NHL Rumors: August Fourth

Imtiaz FerdousCorrespondent IIAugust 4, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 22:  Hockey USA General Manager and Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke (R) speaks to the media prior to the start of the Women's USA vs. Sweden  women's semifinal game on day 11 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 22, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The rumors for today are actually quite interesting. There have been significant developments. Note that none of the rumors are my own. Here are all the rumors I could find:

Paul Kariya continues to be linked to the Anaheim Ducks. They are the franchise he started his career with, so it makes a lot of sense. 

The Phoenix Coyotes continue to try to bring back Lee Stempniak. He was on fire last year when he was acquired, but disappeared in the playoffs. If he is cheap enough, this could be a good signing.

The Blackhawks' cap woes could be good for Antti Niemi. Several teams have already contacted him. Don't be surprised if he gets more money than he was awarded in arbitration.

Brian Burke stated that the reason players have not been signed is, "There are teams with cash and no cap room, and there are teams with cap room and no budgetary room."

This explains why so many players are unsigned, as he went on to say that the bottom two defensemen, and bottom six forwards, are feeling the squeeze the most. He should have thought of that before giving Colby Armstrong $3 million per year.

Willie Mitchell now has cut his list to four teams: Capitals, Sharks, Canucks, and Canadiens.

The New York Islanders have serious interest in Antti Niemi; they plan to give him a multi-year contract.

Apparently Niemi to the Leafs is also possible. This would be odd as that would require them to probably trade Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Giguere is a great goaltender and I don't see Burke getting rid of him when he can mentor Jonas Gustavsson. On the other hand, it saves significant cap space, which can help sign a top six forward (please, God! Kovalchuk!).

And last but definitely not least, Brian Burke has canceled a charity luncheon and flown off to Europe. Who knows who he is meeting there? Kovalchuk? Highly unlikely.