NAPLES, Fla. – The first trade of the NHL’s GM meetings wasn’t exactly a blockbuster but perhaps it will help lead to bigger things.
The Philadelphia Flyers acquired veteran defenceman Jarsolav Modry from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a third-round pick in 2008.
Modry, 37, is earning US$1.2 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Kings, last in the NHL, are in sell mode and Modry was one of several unrestricted free agents on the block.
The headliners, Mats Sundin of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers, continued to generate lots of discussions.
“We’ll be leaving here tomorrow afternoon and we won’t have completed a trade by then, that’s for sure,” said interim Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher. “That’s all part of the negotiation, a hypothetical situation you might say any deal involving so and so you have to include so and so …
“Everybody is doing that right now. If you look in past years, I don’t think many deals have been consummated at the meetings. Usually it takes teams to go think, sit down internally with their respective organizations and decide how to proceed from there.”
At this point Fletcher didn’t sound terribly close to any deal.
“There’s been a few rowboats offered for a battleship,” he said.
But aside from the Modry deal, the dam still hasn’t broken.
“There’s still a deadlock in terms of player movement,” said Vancouver Canucks GM Dave Nonis. “And hopefully that gets broken quickly, but if it doesn’t then we’re going to have to soldier on with the team that we have.”
Ottawa, Detroit, San Jose, Montreal and Dallas were believed to have interest in Hossa, an unrestricted free agent as season’s end.
“The Sundin talk seems to be putting a hold on the Hossa situation,” said one NHL GM.
An NHL source also said the Canadiens were talking to the Calgary Flames about winger Alex Tanguay, who has a no-trade clause.