The Carolina Hurricanes poor start has prompted GM Jim Rutherford to suggest changes could be afoot if his team fails to make significant improvement in the coming weeks.
But Rutherford also pointed out it would be difficult to make significant moves this early because the salary cap inhibits such activity until much later in the season, usually closer to the trade deadline.
However, if his club fails to show progress soon, Rutherford might not have any choice but to beat the bushes in hopes of finding some help.
After going 2-9-3 in their first 14 games, the Hurricanes can ill-afford to fall behind much farther in the standings. If Rutherford waits much longer, any move he considers might come too late to save the season.
Rutherford is believed to be seeking younger, faster players – particularly forwards. An Internet rumor was floating around last week claiming veteran winger Ray Whitney was being shopped, but unless he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause he won’t be going anywhere.
• Former NHL star Peter Forsberg is attempting yet another comeback, this time suiting up for Sweden in the upcoming Karjala Cup.
The Philadelphia Flyers – one of Forsberg’s former NHL teams – were scouting the tournament, but GM Paul Holmgren denied it was to monitor the talented, but injury-hobbled forward.
One GM who is actively scouting Forsberg is Glen Sather of the New York Rangers, who said he’d be very interested in bringing Forsberg to New York if he would be interested in playing there; depending, of course, on his health and salary demands.
• A recent rumor claiming the Chicago Blackhawks were trying to pry defenseman Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs was quickly dismissed by Leafs GM Brian Burke and Kaberle’s agent Rick Curran.
“No legs,” Burke claimed of the rumor. “Have never discussed Kaberle with either team.”
(The other team being the Carolina Hurricanes)
Curran also chimed in about waiving the defenseman’s no-trade clause: “We have not been approached at all.”
• Injuries are starting to take their toll on the blueline of the New Jersey Devils.
Regulars Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya are currently sidelined, leaving Bryce Salvador, Colin White, Mike Mottau and Andy Greene to carry the bulk of the workload.
The New York Post recently reported the Devils got a scare when Salvador twisted his ankle in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fortunately, he was able to shake off the injury and continue playing, but it highlighted the vulnerability of New Jersey’s already injury-ravaged defense corps.
For now it appears GM Lou Lamoriello will look to within to bolster his defense, recently calling up Cory Murphy from their American League affiliate in Lowell, but one shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a trade if the defense should struggle or if more injuries crop up.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays and Thursdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.