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Camp rumbles

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Mathieu Schneider’s days as an Anaheim Duck will soon be draw to a close.

After unsuccessfully trying to waive Schneider last week, Ducks GM Brian Burke has reportedly been in talks with half-a-dozen teams regarding the veteran blueliner.

Burke would prefer to move Schneider and his $5.75 million salary without taking any salary back in order to get under the league’s $56.7 million cap and have enough room to re-sign veteran right winger Teemu Selanne, who is presently attending the Ducks training camp on a tryout contract.

Recent reports from Anaheim, however, suggest Burke may have to take on a player in return for Schneider, which could force him to either flip that player to another team or move another roster player to free up the necessary salary space.

Schneider didn’t attend training camp workouts this past weekend as a deal could be worked out very soon.

• Patrick O’Sullivan’s contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Kings do not appear to be any closer to a resolution.

O’Sullivan has been a training camp “no-show” as his agent and Kings’ management continue their talks. The Kings hope to sign him to a long-term contract, but O’Sullivan reportedly wants a shorter term that’ll bring him closer to unrestricted free agency.

At 23 and with only two NHL seasons under his belt, the earliest he can be eligible for UFA status is age 27.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently told the Los Angeles Daily News the two sides were not close to a resolution, which could make O’Sullivan the first restricted free agent in three seasons to stage a holdout.

The young center’s status has also generated some Internet trade speculation. It wouldn’t be surprising if Lombardi received a few inquiries from rival clubs, but at this point he’s not talking about a trade.

• Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon’s recent trade of center Robert Lang to Montreal was not only done to get his club under the salary cap for the upcoming season, but was also a sign he was unable to find any takers for goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

Tallon would have preferred moving Khabibulin and his $6.75 million contract for this season, especially after signing goalie Cristobal Huet to an expensive multi-year contract. However, that salary proved too expensive for any potentially interested parties to take on at this time.

That forced Tallon to dump Lang, which left the Blackhawks lacking veteran depth at center heading into this season.

At some point, probably mid-season at the earliest, the market for Khabibulin should improve, and it would not be surprising if Tallon tries to move him for a veteran center.

• The Detroit Red Wings will be a team to watch in late September and not just because they are the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Wings GM Ken Holland is carrying too many defensemen and one of them could be moved to free-up some cap space prior to the start of the season.

Speculation in the Detroit media has defensemen Andreas Lilja, Brett Lebda, Derek Meech and Kyle Quincey as potential trade candidates.

Of the four, Lilja, 33, has the most experience and is carrying the biggest contract at $1.25 million per season for the next two years. Meech, 24, is the least experienced and carries the lightest salary at $475,000 per season.

Quincey, 23, is the youngest, but was recently re-signed while Lebda, 26, has been a regular fixture on the Wings’ defense corps the past two seasons and also carries a light salary at $650,000 per season.

• The Carolina Hurricanes suffered a significant blow last week when it was revealed right winger Justin Williams will be out four to six months with a torn Achilles tendon.

A report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggested former Wild right winger Mark Parrish might make a good candidate to fill in for Williams this season, but the injury also opens the door for former Carolina right winger Jeff O’Neill to earn a spot.

The Hurricanes are also believed to be shopping veteran defenseman Frantisek Kaberle to try to land a winger.

Rumor Roundup appears Mondays only on Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website,, and is a contributing writer for and Eishockey Magazine.


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