Coming out of the all-star break, and with less than four weeks to go until the NHL’s Feb. 27 trade deadline, several notable players have been mentioned in trade rumors that either stretched credibility or resulted in management denials.
Toronto-based hockey analyst Bill Watters created a stir Monday morning, taking to Twitter to note a rumored deal in which the Toronto Maple Leafs would ship centers Mikhail Grabovski and Nazem Kadri, along with defensemen Mike Komisarek and Luke Schenn, to the Columbus Blue Jackets for right winger Rick Nash and injured left winger Kristian Huselius.
TSN’s Darren Dreger, however, subsequently tweeted Leafs GM Brian Burke said he’s never discussed a trade for Nash “ever.”
This isn’t the first time this season Watters has linked the Leafs to a superstar forward. In mid-December, he reported the Leafs had a deal in place where the Carolina Hurricanes would ship center Eric Staal to Toronto, prompting a swift denial from Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford.
NO PLUCKING PERRY
Over the weekend, the Vancouver Province reported that a Quebec TV show Le Match had claimed a deal was “being considered” in which the Anaheim Ducks would ship right winger Corey Perry to the Canucks for goalie Cory Schneider, left winger Mason Raymond and defenseman Keith Ballard.
If this deal was actually offered to Ducks GM Bob Murray, he probably needed less than five seconds to “consider” it before dismissing it out of hand.
Yes, there’s concern over the performance of Ducks starting goalie Jonas Hiller this season, which is likely the basis for Schneider being included in this deal. However, Hiller hasn’t been so bad that Murray would trade Perry, who was last season’s Hart and Rocket Richard Trophy winner.
THOMAS RUMORS OVERBLOWN
The decision by Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas to not attend last week’s White House ceremony honoring the club’s Stanley Cup championship led to conjecture his stance would be the first step towards his departure from Boston, if not by the trade deadline, then in the off-season, when his no-movement clause expires.
One rumor had the Bruins dealing him to the Chicago Blackhawks for left winger Viktor Stalberg, who’s having a very good season, but on his own certainly isn’t enough to land a two-time Vezina winner and playoff MVP.
By Monday, however, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli contacted TSN via email to say he wasn’t trading Thomas and that he hadn’t talked to anyone, nor did he intend to.
That should silence any Thomas trade talk for the deadline, but don’t be surprised if Chiarelli has to deny it again in the off-season, especially if the Bruins fall short of marching to the Stanley Cup final.
SUBBAN HEADING WEST?
Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has fallen out of favor with some Montreal pundits because of his inconsistent, undisciplined performance this season. With Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier having spent a couple of weeks scouting Western Conference teams, there was talk of Subban being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings.
Not true, according to Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who dismissed such talk as “ridiculous.”
If the Canadiens decide to move defensemen in the coming weeks, it won’t be Subban, but rather pending unrestricted free agents such as Hal Gill and Chris Campoli.
RENTAL PLAYERS TAKEN OFF THE BOARD
Scratch three more names from the rumor mill leading up to the deadline.
New Jersey Devils left winger Zach Parise, whose pending UFA status this summer combined with the financial woes of the team’s ownership has fuelled rumors throughout this season he would be shopped at the deadline, won’t be traded after all.
The New York Post reported Tuesday that sources have indicated teams interested in Parise are being told by Devils GM Lou Lamoriello he won’t be shopped.
It’s believed if the Devils aren’t able to re-sign Parise by June, they’ll shop his rights to teams interested in acquiring his negotiating rights in hopes of working out a contract prior to July 1.
The Ottawa Sun had reported the Toronto Maple Leafs had interest in San Jose Sharks left winger Ryane Clowe, but that was swiftly denounced by Sharks management.
The Carolina Hurricanes surprised the hockey world on Monday by re-signing defenseman Tim Gleason, who was eligible for UFA status this summer, to a four-year, $16-million contract extension, with a full no-trade clause in the first two years of the deal.
Gleason, 29, was considered the best available defenseman in the trade market and it was believed the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks were very interested in landing him.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla’s Korner.