In the wake of long-time Ottawa Senator Mike Fisher’s trade to Nashville last Thursday, some of his former teammates are bracing for more trades.
The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch reported Saturday defenseman Chris Phillips and gritty forwards Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil could be next out the door, while the team also received some interest in blueliner Filip Kuba.
Garrioch claimed the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks might have interest in Phillips, but suggested Chris Campoli would be a better target for the Ducks.
However, that suggestion seems unusual as the Ducks, with their acquisition of Francois Beauchemin from Toronto last week, now have nine blueliners. The expectation out of Anaheim is the Ducks will trade either Paul Mara, Andy Sutton or Sheldon Brookbank – possibly for a depth forward – by the deadline.
Garrioch also wrote if the Senators try and deal with the Canadiens they would want young left winger Max Pacioretty as part of the return, but the Habs certainly won’t part with him.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal believed the Bruins had a shot at landing Phillips because GM Peter Chiarelli once worked for the Senators and knows the blueliner well, plus Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is a former teammate of Phillips’.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com believes otherwise, claiming Phillips isn’t what the Bruins want or need on their blueline, which is a defenseman with good offensive skills.
Neil, who lacks a no-trade clause, told the Sun‘s Don Brennan he’d prefer to remain a Senator. The Vancouver Canucks are thought to be interested in Neil, but lack the cap space to take on his $2 million per season salary.
TRADE TALK IN LEAF LAND
Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Kris Versteeg recently claimed he wasn’t bothered by rumors suggesting he could be on the move by the trade deadline, but despite his best efforts to ignore the speculation he must be feeling nervous about the situation.
David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail reported Leafs GM Brian Burke said he had no plans to move Versteeg, but Shoalts suggested Burke would change his mind if he received a good offer.
Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com reported Sunday Versteeg might be on the radar of the Philadelphia Flyers. However, management might be reluctant to tamper with team chemistry and Burke’s asking price could include left winger James van Riemsdyk, whom the Flyers apparently aren’t keen to move.
Meanwhile, goaltender J-S Giguere met with Burke last week regarding his future, but declined to shed light on the discussion.
Giguere said he’d like to remain with the Leafs, but wants to play a more active role, which may not be possible given rookie James Reimer’s performance this season. If Jonas Gustavsson still has a future in Toronto Giguere would become the odd man out.
BLACKHAWKS SEEKING BLUELINE DEPTH?
Last Friday Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said he wasn’t shopping defenseman Brent Seabrook.
Bowman still hopes to re-sign Seabrook, a restricted free agent at season’s end, adding the blueliner would still be part of the Blackhawks lineup after the trade deadline, calling him “a big part of our group.”
Last season Bowman ensured key players such as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith were re-signed to long-term contracts and while re-signing Seabrook would take a significant bite out of their available cap space for next season, it’s expected Seabrook will be inked for around $5 million per season, just a little less than Keith’s salary of $5.5 million per.
Bowman also said he’s in the market for a defenseman to help his team’s penalty kill. The Buffalo News reported a source who claimed the Blackhawks have interest in Sabres blueliner Steve Montador, but are concerned over the severity of his recent concussion, which has him sidelined on a day-to-day basis.
WILL MCCABE STAY OR WILL HE GO?
Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe has been suggested as a good fit for the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, two teams seeking a mobile defenseman.
McCabe is an unrestricted free agent this summer, but in a recent interview he appeared to dismiss the possibility of his moving by the deadline, noting he has a full no-movement clause. He also claimed he hoped to finish his career with the Panthers.
McCabe and his family live in Florida year-round and love the area. It remains to be seen if he’ll be re-signed, however, as Panthers management has decided not to engage in contract talks with their pending free agents until the end of the season.
Perhaps if GM Dale Tallon told McCabe he has no intention of keeping him beyond this season it would change the veteran’s mind, but given McCabe’s comments, that doesn’t appear likely.
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.