NHL Trade Rumors continue to circulate as we're closing in on the February 28 trade deadline, which is almost a month away.
And this is shaping up to be one of the stranger trade deadlines in recent memory, as many teams out of the playoffs seem unwilling to sell off their assets, the elite are either cash-strapped or don't have the prospects or cap space to make a deal, and some of the lower teams don't have players that anyone else desires.
It doesn't mean the rumors stop or slow down; there are still a good deal circulating out there including some pretty high-profile players including a certain Toronto defenseman that Maple Leafs fans are probably sick of hearing about.
So here's some of the latest trade news.
Now before Leafs Nation jumps on me, nothing is imminent now. But there was an interesting post by Andy Strickland of True Hockey yesterday that said while Kaberle would like to remain in the East, he added he might consider a trade if it included a long-term extension.
Leafs fans are probably sick of hearing it and he's probably not going anywhere, but eventually the Maple Leafs will have to make a decision on him before he enters Bryan McCabe territory.
Kiprusoff has been the Flames' franchise goalie for a few years now, but he's also entering his mid-30s and starting to show signs of decline. That, combined with the play of young goalie Henrik Karlsson led to a report from the Calgary Sun this morning stating Jay Feaster isn't rushing to move Kiprusoff.
The report noted how Feaster wasn't able to retain Nikolai Khabibulin from the Cup-winning team in Tampa and how it cost the Lighting. From the Sun's Randy Sportak:
"That’s why Kiprusoff is in Feaster’s core group and would likely only be traded if the situation dictated such a move. Therefore, Feaster believes the wisest course of action is to let Kiprusoff work through his rough patch."
Phillips continues to be the hottest name in Ottawa as the immediate fate of the franchise changes on the hour. He's still a good candidate and would probably bring the most interest from other teams looking for defensive help. We've outlined the need for a defenseman in San Jose and that seems like it could be a fit for Phillips.
Setoguchi was part of that rumored deal for Toronto's Francois Beauchemin that turned out to be a rumor, but he's declined since 2008-09 and could be a candidate to move. With the Sharks acquiring a the grit fourth-liner they were after, the focus would turn back to a defenseman, and Strickland wrote the Sharks could move a top-six forward to make that happen.
Whether you still consider Setoguchi a top-six forward is semantics, but he might be the easiest forward of that bunch to move.
Moulson is in his contract year and the Islanders would love to bring him back, but there was rumor going around Moulson getting shipped to Boston. The rumor was quickly disproved by TSN's Bob McKenzie on Twitter, but Moulson has been an interesting name and with James Wisniewski and Dwayne Roloson already out of town, Moulson might be the best trade piece the Islanders have left.
Hemsky is one of the longest-tenured Oilers on a very young roster and he's an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. He's a veteran player and a playmaker when he's healthy, but he's had problems with that. The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson answered a reader's question if Hemsky will be traded, with Matheson answering that it depends on how much he wants to be in Edmonton and be part of the rebuild. He's out again with a concussion, so nothing's imminent.
The reader who asked Matheson about Hemsky also asked the same about Dustin Penner, and the response was the same considering both are unrestricted free agents in 2012. But I think Penner might be a more interesting case, considering his jekyll-and-hyde-esque qualities in terms of his offense and it might be interesting to see the type of interest he gets. With Mike Cammalleri and Max Pacioretty both injured last night, perhaps Montreal could look at Penner.
Beauchemin has perhaps done the impossible in being a hotter name in Maple Leaf trade rumors than even Tomas Kaberle lately. He's been linked in a few deals, especially involving the Sharks. But according to a recent report in The Globe And Mail, the Maple Leafs and GM Brian Burke aren't keen on trading Beauchemin.
In a perfect world, the Leafs would hold on to him. But as ESPN then wrote about the story, if a team comes in with a great offer, Burke would have to at least give it serious consideration.
Goligoski is one of the Penguins' young defensemen and he's an offensive threat along with Kris Letang. But could he be traded? CBC's Elliotte Friedman brought up the question on his blog, stating a "crowded" blue line and the continued emergence of Letang.
He'd be extremely valuable because of his skill set and his contract, but he's also a key part of the Penguins and I don't think they'd be willing to part with him. Now if a team offers a pretty good forward who can provide secondary scoring off the wing and give Crosby and company some help, then you might see Pittsburgh consider moving him.
Andy Strickland of True Hockey brought up Fisher's name as one that's drawing up interest around the league. His contract and $4 million-plus cap hit will scare a bunch of teams off, and what the exact interest for him will be defined by the next month or so. But some team will see his skill set and the role he plays, someone will be interested in him.