The latest from the Ottawa Sun, Edmonton Journal and Buffalo News, plus an update on Sidney Crosby’s contract status, and the Predators plans for Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.

OTTAWA SUN (via SLAM! SPORTS): Sources say Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon wants to add another top six forward to help ensure his team remains in the playoff race, and could perhaps shop backup goalie Scott Clemmensen…The Kings tried to trade left wing Dustin Penner prior to fire head coach Terry Murray but couldn’t find any takers…If the Minnesota Wild opt to make a move for a defenseman by the trade deadline, they could use either Josh Harding or Matt Hackett as trade bait…The Wild might wish to keep an eye on the Carolina Hurricanes, as pending UFA defensemen Tim Gleason and recently-acquired Jaroslav Spacek might be available heading toward the February trade deadline…The Maple Leafs aren’t shopping prospect forward Nazem Kadri, but with Joe Colbourne moving ahead of him on the depth chart, there could be considerable interest in Kadri if the Leafs go shopping later this season…The Columbus Blue Jackets are playing little-used center Derick Brassard, and want a forward worth $600K or less plus a draft pick in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Panthers do go shopping later this season, Clemmensen could certainly be trade bait, as young Jacob Markstrom is ready to move up full time as Jose Theodore’s backup…The Kings will be lucky to move Penner by the trade deadline. It’s possible they could find a taker, as he’s in the final year of his contract and most of his salary for this season will be paid out by the Kings at the time, but his poor play still makes him difficult to move…Harding would give the Wild the best return…Gleason, Spacek and Bryan Allen could be playing elsewhere by the trade deadline. A rebuild is coming for the Hurricanes…I wouldn’t say Kadri’s untouchable, but it’ll take a good offer to get him from the Leafs…Brassard’s contract and play have made him almost impossible to move right now.

Roy and Stafford possible trade candidates?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports he still thinks Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber could sign with the Detroit Red Wings next summer, or the Wings could try and acquire him by the trade deadline if the Predators can’t re-sign him…Matheson also suggests the Flyers could look toward Carolina and veteran blueliners like Gleason or Allen to bolster their defense later this season…He also wonders if Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is working the phones looking for a quality goaltender…The Buffalo Sabres apparently are dying for a top-two center, preferably first line. They’re rumored unhappy with Derek Roy and tried to move him last year. Matheson suggested Colorado’s Paul Stastny might be a good fit there. He also claimed Sabres winger Drew Stafford is in the doghouse of head coach Lindy Ruff…The Sharks will be trying to move either Thomas Greiss or Antero Niittymaki after Christmas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Weber further on in this post…Gleason or Allen could be of interest to the Flyers later this season…The Lightning will have to make a move soon after the trade deadline or risk losing the season if they wait too long to land a goalie. Problem is, Yzerman’s not dealing from a position of strength…Not the first time in recent days we’ve heard Roy and Stafford pop up in the rumor mill. Not sure if the Sabres can pry Stastny out of Colorado…I believe the Sharks will try to move Niittymaki.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason reports Sabres GM Darcy Regier can make trades but he’s under no orders to do so or to keep the team intact. Gleason speculates a trade may be needed to shake things up for the struggling Sabres, but while there are candidates for departure, the assumption is the club would need to get back a player of equal or greater value who fits under the salary cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As noted previously, Roy and Stafford could be considered among the “candidates for departure”. If they wish to move either guy, there could be a market for them, but it might take packaging them to land a quality return, and even then, the cap hit ($8 million combined) could be a show-stopper.

PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: Josh Yohe reports Penguins GM Ray Shero said Sidney Crosby’s concussion situation will not have an impact upon the club’s efforts to re-sign him, as Shero hopes to ensure Crosby remains a Penguin “for life”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of course, if Crosby were forced to retire due to injury, his salary would come off the Penguins books, and insurance would likely pick up most of the cost. At least we know where the Penguins stand regarding their captain, and if they intended to open contract talks next summer, a year before Crosby’s eligibility for UFA status.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper interview Predators GM David Poile regarding speculation he was talking trade with the Philadelphia Flyers, as rumor has it they could target either Shea Weber or Ryan Suter as possible replacements for Chris Pronger, who’s out for the rest of the season and the playoffs to post-concussion syndrome. Poile points out Monday (December 19th) is the start of the holiday trade freeze, and said he has no plans to make any moves, noting no team is going to trade a top player for a draft choice.

CBC.CA: At the end of the “Hotstove” segment on last night’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast, Elliotte Friedman said he spoke with Poile, who said he’s not trading Weber or Suter until the trade deadline at the earliest, and if they’re in the playoffs at that time, he’s not moving them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Which is what I’ve been suggesting for weeks.

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24 Responses to Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 18, 2011.

  1. Boltsnation says:

    Yzerman won’t make brash, stupid, knee-jerk reactions. Garon has had a few questionable game, but has also kept us in when we didn’t deserve to be. Our true issue is defense and two standouts in that are Kubina and Clark. We need a to shed them and pick-up a bluechip kinda dman like Sarich, Commodore or Ballard.

  2. VanCanFan says:

    I don’t know, Boltsnation. Ballard has been solid, but he’s still got three more years remaining at 4.2mil, which is a lot for a guy who plays 15 minutes per game on the blueline. To acquire him sounds more than a little brash…

  3. DanOmite says:

    ha, blue chip and those names. i think that qualifies under stupid.

  4. ItsPat says:

    I dont know about rash. Ballard has the skills but for whatever reason has been in AV’s doghouse. He has looked a LOT more comfortable this year and he no doubt will turn into the Defenseman the Canucks had
    envisioned him becoming. Also look at the fact Ballard is not playing on his natural side but still continues
    to play a steady game, compared to Hamhuis, Bieksa, or Edler, Ballard is about even in making mistakes.
    Honestly I believe Gillis will try to package some picks, and a couple of players to get Weber, whom we
    all know is from BC and would like to play in his home Province. If I were Gillis, I would give up Hodgson
    Tanev, Raymond a first and second rounder for Weber.

  5. Bickleton Wigglesworth III says:

    Putting 2 and 2 together to get 4, I could see Florida as a possible spot for Brassard. Yes he’s being overpaid but the Panthers have the cap space, have shown a willingness to take on other teams projects and make bold/risky moves, and if they’re looking for a top 6 winger Brassard would certainly be that if the change of scenario wakes him up.

    And Columbus might even be interested in Clemmensen, although Sanford has played fairly well for them.

  6. Boltsnation says:

    @DanOmite, I wasn’t saying that those guy were our saviors, bu considering what we have they are a vast improvement. Ohlund, Kubina and Clark are all money pits. I would take Ballard, Commodore and Sarich over those three we have in half a heartbeat and they are much better. So save your “stupid” comment for hockeybuzz.com, ok?@VanCanFan, It’s not brash if you don’t burn your farm to get him. I am sure that the Nucks aren’t really wanting to keep him. The have a solid core and great depth in that department.

  7. Hye Dray says:

    Would love to see the NYIs take on both Roy and Stafford. The $8 mil would fit the cap, but my greater conern is what would go back. Obviously the Isles would not want to send any one of the young guns. I would think Grabner, Okposo, Niederreiter, Strome, Tavares are all not going anywhere — but I wonder if one of either Bailey could be packaged with another prospect — perhaps Anders Lee or Brock Nelson — and a 2nd round pick would it get something to give in Buffalo?

    It may not sound like a winning deal for the Sabers, but Bailey could be a nice return, and Lee and Nelson are doing extremely well. Plus, the Sabers would gain $8 mil in cap space — so if they really want to move those players, and get some cap relief….

    I think the Isles would need to kick in more — maybe one of the their future second rounders, but I think the Isles are not parting with the above mentioned guys, or their 1st round pick.

  8. Robert Esquire says:

    @Hye Dray…forget it. Do you think the Sabres (please note the spelling) are fools? They’re not going to trade Roy & Stafford just for cap relief and they certainly won’t trade them without getting a nr. 1 or 2 center in return. According to your scenario, the Isles are offering neither.

  9. surreal78 says:

    @ItsPat That’s a pretty massive package for Weber — not sure I’d be comfortable with that as ‘Nucks fan. Maybe Hodgson OR Tanev, but not both. Raymond has also been awesome so far since coming back, not sure he’d be my first choice to trade either… the only reason that might work is the cap hit. The Canucks can’t afford Weber’s salary unless they dump at least $5-6m the other way.

  10. Liddy5 says:

    @surreal78 – that’s not a massive package for Weber at all. Keep in mind he’s still an RFA after this year, and highly unlikely to be traded at any rate, but…

    Hodgson, Tanev and Raymond would be a decent return in addition to the draft picks, but neither of these players projects as an impact player. The Preds would obviously want an impact player as part of the deal. I would think the Canucks would have to trade Schneider to a third team for a bluechip prospect, then send that prospect along with the three players above and the Canucks 1st rounder and then you have a deal.

  11. MJR I says:

    Detroit’s the last place in the league I want to see Weber. Man that would totally suck. Bad enough I had to watch Rafalski go there.

    I’d also hate to see him get picked up by teams in Atlantic (except Islanders). I hope he plays for a team like Colorado or something.

    And Buffalo tinkered too much where they didn’t have to. Money wasn’t their problem… but now that they have bad contracts, that’s going to be their problem.

  12. MJR I says:

    Buffalo was developing all these talented rookies like Gerbe, Ennis, Myers, and others, and the GM goes and stuffs the team with minute-eating players that don’t make any sense on the roster like Robin Regehr.

  13. Chris says:

    Don’t think a player like Robyn Regehr is the problem for Buffalo. He has brought some leadership and much needed toughness. He is a good player and probably has been more productive in previous seasons but I think he’ll come around. Personally between Roy and Stafford I think Stafford needs to go very streaky player.

  14. Miokid says:

    @Chris.

    Nah, I think Flames fans over priced RR I’m afraid. He was probably a top 5 Dman in the league 5-6 years ago; but the game’s gotten a lot quicker and he definitely had a hard time keeping up for a while.
    He fell behind Mark Giordano and J-Bo on the depth chart in Calgary; and a lot of the time they were playing RR and Cory Sarich together last year (Dear lord, anyone with half a leg was getting around them and in front of the net). He does bring toughness to an incredibly soft team (Don’t take it personally please, but Buf is pretty soft; I mean, your goalie gets run-over, you don’t do anything that game, then the next time you see the guy that ran you over, one of your boys gets beaten handily by him in a fight… then an idiot like Tootoo runs over your goalie… and only the goalie is defending himself)

    At the end of the day, Buffalo dropped a lot of money into players that really had a team suited for them (The shutdown years of Calgary, like 03-05 for RR and the SJ/VAn years for Ehrhoff) that made them look like top tier dmen. I’m unsure of what they’ll do, but they probably need some kind of move to get that season back on track.

    Roy would fit in, in any team; he’s having a slow year, and he’s still on pace for +50 points… So; I mean.

  15. Grizzledbear says:

    Reading Poile’s comments about potential trades always brings on depression symptoms. His goalie, Rinne, steals games for the Preds they have no business winning and Poile acts like all is well with his roster. Different season, same aspiration for mediocrity.

  16. Murph says:

    I can only see Weber going to the Red Wings if Lidsrom rides off into the sunset. The Wings are very cautious with their $$$ and they are not going to have 2 defensemen at that pay rate.

    I can see Clemmenson going to Tampa. If Roly is done, this is one of the few guys with the potential to grab a number one spot and go. I think he is a better fit for Tampa Bay than he is for Florida. Time will tell.

  17. J says:

    Yo Chris what are you talking about? Minute eating players like Robyn Regher? Regher is probably the single most important reason we are not in last place. That being said he brings it day in and day out unlike the rest of the Sabres clan. Right now he’s one of only 2 legitimate blueline threats we have the other being Myers ofcourse.

    Either you do not know the Sabres team at all or you just don’t like Regher. Because you’ve got to be blind not to see that he’s arguably one of the best defensive D-Men in the league….

    Darcy should do us Sabres fans a favor and get one more Robyn Regher type of player. Also Darcy plz get rid of Gragnani, Roy, and Stafford. And plz don“t resign Hecht or Boyes at years end…

  18. Murph says:

    @ GrizzledBear,

    Spot on! Without Rinne. Nashville has a whole other dynamic…a losing one. A game stealing goalie and a good defense and defensive system are keeping hopes alive year after year.Should be interesting to watch if the Preds actually end up losing Weber or Suter. I think Trotz has done a great job with the roster he has had, similar to Lindy Ruff , before MoneyBags Pegula arrived in town.

  19. Andy says:

    Detroit would take on Weber’s salary even if Lidstrom stays another year, they could about fit it in and that would only be for a year as i doubt Lidstrom would play the 13-14 season. That is if they are even interested in Weber, Holland does some shrewd dealings and he may go for Weber’s team mate instead.

  20. Kingsfan1980 says:

    Dam the Kings really need a Real Leader on the team and as you can see it wasn’t Terry Murray it’s the lack of leadership and passion on the team Key players Kings should really look at their roster and bring some real talent and leadership to the team even if it means bombing the season and getting a good top 1st round pick in the draft and with the players we have we can get a hell of a lot of better players in return, These are players that are on the hot seat and should be traded
    Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Matt Greene, Jonathan Bernier, Trent Hunter, Andrei Loktionov, Trevor Lewis ….

  21. AZHockeyNut says:

    Roy to Phoenix for Morris, and a prospect? Ok maybe that one belongs on hockeybuzz…..Buf gets cap relief, Phx gets a goal scorer for the PP……

  22. Cheesehead says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see Holmgren make a move for defense before the trade deadline to try and fill the void left by Pronger. I don’t see it being more than a rental though, so if they were to find something that made Poile pull the trigger on Suter or Weber, I would envision Holmgren trading their rights to somebody else after the season and prior to the trade deadline to recoup some of what he moves to Nashville. That could potentially change if something were to happen and Pronger says he’s done and “retires” but that’s a long long way to there from where we are at now.

    At the end of the day, something smaller, like a trade with Carolina is the most likely scenario.

  23. SoCal says:

    @mio and MJR – Robyn Regehr has been one of the Sabres best D-men this year so you’re both way off on that one. The Sabres issue is that the roster is full of streaky/soft players. It also appears that some of these very same players just aren’t putting forth a genuine effort. They’re also plagued by injuries, and average goaltending at best. With regard to the Tootoo hit…Miller didn’t have to defend himself, Tootoo was immediately pummeled by 3 Sabres. You are however correct that their true nature was revealed after the Lucic incident. Finally, pointing out that Lucic beat up on Gaustad really is meaningless…..that was inevitable as there are probably only 5 players in the league capable of handling Lucic.

  24. ACR says:

    Correction to your article, the understanding in PIT is contract talks with both Crosby and Staal are already open, and Shero hope to have Staal signed by summer, and I would assume to have Crosby’s deal done over the summer, were they did the last long term player deals too.

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