It’s a brand new NHL season, filled with plenty of expectations over how teams and players will fare, as well as speculation from the blogosphere over which players will be traded in the coming weeks or months.
Here’s a look at the top Internet-generated trade rumors from the opening week of the season.
JASON SPEZZA TO THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
This one first appeared in late September, courtesy of a tweet from TSN’s Dave Hodge. He cited unnamed members of Spezza’s family who claimed he would end up with the Maple Leafs.
Hodge didn’t put much stock into it, but because it originated from such a respected source, it quickly gained notice around the blogosphere and lead to persistent speculation that spilled over into mid-October.
The chances of Senators GM Bryan Murray shipping Spezza to a hated rival such as the Leafs are infinitesimal.
Toss in the complications around moving Spezza’s $7 million per season cap hit, his no-trade clause and the fact he’s one of the few remaining marketable stars the Senators have and it’s a safe conclusion he won’t be suiting up for the Leafs anytime soon.
The thinking behind this one is it would address two issues: the Coyotes would get a goalie poised to become an NHL starter and the Canucks would get a promising center (and Vancouver area native) with the potential to blossom into a scoring star on a better team.
In reality, the Canucks aren’t moving Schneider. Their intent is to use him more often this season to spell Roberto Luongo and ensure their starter is fresh for the playoffs.
If, and that’s a very big if, the Canucks changed their minds, it would take a more proven player than Turris to land Schneider. Coyotes management also appears determined to re-sign, rather than trade, the third overall pick from 2007.
No names were mentioned in this particular one, nor any reason given for such a deal.
The rationale is likely rooted in Panthers backup Scott Clemmensen’s knee injury (which will sideline him for several weeks) and starter Jose Theodore’s poor pre-season performance.
That would set the table for the Canucks to ship Schneider to the Panthers for one of their scoring forwards (left winger David Booth? Center Stephen Weiss?) to add depth to Vancouver’s second line.
But Theodore was strong in the Panthers season-opener against the New York Islanders, posting a 2-0 shutout victory, and for the time being Jacob Markstrom is being used as Clemmensen’s replacement. The Panthers have no urgent need to move or add a goaltender.
Did we mention the Canucks have no plans to move Schneider yet?
Not sure what the incentive would be for the Islanders to pursue the Coyotes holdout.
They already have plenty of young centers (John Tavares, Frans Nielsen, Josh Bailey) and all of them had better numbers than Turris last season.
Add in veteran Marty Reasoner and there’s no room for the 22-year-old Coyote.
Trade Talk addresses the biggest rumors being discussed online and appears weekly 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.