Rumor Mill 2/25
During the next week I will compile the hottest legitimate rumors from around the interwebs.
According to a RDS radio station the Penguins have picked up their pursuit of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis. He had been originally reported to be off the market by Tampa Bay journalists and front office employees. RDS apparently begs to differ.
Originally reported by The Fourth Period.
—St. Louis should not be too difficult for the Penguins to pry out of Tampa and is signed to a somewhat reasonable cap figure ($5.25 million) through 2010/2011. Depending on the price tag it could be an intriguing pickup for the right price.
Reported last night from Denver Post blogger Adrian Dater. He states “Rumor is the Avs are going to be involved a big, multi-player deal involving an eastern team real soon. Boston or Pittsburgh are the runaway favorite teams said to be likely to be involved.”
Dater does not list specific deals but merely suggests possible players that could each team could have an interest in.
He says, “Could Jordan Staal become an Av? Could be. Could Ryan Whitney? Could be. Could Manny Fernandez? Could be. Could a couple of first-round picks be coming Colorado’s way, along with any of the above players, for someone like Ryan Smyth and/or Jordan Leopold? Could be.”
—The Penguins have been rumored throughout the season to be trading Jordan Staal and Ryan Whitney to roughly a dozen teams. Fact is these are their best trading chips and will be coveted by many teams across the league. The Penguins have been rumored to be interested in Ryan Smyth by several sources.
However, his contract is simply too large for the Penguins so be seriously considering his services. A younger player that plays a similar game to Smyth is a more likely target. The Penguins should not have any interest in Jordan Leopold because puck moving defensemen are a strength of Penguins.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period says that Milan Hejduk is on the Pens radar and mentions the Avs, Bruins, Pens trade as well.
—Hejduk would be a better fit for the Penguins than Smyth because of a cheaper contract but the Penguins should look younger than the 33-year-old duo of Smyth and Hejduk.
Now the rest of the NHL:
Sean Gordon reports that former Penguin enforcer Georges Laraque says he is on the trade block.
Laraque had this to say about his situation, “I haven’t asked for a trade, but with my salary and the way they’re using me, I’m definitely expecting it. The coach has told me he doesn’t like tough guys, he said I’ll be in and out (of the lineup) until the end of the season.”
—Laraque, despite being well liked by the players and fans in Montreal, has only played in 25 games this season. He will most likely be moved to a team needing some grit that has some cap space as well.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto GM Brian Burke has been weighing his options for this trade deadline as he looks at how to rebuild his roster as best he can. He was recently asked about whether he would trade star defensemen Tomas Kaberle and what the return would be.
“It would be a minimum of a first-round pick, a guy that can play on our team right now and a top prospect,” said Burke.
—This is a similar situation to when Brian Burke traded for D Chris Pronger and expects a similar but less return for his defensemen. Burke also wants a first round pick for F Nik Antropov along with a roster player. In the heat of the deadline, he may just get his demands.