The latest on the Islanders, Maple Leafs, Senators, Ducks, Canucks, Oilers and more.
ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside reports former NHL goalie Marty Turco has an “out-clause” in his current contract with Salzburg in the Austrian elite league should he sign with an NHL team before the February 27th trade deadline. Burnside claims a number of NHL teams are keeping an eye on Turco’s progress.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Given the lack of available goalie options, it’s possible Turco might return to the NHL by the deadline, though he’d have to pass through waivers first.
Pierre LeBrun reports sources say the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and NY Rangers have interest in Phoenix Coyotes winger Ray Whitney if the Coyotes should put him on the market by the trade deadline. The Coyotes, however, remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race…Islanders GM Garth Snow said he has no intention of trading goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. LeBrun suggests the possibility the Isles could try to re-sign Nabokov, who’s a UFA this summer…Senators GM Bryan Murray continues to monitor the trade market, as does Leafs GM Brian Burke…The prevailing thought around the league is if the Anaheim Ducks were to move one of their big players, like Ryan Getzlaf or Bobby Ryan (and that’s a big “if”), that move won’t happen until the off-season. The Ducks could still trade defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky at the trade deadline but they won’t just give him away. Niklas Hagman could also be shopped…Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina has a limited NTC in which the club would have to ask him which five teams he’d accept getting dealt to, but so far they haven’t asked him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Coyotes remain in the playoff chase, Whitney won’t be moved…If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Don’t underestimate the Islanders ability to re-sign key players. A year ago, Nabokov wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with the Isles. Today, he’s playing well and has praised the club’s direction. I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of his opting to stay…I don’t believe the Ducks will move Getzlaf or Ryan, or Corey Perry for that matter, this summer…
Craig Custance looked at what the Edmonton Oilers might do at the trade deadline, suggesting the NY Rangers and Boston Bruins would be very interested in Ryan Smyth if he were to agree to be dealt, while Nikolai Khabibulin might be an option for teams seeking a goalie. Ales Hemksy and Andy Sutton are also mentioned as potential trade bait.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khabibulin lacks a movement clause so the Oilers can move him if they wish. I think that’s something they should give serious consideration, since he’s only got one year left on his contract and is at the age where his NHL career is winding down. I have my doubt Smyth will agree to leave Edmonton again.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ed Willes on the Canucks having to face a decision over what to do with their goaltending tandem. While Willes acknowledges the Canucks could get a good return for Cory Schneider, he wonders if it might not be best to try to move Roberto Luongo in the off-season, despite his expensive, lengthy contract, citing an “NHL front office-type” who believes a number of NHL teams would be willing to take on Luongo’s contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, it’s possible, and one shouldn’t dismiss it, but let’s just say I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I’m a Canucks fan hoping they keep Schneider.
TSN:Darren Dreger last night reported the Maple Leafs aren’t shopping defenseman Luke Schenn.