It may be the weekend, but the rumor mill never sleeps in the hockey blogosphere. Here’s a look at the latest talk making the rounds.
Phoenix Coyotes center Kyle Turris’ contract standoff continues and that has continued speculation the whole ordeal is merely a tactic on his part to force a trade.
With Devils center Travis Zajac sidelined indefinitely as he recovers from left Achilles surgery, the Devils are thin down the middle, so the thinking is the 22-year-old Turris would be a good fit there.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney continues to insist he won’t trade Turris, so if we take him at his word the young center won’t be going anywhere.
But if Maloney changes his mind he’ll entertain offers from more than one team, meaning if the Devils do make a push, they’ll find themselves embroiled in a bidding war.
But would Devils GM Lou Lamoriello want anything to do with a young player who staged a contract holdout to force a trade? And would Turris adequately address the Devils depth at center? Yes, he has promise and potential, but he hasn’t come close to reaching expectations in two full NHL seasons that were split by a year he spent in the American League.
The argument could be made that Phoenix’s defensive system has had a negative impact on Turris’ development, but if that’s the case he’s not going to be the answer for the Devils, a team that has personified defensive hockey for nearly two decades.
The Maple Leafs signed oft-injured Tim Connolly as a free agent this summer in hopes of addressing their need for a first line center.
Unfortunately, he’s yet to make his regular season debut with the Leafs because of an “upper body” injury.
It’s laughable to see Connolly mentioned as trade bait before he’s even stepped on the ice in a single regular season game in a Leafs jersey, let alone suggested as a candidate for a deadline deal. Let’s wait a couple of months before we take this one seriously; it might start making more sense in the New Year.
It was interesting to read about the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Phladelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues being listed amongst teams “who will be shopping for a defenseman at the deadline.”
The reasons given were varied – the Wings will need to one day replace Nicklas Lidstrom, the Flyers face the same problem with Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen, and the Leafs, Hurricanes and Blues are in need of experienced puck-moving defensemen.
One day the Wings and Flyers will have to replace those blueliners, but barring injury or a drastic decline in their performance, those moves don’t need to be made this season.
The Leafs are so deep on the blueline right now that promising Cody Franson, who they acquired from the Nashville Predators this past summer, was a healthy scratch in their first two games.
The Hurricanes are carrying eight defensemen and a report out of Raleigh suggested blueliner Joni Pitkanen is a luxury they cannot afford, especially when they’re in need of another top-six forward.
As for the Blues, they have promising Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk patrolling their blueline, so any suggestion they lack an offensive defenseman to anchor the power play is baseless. The Blues are happy with the future they have in place.
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.