With only 5 weeks before the February 27 NHL trade deadline, rumors are swirling all over the Internet, and especially on Twitter, as fake insiders try to get the attention of hockey fans by spreading out false trade rumors. I will try to dissect some of the hottest rumors and tell you which players are likely available. Yesterday I had a look at some of the players that might be involved in trade talks in the first part of the Rumors Galore. Today, I’ll have a look a different teams and players, while part 3 will be published at the end of the week.
The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to trade for a 2nd line center to round out their top-6 and have interest in Derek Roy and Derrick Brassard, as both pivots are extremely gifted players that would fit very well in the team’s up-tempo system. The Hawks are also looking to bolster their blue line with a gritty veteran such as the Ducks Sheldon Brookbank.
After a torrid start, the Dallas Stars have fallen back to Earth and now sit in the 9th spot on the Western Conference. With the recent injuries to star players Mike Ribeiro (knee) and Jamie Benn (appendectomy), the team might think about selling unrestricted free agents such as Radek Dvorak, Sheldon Souray and Nicklas Grossman. The Stars are expected to wait another few weeks before making any trades and they are sitting right at the salary floor so they can add a lot of salary.
Look for the Detroit Red Wings to be buyers once again this season. The team won’t make any big move, but will most certainly add a top-9 forward such as Tuomo Ruutu or Ales Hemsky, as well as a fourth liner with grit and a veteran defenseman like Tim Gleason or Hal Gill. The Wings could also trade Jiri Hudler, an impending UFA, who’s been on the trade market for the past two years.
Going 2-7-1 in their last ten games, the Edmonton Oilers will definitely be sellers this season, once again. Ales Hemsky is 100% gone and Andy Sutton will certainly attract teams looking for experience and toughness on the blue line. The team is also shopping Eric Belanger, who’s been a major disappointment this season. Sam Gagner is going nowhere.
The Florida Panthers are having a tough time scoring goals and that might cost them a playoff berth if they don’t react quick. The team will wait for Marco Sturm, Sean Bergenheim and Scottie Upshall to return from injuries later this month, before making any move.
The Los Angeles Kings are playing very well under new head coach Darryl Sutter, so they won’t make any major move before the deadline. Only Dustin Penner is still shopped around the league, as the impending UFA is having a tough year and was victim of a pancake injury earlier this season.
Ravaged by injuries up front, the Minnesota Wild is falling down the standings faster than Keanu Reeves’ career. With injuries to key players like Mikko Koivu, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse, the team desperately need offensive help before it’s too late. The team is currently dangling UFA goalie Josh Harding as a trade bait to acquire a top-six forward. Possible rentals for the Wild are Wojtek Wolski, Ales Hemsky, Vinny Prospal, and Tuomo Ruutu.
The Nashville Predators are doing all they can to re-sign defenseman Ryan Suter before the deadline and if they can’t re-sign he might become available, but the price will be hefty. Look for the Predators to add a depth forward and/or a veteran defenseman as the team is playing very well lately going 8-2 in the last 10 games.
The Vancouver Canucks are looking to add size up front and are rumored to be interested in acquiring an enforcer like George Parros or Brian McGrattan. Sitting atop of the Western Conference, look for the Canucks to be pretty quiet at the deadline, maybe adding a depth defenseman if Sami Salo is not back from his concussion. Corey Schneider is going nowhere.
As the Winnipeg Jets continue to fall in the standings because of their road woes, the team is most likely to become a seller, which means defenseman Johnny Oduya, an impending UFA, is most likely gone to a contender for a high draft pick. The Jets will also try to trade UFAs Randy Jones and veteran Chris Maston to teams looking for depth. RFA Eric Fehr might also on his way out thanks to his poor play since he came back from his shoulder injury.
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A long-time Joe Sakic fan, Fred, 35, is a freelance sports writer and translator. Fred earned a Bachelor of Translation in 2002 at Laval University in Quebec City. He also writes on the Montreal Canadiens for HabsAddict.com and he is an associate editor and a baseball columnist on Dobberbaseball.com. He is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.