Tag:Atlanta Thrashers
Posted on: March 2, 2010 4:49 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2010 11:09 am

Breaking down buyers, sellers

The NHL is nearing its annual trade frenzy as the March 3 deadline is less than 24 hours away. We've run through our recent rumors and a number of sources to compile a list of buyers and sellers. By no means is this list official or exhaustive, but should give a decent idea of which teams could be active on Wednesday.

Open for Business

Atlanta Thrashers
GM Don Waddell says he plans to be a buyer at the trade deadline. One player who is definitely on the block is Slava Kozlov, who requested a trade due to the lack of playing time in Atlanta. ... Colby Armstrong has received some interest. Waddell may not be willing to part with Armstrong, even though the grinder is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. ... The Thrashers have the most picks -- two of which are first rounders -- heading into the 2010 Entry Draft. They might be able to turn those around for a couple of experienced players.

Carolina Hurricanes
In the NHL basement for most of the season, the Hurricanes have plenty to offer at this year's deadline. Players believed to be on the block: Rod Brind'Amour, Joe Corvo, Aaron Ward, Ray Whitney. Scott Walker has also been mentioned, but infrequently. Whitney has received the most attention out of this group, and nearly ended up in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. But the 37-year-old winger is looking for a two- to three-year deal, which is scaring off some teams. ... Even though Carolina has four picks in the top 60 of this summer's draft, stockpiling choices and prospects are the only things the rebuilding Hurricanes are looking for in return.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson will almost certainly trade Raffi Torres, who did not agree to a new contract during the Olympic break. Milan Jurcina has attracted interest. Fredrik Modin may be willing to waive a no-trade clause. Veteran defensemen are a hot commodity this time of year, and the Columbus Dispatch suggests Jan Hejda, Fedor Tyutin and Marc Methot could be moved.

Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers have been sellers for quite some time. Veterans Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani and Steve Staios are almost certainly gone. Last month, Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson and Lubomir Visnovsky were mentioned as trade bait. Andrew Cogliano's name has surfaced a couple times. Like the Hurricanes, the Oilers are expected to restructure and rebuild their team, so clearing salary for picks and prospects is the most likely scenario.

Florida Panthers
Reports out of Florida would make you think just about everyone outside of David Booth and Michael Frolik are up for grabs. The Panthers are looking to overhaul its team before next season, with the trade deadline being step one in the process. Among the names being thrown out: Radek Dvorak, Nathan Horton, Kamil Kreps, Rostislav Olesz, Steve Reinprecht, Dennis Seidenberg, Cory Stillman, and Nick Tarnasky. Tomas Vokoun has also been mentioned as a player who could be moved, but the Panthers would need the goaltender to waive his no-trade clause. Logic would suggest Florida is looking for a bona-fide scorer in return, but if the team is about to be imploded, who knows what they're seeking.

Toronto Maple Leafs
GM Brian Burke hasn't finished cleaning house in Toronto. Among the players believed to be headed out: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Lee Stempniak, Wayne Primeau and Garnet Exelby. The Maple Leafs are without a first-, second- or fourth-round pick, so stockpiling draft choices in exchange for these unrestricted free agents may be the most popular move. Toronto is unlikely to get a first-rounder for any of them, though. ... Forget about Tomas Kaberle being traded. The latest report out of Toronto suggested he has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause, and Burke has insisted he will not ask Kaberle to do so. If the defenseman is traded, that move will probably happen around the draft.

Setting Up Shop

Minnesota Wild
Contract talks between the Wild and Marek Zidlicky have hit a snag. While the sides have agreed on a deal, Zidlicky would like a no-trade clause as well. The Wild don't seem willing to budge. Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher stated he considers re-signing the defenseman a top priority. If a deal doesn't get done, though, Zidlicky could be shipped out. This one may come down to the wire. UPDATE: Zidlicky signed a contract extention Tuesday.

Nashville Predators
We're under the impression Dan Hamhuis will be traded on Wednesday. GM David Poile said he wouldn't trade the defenseman unless he could fill the void with an experienced player. Poile did that by acquiring Denis Grebeshkov. Another player whose contract status may lead to a ticket out of town is Dan Ellis. The Predators re-signed Pekka Rinne during the Olympic break. In both cases, Nashville may be able to get the players inked to new contracts before 3 p.m., but offers from teams desperate for defensive depth may be too good to pass up.

Who's shopping

Boston Bruins
Boston is looking to upgrade its offense before the deadline. They've done lots of tire kicking during the season, but have yet to find a trading partner. Boston has two first-round picks in this year's draft, although GM Peter Chiarelli has indicated he does not plan to trade the choice acquired from Toronto for Phil Kessel, which may end up being a top-five pick. They may be able to move one of their three second-round choices for a Mark Recchi-type player, someone with experience and a goal scoring touch. Anaheim's Teemu Selanne is rumored to be one of their targets.

Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are poised to make a run for the Stanley Cup this year, but feel they need an upgrade in net. Chicago could still benefit from dumping a more salary before next season.  Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg and Dustin Byfuglien have been mentioned in previous rumors. The Blackhawks also have an extra second-round pick to offer.

Los Angeles Kings
The Kings appear playoff bound and they have plenty of cap space, picks and prospects to work with. GM Dean Lombardi was reportedly vying to land Ilya Kovalchuk, but was not willing to cough up the young NHL players the Thrashers sought in return. Los Angeles also made a pitch to land Carolina's Ray Whitney, but balked at his demand for a three-year contract extension. The Kings have 10 picks in the upcoming draft, including a pair of second-round picks and three third-rounders. Their system is stocked with six first- or second-rounders who have yet to crack the Kings lineup.

Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia always seems to appear as buyers in trade rumors. They need goaltending and defense. Cap space is always an issue. They don't have a 2010 first- or second-round draft pick to trade. They're loaded up front, but some of those players seem untouchable (i.e. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter) and some have massive contracts with no-trade clauses that would need to be waived (i.e. Danny Briere). GM Paul Holmgren will no doubt be searching for ways to improve his team. How he actually does it is the question.

Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes are actually in the playoff race for the first time in eight years, so one would think GM Don Maloney wants to prepare his team for the postseason. On the needs list is a defenseman and a scoring forward for the power play. Maloney said he will not mortgage the team's future for a rental. That may mean Peter Mueller, whose name has appeared in some rumors this season, is off the block. The Coyotes do have an extra first-round pick to work with, but a player worthy of such a prize may not be available.

Posted on: March 2, 2010 2:09 pm

Flyers preparing to deal

A number of moves made by the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday indicate the team could be close to making a deal.

Defenseman Danny Syvret and winger Riley Cote were placed on waiver. Goaltender Ray Emery, who is out with a hip injury, was placed on long-term injured reserve. The Flyers have about $2.8 million in cap space to work with.

Philadelphia is believed to be targeting Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis, several sources, including the Philadelphia Daily News and TSN report. The Predators are looking to receive defenseman Ryan Parent in return. Parent, you may remember, was a key piece in the deal to bring Peter Forsberg to Nashville back in 2007.

Hamhuis, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, became expendable Monday night when the Predators acquired Denis Grebeshkov from the Edmonton Oilers. GM David Poile previously stated if Hamhuis was to be moved, the team would have to plug the gap with an experienced defenseman. Grebeshkov fills that void.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Flyers have also expressed interest in Ottawa's Matt Cullen, Los Angeles' Alexander Frolov, Columbus' Raffi Torres and Atlanta's Colby Armstrong
Posted on: March 1, 2010 5:10 pm

Odds & Ends: March 1

Less than 48 hours to go before the trade deadline...

  • The Minnesota Wild have not yet given up trying to re-sign defenseman Marek Zidlicky. "Our preference is for him to sign a deal and stay in Minnesota," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "They've been realistic in their demands, and I think we've been fair in our offer. I don't think there's any deal breakers at this point." If Zidlicky is not signed before Wednesday, he will be traded. [Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
  • Predators goalie Dan Ellis has not given up on the idea of playing in Nashville next season, but is not convinced it is a likely scenario. "Unless our ownership chooses to go much higher [on a contract offer] than they usually have, I don't see [re-signing] as a possibility," Ellis told The Tennessean. "But I won't really close the door on that either." [Source: The Tennessean]
  • The Buffalo Sabres could be looking to add a puck-moving, veteran defenseman or a scoring winger before the deadline. A couple players who may fit the bill include: Carolina's Joe Corvo and Florida's Nathan Horton. [Source: Buffalo News]
  • Phoenix GM Don Maloney wouldn't mind adding a piece for a playoff run, but isn't ready to sacrifice the team's future for a rental. "We think we're good enough, and we like the group. If we can find a way to be better, we'll do it." Malone said. The Coyotes are looking to add defensive depth. A scorer who can improve the power play is a secondary need. [Source: Arizona Republic]
  • Raffi Torres is another player on the block. The winger met with Columbus GM Scott Howson during the Olympic break and the two were unable to agree on a new contract. The Philadelphia Flyers are would like to land Torres, but they don't have the second-round pick the Blue Jackets are looking for in return. Another Columbus player attracting interest is defenseman Milan Jurcina. [Source: Columbus Dispatch]
  • The Boston Bruins are looking for a puck-moving defenseman and a scoring winger. They have inquired about the availability of Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne, who is expected to retire at the end of the season. [Source: Boston Globe]
  • A defenseman is at the top of the Ottawa Senators needs, but GM Bryan Murray is worried about tinkering with the team's chemistry. [Source: Ottawa Citizen]
  • KHL president Alexander Medvedev confirmed the league intends to aggressively court New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk when his NHL contract expires. [ESPN]
Posted on: March 1, 2010 4:19 pm

2010 free agent lists (updated)

For those who missed our post in January, we've compiled a list of players due to become free agents this summer. We've updated these to reflect recent signings and trades that have already taken place.

Most trade rumors that have already surfaced (and will probably pop up in the next couple days) involve these players. Teams preparing for a cup run often look to add players whose contract are about to expire (i.e. Jordan Leopold) since they can be had for draft picks or little else in return.

Unrestricted Free Agents
Restricted Free Agents
Posted on: February 25, 2010 12:03 pm

Odds & Ends: Feb. 25

With the Olympic break close to an end and NHL teams back on the ice, chatter is picking up once again...

  • Speaking of Hamhuis, the Predators defenseman is not close to re-signing with Nashville, making him trade bait. GM David Poile says if they do move Hamhuis, they'll need to add an experienced defenseman to the roster. That would possibly require a second deal. One possibility would be to move Dan Ellis, an unrestricted free agent at season's end. It is believed the Predators will not re-sign Ellis now that Pekka Rinne is under contract for the next two seasons. [Source: The Tennessean]
  • Jaromir Jagr has not ruled out the possibility of returning to the NHL. The 38-year-old will not be available until next season, though. Jagr's contract with Omsk of the KHL expires this summer. [Source: Washington Post]
  • One player not expected to return to the NHL, period, is Peter Forsberg. He is expected to finish this season with MoDo of the Swedish Elitserien and will probably retire. [Source: Philadelphia Inquirer]
Posted on: February 4, 2010 8:05 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2010 9:00 pm

Kovalchuk traded to New Jersey

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils.

The Thrashers, who also sent defenseman Anssi Salmela to New Jersey, will receive winger Niclas Bergfors , defenseman Johnny Oduya , troubled prospect Patrice Cormier and a first-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The teams will also swap second-round picks in 2010.

"You're getting one of the best goal-scorers in the league for many years," Devils forward Patrik Elias told the Newark Star-Ledger . "He can win a lot of hockey games . He's a threat every time he's on the ice."

Thrashers GM Don Waddell released a statement Thursday afternoon stating the team reached an impasse with Kovalchuk on a contract extension. Atlanta offered the first overall pick in 2001 a 12-year deal worth $101 million. It would have been the second-largest contract in NHL history. Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin inked a 13-year, $124 million contract in 2008.
Posted on: February 4, 2010 3:15 pm

Waddell issues statement regarding Kovalchuk

Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell issued a statement Thursday afternoon regarding Ilya Kovalchuk:

Our goal from the start of this negotiating process was to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a long-term contract. During the process, Kovy affirmed his desire to be a Thrasher for life. We've spent several months exploring scenarios with Kovy and his agent to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and offered many lucrative packages in an attempt to meet his financial objectives. Unfortunately, we've reached an impasse and at this point he has declined all of our proposals and we can't reasonably go any higher.

Ultimately, we offered Kovy more than $101 million over 12 years, which would have been the highest contract signed by an impending unrestricted free agent in the history of the league. If accepted, this contract would have been the second highest offer ever to any NHL player.  We also met his desire to be the highest paid player based on average annual salary with a separate offer of 7 years at $10M per year ($70M).  This offer is $0.5M higher per year than any other player.

If we went beyond these offers, we would not be able to retain the young players on our roster when it came time to sign them, or invest in other top tier players needed to assemble a truly competitive team.  Therefore, we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward.

Posted on: February 4, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: February 4, 2010 3:17 pm

Three remain in Kovalchuk bidding war

Less than 24 hours after the Atlanta Thrashers announced Ilya Kovalchuk is on the trading block, the potential suitors have been whittled down to three: the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.

Kovalchuk spoke with the media Thursday and said he has not ruled out re-signing with Atlanta. When asked if he thought there was still a chance to get a deal done, Kovalchuk responded, "Yeah, why not? You never know." [audio, 10:17]

"It should be a good deal for everyone, not just for one side," Kovalchuk said. "I play hockey, but I've got a family and three kids, too. ... I like everything here. It's a great city, the organization did everything for me."

Waddell issued a statement Thursday afternoon recapping his negotiations with Kovalchuk, utimately stating, "we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward."

ESPN's Pierre Lebrun reports Atlanta Associate GM Rick Dudley attended Wednesday night's AHL matchup between the the Devils' farm team, the Lowell Devils, and the Rangers', the Hartford Wolfpack.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post said via Twitter the Rangers would be expected to part with either Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky, with the rest of the package determined by who is the main player. If it is Callahan, New York would have to also give up Marc Staal or Michael Del Zotto. If it is Dubinsky, the Rangers would have to surrender one of the following: a first-round pick, Evgeny GrachevChris Kreider or Derek Stepan. Rangers GM Glen Sather is not prepared to do either.

Reports from Lebrun and Kings Insider suggest Los Angeles is definitely in the mix, but may be waiting for the Thrashers to lower their asking price. The Sporting News' Craig Custance, a former Atlanta beat writer, noted if the Kings are serious about acquiring Kovalchuk, they may have to part with Wayne Simmonds, whose game the Thrashers "like and respect." 

CBC's Elliott Friedman says its Simmonds who may be the player Los Angeles is not ready to part with to make this deal happen. The Kings' offer is believed to include Alexander Frolov and Jack Johnson.

According to the Ottawa Sun, Atlanta GM Don Waddell received one deal "he can stomach," but is holding out for more since the Thrashers are still vying for the playoffs.

Initial reports indicated the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers were among those looking to land Kovalchuk. Also mentioned were the Vancouver Canucks, who momentarily joined the fray and left it as quickly.

The Bruins are still interested in Kovalchuk, although their pitch to Atlanta is not considered one of the more aggressive ones, says the Boston Globe.

"It's not a done deal yet and thus far Boston really hasn't been in the thick of it," an anonymous source told the Globe. They're in it, with 7-8 other teams, but their offer hasn't been near the top."

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday the Flames not in the mix for Kovalchuk. Custance said the Blackhawks are not interested, either. The media in Calgary and Chicago, however, has been rather silent in the wake of the Kovalchuk news, so it is hard to determine whether the Flames and Hawks are truly out of the running.

Lebrun reported the Flyers were still in the mix as of last night. Reports out of Philadelphia suggest otherwise. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, team sources said there is no interest in Kovalchuk. Philadelphia has the kind of players and prospects Atlanta would probably want in return, but the Flyers would need to make significant changes to its salary cap-strapped roster. That is not something GM Paul Holmgren has indicated he is willing to do.

Last night, the Camden Courier Post reported any deal would probably involve Jeff CarterClaude Giroux and/or James vanRimesdyk. Friedman reports it is Scott Hartnell who has been mentioned in proposals, as Holmgren will not trade Carter.

Custance speculates the San Jose Sharks could be a "mystery team" involved in the bidding for Kovalchuk. He notes GM Doug Wilson's history of pulling off big deals to get star players (Joe Thornton, Brian Campbell, Dany Heatley) and the Sharks' focus on the Stanley Cup after past postseason letdowns.

Be sure to keep checking back throughout the day. We're staying on top of any news that breaks. Looking for the rundown of Kovalchuk's contract situation and how he ended up on the trading block? Check out Wednesday's post.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com