Flames looking to dump salary? Could the Canucks shop Roberto Luongo? Is Evgeni Nabokov trade bait? Will Alexander Semin be traded? Get the answers to these questions and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster wants to dump salary, preferably Olli Jokinen, Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman and David Moss, but will have a tough time moving those contracts. Jokinen, Hagman and Moss could be deadline rentals if the Flames are out of the playoff race by February, as they’ll be UFAs this summer…The heat is on Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson. If his team fails to make the playoffs, he could be shown the door…An unnamed NHL executive claims there’s a lot of trade talk going on for this time of year but doesn’t expect anything to shake down until month’s end…Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has been gauging interest in D Carl Gunnarson and C Tyler Bozak. Once Tim Connolly returns to action, Bozak could be expendable. Leafs would like to make room for defenseman Keith Aulie…Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is working the phones, not to move goalie Roberto Luongo, but to move a defenseman, perhaps Keith Ballard…If Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney is shopping holdout center Kyle Turris, no one’s heard of it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting bit about Jokinen and Hagman, as they’re currently among the Flames leading scorers. Jokinen has a point in each of the Flames first four games. If Feaster really wanted to dump salary, he could’ve buried Hagman in the minors or loaned him overseas. Moss’ salary would be easier to move than Stajan’s. Amazing how much Stajan’s stock has dropped over the past three years…It’s rumored Howson might look at shaking up his Blue Jackets if they don’t turn things around by Halloween…The Leafs have been rumored in the market for an impact forward for weeks now, but it’s thought they probably won’t find what they’re seeking until mid-November at the earliest…Ballard received favorable reviews so far for his performance as he tries to bounce back from an injury-ravaged 2010-11 campaign…Not surprised there’s no word of Turris being shopped. I don’t think Maloney has reached that stage, and it’s quite possible he might not reach it at all.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently responded to readers e-mails on a number of topics. Among them: He doesn’t believe the Colorado Avalanche are interested in moving Paul Stastny, and if they keep on winning, they’ll have little motivation to make a major move…The Canucks won’t entertain moving Roberto Luongo, but will consider giving more playing time this season to backup Cory Schneider…Custance doubts the Washington Capitals trade Alexander Semin, as they feel they need Semin around if they’re to take a run for the Stanley Cup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Custance on all these points.
ESPN.COM: Katie Strang recently suggested the Islanders decision to start Evgeni Nabokov in Saturday’s Islanders-NY Rangers game may have been to showcase him for a trade. She noted scouts from Vancouver, Carolina, San Jose, Phoenix and Columbus were listed in the seat chart for the game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks play the Isles on October 29th, while the Canucks face them on November 13th, so that would explain why those two teams had scouts at those games. Carolina isn’t in need of a goalie but could be in the market for a top-six forward. I don’t think the Coyotes are in the market for a goalie at this point in time. That could leave the Blue Jackets, as there’s concerns about Steve Mason’s performance.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports former Minnesota Wild forward and free agent John Madden is hoping his NHL career isn’t over.