NHL Trade Rumors – February 8, 2012.

The latest on Ryan Suter, Cory Schneider, Evgeni Nabokov, Zach Parise, Ales Hemsky and more.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman believes it’s time for the Nashville Predators to add an offensive piece or two, even if it costs them prime prospects, to put the onus on the players, like UFA defenseman Ryan Suter, to deliver…No response from Devils GM Lou Lamoriello regarding a report he won’t move Zach Parise at the trade deadline…The Blues had scouts at this weekend’s Winnipeg-Montreal game. They’re believed looking for a left-side defenseman, and Winnipeg’s Johnny Oduya or Montreal’s Hal Gill could be a fit…If the Blue Jackets hope to move Jeff Carter, interested teams might try to get them to take a big contract back in return…Friedman gets the impression the Oilers would like to re-sign Ales Hemsky to a one-year deal as his trade value isn’t very high…He also believes the Blue Jackets won’t trade franchise player Rick Nash, as they’re hosting next season’s All-Star game, and need him to get the hometown fans excited…

SPORTSNET.CA: Predators GM David Poile won’t fully close the door on a trade but doesn’t see his team being successful in the playoffs without Suter…Canucks GM Mike Gillis has no intention of trading goalie Cory Schneider by the trade deadline unless he’s blown away by a trade offer.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch, in a discussion with fellow Sun sports reporters about the Senators backup goaltending, believe NY Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov goes to Chicago as a starter.

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen reports NHL general managers interested in improving their rosters, like Minnesota’s Chuck Fletcher and Toronto’s Brian Burke are more troubled by the trade market than intrigued by it, citing a lack of depth and the high asking prices for those players believed available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In recent days I’ve noticed a change in the MSM rumor reports, pointing out the lack of quality talent available, the high asking prices and the small number of teams which could be considered “sellers”. Of course, things could change between now and the trade deadline, but the possibility exists the next couple of weeks, and deadline day itself, could be quieter than usual. We’ll see what unfolds between now and then…I think the Blues biggest need is for scoring depth, not defense…If the Oilers re-sign Hemsky to a one-year deal, don’t expect him to get a raise over the $4.1 million cap hit of his current deal. In fact, I could see them re-signing him for less…Unless Rick Nash demands a trade, I don’t see the Blue Jackets shopping him…Schneider and Suter won’t be moved at the deadline…Isles GM Garth Snow might not be inclined to move Nabokov, as his team has won six of their last ten games. If we take Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman at his word, he’s not shopping for a goalie.


  1. This is going to be one heck of a boring trade deadline, and here I thought it couldn’t get any worse than last year’s deadline. It’s pretty sad how the NHL has ruined the trade market by creating the illusion of parity with all the extra points for OT losses.

  2. Bruinsmike… you can also blame the GM’s for the boring trade deadlines by giving out 10-15 year contracts.

  3. There are still too many teams that believe they have a shot at a postseason run, regardless of where they sit currently in the standings. Over the next few weeks, it’s entirely possible that the playoff picture clears enough to distinguish who the buyers and sellers are.
    At this point, there are roughly eight teams that would traditionally be in selling mode (CBS, EDM, ANA, MTL, CAR, BUF, TB, NYI) with about half of them citing an “off year” for their place in the standings rather than the quality of their team (I’d put ANA, CAR, BUF, TB & NYI in this category). If we say that Columbus, Edmonton and Montreal are the only TRUE sellers (no hope of the playoffs this year accompanied by glaring needs for next year) then there are 27 buyers at this point. When GM’s are stating that the asking prices are high and that there isn’t that much talent available, THIS is the reason.

    As BruinsMike said, the 3 point games have given several middling teams a false sense of competitiveness in the standings and killed the trade deadline. I’m a firm believer in getting 2 points or 0 points. You win or you lose, however you’re able to do it. If the NHL doesn’t want to hand out points for ties, they shouldn’t be handing out points for losses, the logic just isn’t there. But then again, this is Gary Bettman we’re talking about.

  4. How about Oduya and a something else for Chris Stewart

  5. @THewes…To take care of the overtime loss point ration it is easy to fix in one of two ways

    1. You only get points for winning…Simple and old school, but they used to have ties in the old school days
    2. You get 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, and 1 point for an OT loss

  6. @Kc – That makes no sense for St. Louis. As Lyle said, the Blues need scoring, not defense. Granted Stewart has regressed and struggled this year, but the Blues don’t have a lot of scoring as it is. Giving up a guy who scored 28 goals in each of his past two seasons for a marginal defender and a pick doesn’t help them in the least, especially in a year where they’ve played so well and have a realistic shot at making some noise in the postseason. I would imagine that they’re in more of a position to part with a half decent pick or prospect and bring in a playmaking forward to give a guy like Stewart a boost. If anything, St. Louis will be a buyer, not a seller at the deadline.

  7. The Blues aren’t trading Chris Stewart unless he is part of a package for a more elite forward. They need more offensive players, not fewer.

  8. @Thews and @DS relax i simply read this report from above

    “The Blues had scouts at this weekend’s Winnipeg-Montreal game. They’re believed looking for a left-side defenseman, and Winnipeg’s Johnny Oduya or Montreal’s Hal Gill could be a fit…”

    Plus there was a rumor that the Blues wanted to send Stewart back to Colorado because they had grown frustrated with him and some of his antics ( turning into his brother Anthony ).

    Lyle and others may not agree with what the Blues need or are looking for, but they are not the ones running the show are they? My comment was based on the article saying what they were believed to be looking for and who they were beleived to be scouting.

    Plus I think we all know the Blues are not going anywhere these playoffs. First round exit.

  9. I honestly don’t think the Blues need more scoring “depth”. If they want to upgrade on the forwards they have then fine, but they are young and very talented. They have alot of forwards who are all still approaching their prime (Perron, Berglund, Oshie and Stewart) or have already established themselves as top six forwards (Mcdonald, Steen and Backes) In the next season or two I expect one or two of those young guns will establish themselves as borderline elite or top 20.

  10. I don’t agree with others about the extra point in over time. Suppose two teams are vying for the playoffs. I’ll use the Islanders and Devils. Each team is playing their last game of the season. the Islanders lose 5-0. The Devils lose in a shootout. How can anybody make the argument that the Devils don’t deserve to make it over the Islanders? How can those results be viewed as statistically the same (a loss)?

    In reality, records, points, and standings are just statistical ways to measure of quality. The more factors that can be taken into account the better (within reason of course). It just makes sense that a team that can hold the game even for 60 minutes is better than a team who loses in that 60 minute span.

  11. @ JDBiGC – I see your point and it makes sense, but I still have trouble justifying the fact that the League did away with giving points to a team for playing to a tie, only to reward teams with a point if they lost in a shootout. A loss should count as a loss and a win should count as a win with no middle ground. That should capture the whole essence of hockey rather than giving a shootout loser the “participation award” of 1 point in the standings. Even the NHL is becoming too politically correct these days.

  12. Hemsky won’t sign a 1 year deal.

  13. The best way to open up the trade market would be to push the trade deadline back by at least 2 weeks so that more teams would have, in theory anyway, fallen out of playoff contention and thus would be sellers.

    The Preds GM, Poile, caused his own dilemma by sitting out this past summers trade/UFA market and now has few options out there in which to obtain the scorer that the team has needed for the past 4 or 5 seasons. That lack of action may well lead to Suter’s departure come this July.

  14. 2. You get 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, and 1 point for an OT loss

    This was always the best and most sensible system. They use it in international play simply because it’s just intelligent. When people first hear it, they say, “Okay it makes sense”. When the NHL GMs hear it, they say, “But how does this effect me?”

  15. @Kc – I would not write off the Blues as early playoff losers. They are a hungry, talented, gritty, hard working team with a very good tandem in net and a good, experienced coach. I hope the Canucks don’t draw them in the first round.

  16. I agree the 3 point system is the way to go. Ultimately it is a good thing that so many teams stay in the playoff picture longer. It keeps more fans interested and creates more revenue for each respective team as well as the league. But it no doubt takes away from the excitement of the trade deadline which is really disappointing.

    Moving the deadline back a week or 2 is a good idea to start. I am still hopeful though that this year’s deadline will pick up and the last day or 2 will be a flurry of trades. There’s always a few significant surprises and I expect there will be again this year.

  17. The trade deadline was moved up 2 weeks into February (instead of mid-March) in the last CBA negotiations specifically for the reasons that Diceman stated. The chances are slim to nil that it gets moved back again.

    Another deadline like last season’s snooze fest will have TSN and Sportsnet re-thinking their all day coverage of the unofficial Canadian holiday.

    Just saw that the Jackets re-upped with Vinny Prospal as well. Maybe they won’t be as much of a deadline seller as people might think?

  18. 10 minutes of 4 on 4 overtime and then it’s a tie period.

  19. the Blues a first round exit? bwaaaahahahaha… not this year.

    im not sure what to think about Stewart. hes got all the talent in the world, but can be invisible out there.

  20. I honestly think the predators have a real shot at winning the cup this year, they have everything except a top scoring forward, if they could add someone I don’t see what would hold them back, sure you have to worry about your teams future and which players are going to be around, but isn’t the goal to win the cup. If you have almost everything why not say go for it and do everything you can to add that scoring forward.

  21. As for the lack of quality players available, I don’t buy that at all. This is only based on players suspected to be available. On June 15th, nobody would have suggested that Jeff Carter and Mike Richards would be available? Everybody is available if the other team is willing to give up enough. I suspect after the trade deadline several players will have been moved that none of us saw coming.

  22. @ canadian king, how can u say 10-15 year deals have been the problem with trades? if im not mistaken arent the only players who have signed deals for 10 years or more ovechkin, backstrom, zetterberg, franzen carter, richards, lecavalier hossa, keith, luongo and dipietro. of those players how many are being shopped and traded. richards and carter were traded when they were the best players on their team. they got traded so fast, no one say it coming. carter is again on the block cuz who the hell wants to be in columbus the rest of their career. all the others arent going anywhere. the problem with the trading is that teams want too much. teams want 1st rounders for 3rd,4th d men and 2nd line ufas. when teams stop asking for an insane amount of asset in return of 3 months of hockey, then u will see trades bolster back up. also of all the teams that on the outside looking in, how many have been plagued by injury or underachieving.

  23. The whole reason they brought in the shoot-out was to have games end with a winner and having OT alone decide the outcome didn’t make sense because of time constraints in broadcasting. With that said it was about having winners and losers basicly no more ties. I personally had no problem with the concept of no ties but then to make some games worth 3pts and others only 2pts just mucked up the whole thing if you ask me.
    The statement that a team that loses in overtime deserves something over a team that loses by 5 makes no sense to me at all. The outcome of both games is the same; at team won and another lost. Look at it this way there can and will be teams that have less “wins” that make the playoffs then teams below them in the standings but because one team “LOST” in overtime a bunch of times. Is that fair? All the other sports in the big 4 in North America have winners and losers and they don’t offer extra points because it took extra time to decide the winner. It seems to work for them and it would work in the NHL as well. Oh and by the way in the playoffs you either win or lose no matter how great an effort you put forth.
    Are people going to try to tell me that it isn’t fair that one team wins and the other loses because it went to overtime? I don’t think so. It makes for great exciting hockey that everyone enjoys.

  24. @THewes , I am in complete agreement with your original post re: buyers and sellers ( & false hopes )
    I am also not in favor of getting 3 pts but as a traditionalist I am not even a fan of the shootout. OT ends in a tie then 1 pt each.

    You can also add Ottawa to your list of potential sellers because if their skid continues there would be a maket for Kuba, Konopka & Carkner and shipping them for a return rather than letting them walk would make sense. The Senators are supposed to be rejuvinating the team , the early success kinda threw people into a false sense of secuity ( me included ). I am sure if they went into sell mode that Neil would also attract lots of offers but I don’t think the Sens should trade him. The next 2 weeks results are going to have a big impact on who does what.

  25. @walter17,
    I remember life before the OT loser’s point and it was a sad and dull life. both teams would shutdown with 5 minutes left in the third and then be even stiffer in OT to hold onto the one point they had. there was no incentive to be aggressive in overtime unless it was the last game of the season and you needed 2 points to get into the playoffs. today OT is often the most exciting 5 minutes of the game. the nhl has to keep the loser points but must find a way to balance the scales at the same time. the only way to do that is to make all games worth 3 points. giving 3 points for a regulation win, 2 points for an OT/so win, and 1 point for an OT loss addresses pretty much all your concerns. yes a team will still get a point for a loss (after regulation) but winning games would still vault you ahead of others, and giving 3 points for a regulation win would encourage teams to go for the win that much more in the first 60 minutes.

  26. I see Semin or Hemsky being a fit in Nashville. The Preds have pretty good prospects to throw into any deal. Either way, I don’t see them having a problem getting some more offence, the question is, if Poile is willing to overpay. If he doesn’t want to pony up, then losing Suter would be his own doing.

  27. As usual Bruce Garrioch proves he is a mini Eklund with Nabakov to hawks speculation…

  28. Durt as a rental right ?
    It’s going to be interesting to see if Semin can find a team to play for and at what salary next year. He’s been taking a page from the Alex Kovalev book the past couple of seasons, I play when I feel like it. Personally I would not touch the guy but ……he does have talent , it’s a matter of getting it out of him. I also don’t think Washington will trade him unless they get someone who can make a difference now. But him being a UFA they may have to roll the dice.

    Hemsky would be a better fit in Nash

  29. I love the Ottawa Sun (sarcasm). The Islanders are 17-11-3 in a 31 game stretch. Nabokov is a big reason why the Islanders are still in view of the playoffs. If he continues to play the way he did last night against Philly, It’s going to take a lot to get him. It doesn’t matter what team is interested in him. The Isles may not trade him at all, who knows.

  30. @Bickleton Wigglesworth III

    Yes I remember very well the era of the tie and you are right that it was boring defensive hockey when it came to the 5 mins of OT. However that was also at a time when if you lost in OT you didn’t receive any points at all so teams would want to protect that single point by staying tied (a bird in the hand is better then 2 in the bush). Now all games are settled by the shoot-out, there is no possible tie anymore so there is no need to have that single point and there is every reason to go after the win. It would still make for great races for the playoffs. Teams would’t be saved from falling out of the playoffs by getting that extra point for losing. So what are they going to do? Thay are going to play that much harder for the win.

  31. if teams who win in regulation were to get 3 points then you’d see alot more teams trying for that win,possibly less ties and less overtime loss points,the league has already said some games are worth 3 points,why not make them all 3 points,i am a traditionalist when it comes to hockey,but were are never going back to the way it was or 0 points for an over time loss,i hate shootouts,first it lessens the thrill of a penalty shot,cause that’s what a shootout is,and secondly it puts way too much pressure on the goalies, a young goalie he loses alot of shootouts could get his confidence ruined.

  32. The hawks need a top pairing defenceman and I think Tyler Myers would be a great fit. I would be willing to part with Patrick Kane. Buffalo needs offence and Chicago needs defence. Contracts are similar and maybe some prospects thrown each way or Myers and Gaustad for Kane and Morin?

  33. @hawks4life Next to Miller, Myers is considered a staple of the Sabres’ franchise. He’s one of those players that teams build around. There is no doubt that the Sabres want Kane – they asked the Blackhawks about him earlier in the year and got a flat “NO!”. But although they want him badly, I don’t think they’d give up Myers…plus they really need a dominating center, not a wing.

  34. @ fergy22 – I didn’t include Ottawa simply because we’ve seen what they’re capable of, and if they return to that level of play they can easily remain in the playoff hunt where they would be leaning more toward the “buyer” end of the spectrum.

    I’m sure Alex Semin drives just about everybody batty the same way Kovalev did. Massive amounts of skill, but just no desire to use it on a consistent basis. He’ll likely make his millions from ill-advised contracts handed out by overzealous NHL GM’s then flee to Russia to be treated like a king for playing half-hearted hockey. I don’t see anybody taking on a $6M locker room cancer to bolster a playoff contending roster.

    I don’t see Hemsky as a fit in Nashville at this point. I don’t know why, but he just doesn’t strike me as a Barry Trotz type player. I think he could thrive in Detroit if Ken Holland is able to wiggle him in under their cap.

    Nabokov is a valuable asset to Garth Snow, not just as a potential trade piece, but on the ice as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s re-signed given his strong performance and the Islanders potential with a half decent and mostly healthy goalie that they can count on. If they add some scoring depth and continue developing their young prospects, the Islanders could be a force within a couple of seasons. Or Charles Wang could intervene and completely hoop the whole thing, which seems more likely given his history.

  35. No way is Kane being traded, and if he was it would take a little more than Myers IMO (who the Hawks could have taken two picks earlier instead of Kyle Beach!!!). And Morin is a great prospect so I for sure would not want to trade them both for Myers and Gaustad.

    If Kane is gonna be traded the Hawks better be getting Shea Weber or Drew Doughty in return. Either way, the only way he gets traded is if the Hawks fall so badly that they miss playoffs. Then maybe panic mode sets in, but I don’t see that happening.

  36. The Islanders could be a force within a couple of seasons? Really? Try next year. There are four reasons why the Islanders are not in the top 8 in the conference right now: the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Devils. The Islanders are 12-9-2 against the rest of the east and 6-5-4 against the West. If the Islanders were not to face the above teams, the Isles would be on pace for 91 points over an 82 game stretch. The aforementioned teams represent the top 6 in the conference (plus 2 division leaders) which makes the Atlantic division the toughest in the league. The Isles will learn what it takes to make the playoffs when they learn how to beat there divisional rivals, which is starting this season. A productive offseason for them will make them a very dangerous team next year. There is nothing to “hoop.” The Isles have a very rich owner (870 million according to Forbes) with a very low salary cap team, who inherited a very bad lease on the Coliseum, which expires in 2015. The Islanders have never been in financial trouble with Wang. Sorry, but other teams in the conference cannot and won’t ignore the Islanders playing spoilers from here on out, especially “Within a couple of seasons.”

  37. Fergy, I see Semin as a good fit in Nashville because they’re more of a lunch bucket team. I think they’re hard work approach and leadership would bring out the best in him.
    That being said, I agree Hemsky is a better fit. If only because Nashville has more of Edmonton needs. If the Oil could possibly pry Ryan Ellis away in the deal, that would give them a pretty decent dynamic on their defence core. To add, I think it would be a good idea if they end up drafting Dumba.
    Dumba, Ellis, Tuebert and Klefbom. That’s a good prospect pool chalked full of high end defensive talent. That’s the direction I would go in atleast.

  38. Although I would love to have Nash in Toronto, and he is a “Burke player” I don’t think Toronto will try to get him. It would nice to see him in another city though, where he can rise to full potential

  39. @Paul I gotta disagree with a lot of your points there. The islanders have a few nice young players, but they’re not on the cusp of being a force just yet. Just because they are beating good teams in their division does not prove that. Generally divisional teams are the most competitive with each other because they know each other so well. I’d say the islanders are on the verge of being a playoff team, which likely won’t even happen this year. If they make playoffs next year they may finally be in the right direction. They have a history of playing their best hockey when it matters the least. Also I would argue the central is a tougher division than the Atlantic. Very close though either way.

    As for Nashville, I think it would be an awful move to acquire Semin or Hemsky (and as a Hawks fan I hope that they do). Nashville is so tough because all 5 players on the ice are physical, always check, and are disciplined in their own zone. Semin and Hemsky don’t have any of those attributes. I think Nashville would be better off acquiring a Ryan Malone type player (not necessarily him particularly), but someone with some grit and skill.

  40. @Diceman Healthy, fun debate here. To clarify, the Isles are 4-8-2 in there own division. Against the rest of the league they’re 18-14-6. So my point of the Islanders needing to learn to consistently win in their own division is valid. In my opinion, you don’t have to be a top 6 team to be a force because anything can happen in the playoffs, see Boston and Philly’s playoff run a few years back, even Washington in the regular season, but I do feel that with a good productive offseason, the Isles could very well be up there. Now I’ll give you last year as meaningless games won, but Ottawa is ahead of the Isles by nine points because they’ve played four more games. We’re only talking the first week in February, these games are far from meaningless. Now in three weeks, this could all change so time will tell. From what I see, the Islanders have the best goaltending out of all the bubble teams so far and I would hope the Islanders to be buyers so they could make a push this year. I would give you the Central if Columbus wasn’t last in the League, but like you said, very close.

  41. My bad Paul, I misread your point about the divisional games. The main thing for a team like the Islanders (as well as Toronto, Edmonton, Florida, any of these teams that have young talent and haven’t made playoffs for some time) is that they just need to get into the playoffs. I mean this in terms of development. Sure anything can happen once you make it, but I really can’t imagine the Islanders or any team upsetting Boston or the Rangers but of course it’s possible. But the main thing in my mind, is that making the playoffs is a tremendous learning experience for young teams and young stars. It also makes the team more desirable in the offseason for potential UFA’s, brings in revenue for the team, and makes the players excited and hungry for the next season. If they can get in this year it will go a long way for the next few years and could finally get them out of their stagnant, cyclical rebuild.

  42. @ Bill Placzek

    Nabokov to Hawks is not a ridiculous notion, just one I do not see happening. I could also see Washington chase after him too. Teams with inconsistent goal tending probably want to acquire a veteran who could challenge for a spot. That being said, I agree with Spector that the Isles hang on to him. They have a good core developing ( and also resigning like Neilsen) and if Nabokov thinks he can be a legitimate starter again with this young team he might agree to stay, especially if all the GM’s like Bowman indicate they are standing pat. The bottom line is, he does not just want to play, he wants to be a starter, and like it or not, the Islanders offer the best chance of that right now.

    @ Durt,

    Respectfully, I do not see Semin being anything close to a fit in Nashville for the exact reason you think he would be. Semin in my opinion, is anything but a a lunch bucket guy. Hemsky is a much better fit there, and we agree on that. i cannot speculate what Nashville would give back, but what you suggest makes some sense, although I think they would be very reluctant to move Ellis because they do not know whether or not Suter or Weber will be there long term, and as long as they do not know, they will not part with their best defensive prospect. If I am David Poile, I go hard for another scoring winger like Hemsky, (or some of the others floating out there) but not till the last minute, to save $$, as a carrot to lead Suter and then Weber to extensions. If the Preds do not show they are serious about adding offense, contracts will start to walk, and they will never get ahead, and in fact way behind.. Where they are in the standings now, if they were to land some offensive scoring it would go a long way towards the D core signing up for the long haul.In franchise history, If they were / are ever going to go above their budget to improve their team, now is the time.

  43. To the guys at the top talking about the point spread in the standings affecting the trade deadline. I agree with all of your points but the NHL is a business at the end of the day and wide spread competiveness throught out the league sells more tickets than trade deadline day.

  44. Meaning the extra point is more profitable than without it.

  45. Lyle, is St. Louis’ problem a lack of socring depth or a lack of more than one premier scorer? On paper their forwards are as deep as any team – Backes, Oshie, Berglund, Steen, McDonald, Perron, Stewart, Arnott, D’Agostini, Sobotka. They just seem to have had injury issues and issues with none of the forwards/centers outside of backes are top line scorers.

    Maybe they are looking for one more shut down D to allow the forward to take more chances?

    Ideally I think St. Louis should package Bishop, Berglund and Polak (to dump salary) for Carter (he would do well on a line with Steen or McDonald as both are unselfish) and also push for Gill with Sobotka going to Montreal.

    Adding Carter and getting healthy would set them up with:

    1st line: Oshie, Backes, Perron
    2nd line: Steen, Carter, Stewart
    3rd line: McDonald, Arnott, D’Agostini
    4th line: Porter, Nichol, Langenbrunner

    1st D: Pietrangelo, Gill
    2nd D: Shattenkirk, Jackman
    3rd D: Colaiacovo, Huskins

    Then guys like Grachev, Crombeen and Russell become the extras. Much improved team in my opinion.