ! Bluejackets need a Goalie and Def!

  18. @Boltsnation

    In all fairness, Nabokov signed a contract with the Red Wings and was then claimed off waiver by the Islanders who were not in playoff contention. I can’t say that I blame him. I assume he wanted a shot to win a cup only to end up getting claimed by a bottom-feeder. And it’s not like Nabokov was the cog that the Islander needed to be competitive.

  19. Dean Lombardi should pick up the phone and call Bob Murray and ask for permission to talk to Teemu Selanne. Lombardi can then have a month to convince Teemu that he can have one last shot at making the playoffs and one last shot at another cup ring AND HE CAN STILL DRIVE HOME AFTER EVERY HOME GAME. If Teemu says ok Kings get the scorer they are looking for and they can send the Ducks a 2nd round 2013 draft pick. Everybody wins.

  20. @Kingsfan

    Not bad. I’m not sure Hickey has a whole lot of value at this point. I suspect he’d be viewed as a reclamation project but he deserves a shot at playing somewhere. With Voynov likely a regular now, our defense is likely set for years to come. Hickey becomes expendable. Willaims however is second on the team in scoring. I also don’t think the Kings would want to trash the chemistry too much. I can’t see Williams being part of the deal.

  21. To JDBiGC,
    I wish Williams was 2nd in scoring more like 5th and only 5 goals thats bad for someone that can put up 30 I really think we can get a better RW than williams !

    PLAYER GP G A PTS
    Anze Kopitar, C 37 10 24 34
    Mike Richards, C 29 13 9 22
    Justin Williams, RW 37 5 17 22
    Dustin Brown, RW 37 9 11 20
    Simon Gagne, LW 34 7 10 17
    Drew Doughty, D 32 2 13 15
    Jack Johnson, D 37 5 8 13
    Jarret Stoll, C 37 4 6 10
    Dustin Penner, LW 26 2 6 8
    Slava Voynov, D 22 4 4 8

  22. The Bruins made no moves when struggling through October. If they were going to make a splash, seems like that would have been the time. But since management seems to be patient and supportive of their players, one can only conclude that they’re willing to ride out the wave of success that was November and December.

  23. I don’t think the problem in Tampa is goaltending, It’s the transition game between defence and offence that is causing the strain on the goaltending.

    I think that Garon is a much better goalie than alot of people give him credit for. Bring in the necessary adjustments on defence, and offence and he will stop pucks for you and win games, that you weren’t before.

  24. @ Alex. If he just manned up and played that Season he wouldn’t still be there. He very well may have been in a Bolt uniform.

  25. Kingsfan1980…a little past this time last year(after the WJC and Schenn’s amazing tourney) I was plyting around with the idea that if the Flames and Kings woulda made a deal that sent Iginla to LA, it would have had Schenn, Bernier, a 2nd or 3rd and there would have had to been salary going back to Calgary as well. I remember listning to the Edmonton sports station and hearing that they felt if Hemsky went to LA, Schenn would have to be involved and I thought that was crazy but then Edm dumped Penner on you guys for a 1st and Teubert…So if Edmonton could get that for a guy like Penner becauseit was a premium time (trade deadline) I thought we could get the world for Iginla…but I wonder now if maybe I overvalue Iginla because I’m a Flames fan just like Oiler fans overvalue Hemsky. YA RIGHT…it’s Iginla we’re talkin about…hahaha… Either way, I like Iginla right where he is, I just hope that if he ever was traded, it was at a time when the other GM is trying to save his own rear end or at a trade deadline when anopther team wants to go for it all…just as long as we didn’t get fleeced like we always seem to in most of our trades…GO FLAMES GO

  26. Penner has had two seasons where he was a productive scorer and he signed the huge deal with us and Tambellini managed to fleece Lombardi not once but twice. Penner has tremendous size and talent but his work ethic has always been questioned. LA took a chance, Lombardi’s hands were tied with the Smyth trade, Smyth wanted to come back to the Oilers. Tambo offered Brule who even though had an injury was a far more better option then Fraser, his ethics weren’t off. Lastly, Hemsky is a known offensive threat and his only foray into the playoffs came in 2006 when he helped Edmonton almost win the Cup that year. If a guy like Turris can net a solid defensive prospect during a holdout then we could demand higher market value for a proven point producing albeit a bit injury prone winger.

  27. Agree Boston should stay put.
    As much as i’d love to have Nash it would cost too much.

  28. TrevOilerman…if the roles were reversed, what would you be willing give up for an injury proned offensive threat? Not trying to stir the pot just curious is all…