Leafs could be in the market for a goaltender, and the Capitals may be shopping a defenseman. Read on for the details.
TORONTO SUN/TORONTO STAR/THE GLOBE AND MAIL/SPORTSNET: report Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke will explore trade options regarding his goaltending if he can find a deal which helps his struggling club right away. Terry Koshan of the Sun believes Burke will look into the availability of “Evgeni Nabokov of the New York Islanders, Nikolai Khabibulin of the Edmonton Oilers, Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild, Anders Lindback of the Nashville Predators and former Leaf Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Colorado Avalanche.”
James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail listed Vancouver’s Cory Schneider, LA’s Jonathan Bernier, St. Louis’ Ben Bishop, Columbus’ Curtis Sanford and San Jose’s Antero Niittymaki, along with Harding and Nabokov, as possibilities. Damien Cox reports there’s no interest in UFA goalie Marty Turco, and no chance the Sabres part with Ryan Miller or the Blues with Jaroslav Halak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders have repeatedly said they’re not moving Nabokov, as have the Canucks regarding Schneider. Bernier could be available but he’s never been a starter, and it’s believed the Kings could use him in a package deal to land a scoring forward. Lindback also hasn’t been an NHL starter, and the Predators would likely want a scoring forward in return. Bishop also hasn’t been an NHL starter, and the Blues would likely want a forward in return. The Avs are only two points out of a playoff berth, so Giguere probably isn’t available. That leaves Harding, Niittymaki and Khabibulin, who also have injury histories (Khabibulin is currently out with a groin strain). Of those three, Harding might be the best bet, though he hasn’t had much experience as a starter.
WASHINGTON POST/WASHINGTON TIMES/CSNWASHINGTON: reports a rumor from RDS.ca claimed the Capitals were shopping defenseman Roman Hamrlik, who would apparently welcome a trade. Hamrlik’s agent, Petr Svoboda, denied his client has requested a trade. The Post’s Katie Carrera speculated a possible fit for Hamrlik could be the St. Louis Blues, who lost some leadership from this lineup with Jamie Langenbrunner sidelined by a foot injury.
WASHINGTON TIMES: Dan Daly believes the Capitals management shouldn’t look at quick fixes and instead consider breaking up the club and rebuilding, which would include moving Alexander Ovechkin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt they go to the extreme suggested by Daly, but I’m anticipating GM George McPhee will be a buyer by Monday, looking for something to bolster his club’s playoff hopes, which incredibly are fading in recent weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamrlik is moved at the deadline, but I daresay McPhee will be seeking a player in return, rather than a draft pick. Can’t see the Blues wanting Hamrlik, as they’d probably prefer a forward in return.