Trade speculation continues to grow in Toronto as fans and pundits ponder potential moves by GM Brian Burke and which of his current players will be involved.
Some of those mentioned in the rumor mill, such as defensemen Tomas Kaberle and Francois Beauchemin, have either a full or partial no-trade clause and there hasn’t been any indication they’re willing to waive them to go to a playoff contender by the Feb. 28 trade deadline.
One Leaf, however, has publicly acknowledged he’d be willing to entertain that possibility.
Veteran goaltender J-S Giguere, who Burke acquired a year ago from the Anaheim Ducks, recently told the Toronto Star he’d be open to waiving his no-trade clause if approached by management.
Giguere wouldn’t likely waive for just any club. He’s doubtful to accept a trade to a non-contender like, say, the New York Islanders or Edmonton Oilers, but if the Washington Capitals were to come calling it’s a good bet he’d accept.
However, the problem is there may not be a lot of teams in the market for a veteran goaltender, particularly one with a recent injury history and declining performance.
As often as the Capitals are mentioned in trade rumors, they appear content with their current young goalie tandem of Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth.
While some consider Giguere’s value to be high based on his playoff record (2003 Conn Smythe winner, 2007 Stanley Cup winner), he isn’t the same goalie he was four years ago.
His performance has been in decline since the 2008 playoffs and that cost him the starter’s job in Anaheim to Jonas Hiller. Plus Giguere’s been plagued by a nagging groin injury since November.
While only 33 years old, it appears Giguere’s best days are behind him. Any team expecting him to magically return to championship form by being moved to a better team would be making a risky acquisition.
It’s still possible Giguere will be moved, but teams seeking depth in goal will look at other options first before giving Burke a call.
MOULSON WANTS TO STAY WITH THE ISLANDERS
Despite recent reports claiming the Islanders hoped to re-sign pending UFA left winger Matt Moulson and his stated desire to remain on Long Island, there was a rumor making the rounds earlier this week about him being dealt to the Boston Bruins.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie was quick to douse the “Moulson to Boston” speculation, claiming via Twitter that if the Islanders were to shop Moulson it wouldn’t be to Boston.
He also pointed out Isles GM Garth Snow still wanted to re-sign the winger, though McKenzie admitted contract talks hadn’t begun yet.
If we take Snow at his word, it wouldn’t make any sense for him to peddle Moulson now unless ownership is unwilling to invest in retaining him.
Given the sad state of the Islanders and the fact Moulson is that rare pending unrestricted free agent who wants to remain with the team, they would be wise to lock him up to a reasonable extension quickly before a better opportunity arises.
COMMODORE NOW AN AHL DEFENSEMAN
It appears Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore will finish this season in the American League.
After clearing re-entry waivers Monday, Commodore agreed to remain with the Blue Jackets farm team in Springfield. GM Scott Howson told the Columbus Dispatch he’d exhausted all trade options for Commodore, but remained open for future discussions.
It’s possible the Jackets will try to trade him in June or perhaps buy out the remainder of his contract (two more years at $3.75 million), though Howson suggested it was premature to speculate about the latter option.
Any suggestion the Blue Jackets would ship Commodore to New Jersey for winger Brian Rolston is ridiculous, as this move wouldn’t resolve the needs of either club and would merely be a swap of bad contracts.
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 Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.