Tag:Chicago Blackhawks
Posted on: March 3, 2010 11:23 am
Edited on: March 3, 2010 11:26 am

Panthers to keep Vokoun talks under wraps

If the Florida Panthers are working to move Tomas Vokoun, the details of the bidding process won't be public.

According to the Miami Herald, Vokoun met with GM Randy Sexton to discuss the goaltender's future with the team. Vokoun said he would be open to waiving his no-trade clause if the right situation presented himself. The two also agreed to keep the details of any potential deals private.

The Philadelphia Flyers have been rumored to be interested in Vokoun. The Philadelphia Daily News says the Panthers would want Jeff Carter in return.

The Chicago Blackhawks are looking for goaltending help.

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 2:27 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2010 3:02 pm

Odds & Ends: March 2

A little more than 24 hours before the NHL trade deadline...

  • Should a rumored deal between the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers fall through, defenseman Dan Hamhuis could end up with in Vancouver. The Canucks might be willing to part with prospect Michael Grabner. The Canucks intend to target Hamhuis when free agency begins in July at the very least. The Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils are also interested in Hamhuis. [Source: Vancouver Province]
  • Speaking of the Canucks... they may be looking for an upgrade up the middle, which could make center Kyle Wellwood expendable. [Source: Vancouver Sun]
  • Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini says trade talks have become more intense over the past couple days. "Things were kind of flat the last month or so because people were still trying to make sense of things, most teams didn't know if they were buyers or sellers." [Source: Edmonton Sun]
  • Veteran defenseman are a hot commodity, and Buffalo's Tony Lydman and Henrik Tallinder are aware they could be moved before Wednesday. Sabres GM Darcy Regier has not extended the unrestricted free agents offers. [Source: Buffalo News]
  • Colorado's Marek Svatos has his bags packed, just in case. The winger has been rumored as trade bait given his expiring contract and diminished playing time. The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks scouted Monday's Avalanche game. [Source: Denver Post]
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 10, 2010 11:18 am

Is Turco's future in Dallas or elsewhere?

There's been talk for a while that Marty Turco's days in Dallas were coming to a close. Now that the Stars have acquired former first-round pick Kari Lehtonen, the end could be near. Or maybe not.

The Philadelphia Daily News says the Flyers are the most interested in the veteran netminder, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Sporting News Today says the Chicago Blackhawks are another candidate.

If Philadelphia is to trade for Turco, however, they'll need to clear a significant amount of cap space beforehand. Turco's cap hit is $5.7 million, and the Flyers would need to dump at least $5.2 million from their current roster. That could involve getting or or a couple players with big contracts and no-trade clauses -- Daniel Briere, Simon Gagne and Kimmo Timonen -- to accept a move.

Right now, Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk says Turco is still Dallas' No. 1 netminder. Although logic says Turco may be shipped to a playoff-bound team seeking veteran netminding, the goalie's play over the next couple weeks could change the minds of the Stars' top brass.

"I told him that I believe it is still his net right now," Nieuwendyk told the Dallas Morning News. "We had four unrestricted free agent goalies heading into the summer, and we needed to get some kind of plan for our future, so this is one part of the process."

Given Lehtonen's history of injuries, one possibility for Dallas' future in net is to re-sign their newest acquisition and Turco to split goaltending duties. Turco's numbers have dipped in recent years, and the soon-to-be 35-year-old could be ready for a transition to a No. 2 role. At the same time, he'd give Dallas the stability it needs should the oft-injured Lehtonen go down yet again.

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.
Posted on: February 3, 2010 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 6:35 pm

Waddell to Kovalchuk: Pack your bags

Ilya Kovalchuk's days in Atlanta are done.

Thrashers GM Don Waddell met with Kovalchuk Wednesday and informed him to expect a trade within the next few hours or days, TSN reports.

"It certainly appears to be the direction the club is moving in," Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Ilya's disappointed. But we appreciate the fact they've been honest about what their plans are."

TSN's Bob McKenzie says about six teams are in the mix for Kovalchuk and that a deal may take a couple days to sort itself out.

Waddell has been busy scouting players in recent days, the Canadian Press and Journal-Constitution report.

The Canadian Press said Waddell scouted the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday during their trip to New Jersey, and took in an New York Islanders-Philadelphia Flyers game last week in Philadelphia. The Journal-Constitution confirms the latter.

The Kings are frequently linked to Kovalchuk talks due to their wealth of cap space and young prospects. The Islanders are in a similar situation, but GM Garth Snow has said he does not want to break up his team's core

Sources within the Flyers organization told Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia they are "all but out" of the bidding for Kovalchuk. A previous report in the Camden Courier Post suggested a deal would have to involve Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux and/or James vanRimesdyk.

According to Canadian network RDS, Waddell says the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are among the teams after Kovalchuk.

Blogger and former Islanders VP of Communications Chris Botta says the Bruins have made a legitimage pitch to Atlanta. Sun Media's Bruce Garrioch also notes Boston GM Peter Chiarelli stepped up his efforts to land Kovalchuk. Boston Globe beat writer Kevin Paul Dupont, however, reports the Bruins are not considered one of the serious bidders.

The Chicago Blackhawks have also been mentioned as possible suitors for the five-time 40-goal scorer. Former Thrashers beat writer Craig Custance reports this is not the case. TSN's McKenzie says the Calgary Flames, also mentioned as an interested party, are out of the mix, too.

The teams that try to acquire Kovalchuk will have to do it somewhat blindly in regards to a contract extension. Waddell will not allow other teams to negotiate a new deal for the forward prior to any trade.

Another report in the Journal-Contitution, citing local sports radio host John Kincade, says Atlanta offered their captain a long-term deal that would have paid $10 million a season. The paper notes it would have been the largest contract ever offered to an unrestricted free agent.

Journal-Constitution sports columnist Jeff Schultz, also a former Thrashers beat writer, reports Kovalchuk wanted the maximum salary allowed under the collective bargaining agreement -- 20 percent of Atlanta's payroll or $11.3 million. The captain also sought a deal in the 10-to-12 year range. Atlanta's last offer was $101 million for 12 years, which breaks down to a little more than $8.4 million a season.
Posted on: February 2, 2010 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2010 3:21 pm

Odds & Ends: Feb. 2

  • As of now, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle is not going anywhere. "Nothing has changed on this side," Kaberle said. "I want to remain a Leaf." Toronto GM Brian Burke indicated the only way he would move Kaberle, who has a no-trade clause, is if the defenseman approached him and requested to be moved. [Source: Toronto Sun]
  • Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is looking to improve his team up front and is reportedly targeting St. Louis Blues forward and Boston-area native Keith Tkachuk. [Source: NESN]
  • The Minnesota Wild could receive calls before the deadline about Marek Zidlicky, Kim Johnsson, Owen Nolan and Eric Belanger -- all free agents this summer. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is hesistant to move any of them since his team is still battling for a playoff spot.
  • In the midst of the shakeups in Toronto and Calgary, members of the last-place Edmonton Oilers are aware changes are coming soon. It is possible all players will be available for the taking at the trade deadline. "When the results are what they are, there's going to be changes," Sam Gagner said. "You have to expect it." [Sources: Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun]
  • Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray expects re-sign restricted free agent Bobby Ryan during the summer and does not plan to trade him before the March 3 deadline. "Unequivocally I have not talked to anybody about trading him," Murray said. "Anybody I talk to I gave a list of people I am not going to trade, and he's one of them." [Source: Los Angeles Times]
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets have not discussed a contract extension with Raffi Torres, meaning the winger will probably be traded before the deadline for prospects or draft picks. [Source: Columbus Dispatch]
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com