NHL Trade Rumors: Ian White, Ales Hemsky and the Latest NHL Buzz
Remember when all the mainstream hockey writers said this would be a relatively quiet trade deadline?
Apparently general managers across the league either haven't gotten the message or all the writers meant the big trades would be done before the deadline. Already a couple of deals involving hot names have been shipped off, with the latest being Chris Kelly heading to Boston for a second round pick.
Of course, we've seen trades happen before the deadline but this might be a first in terms of teams perhaps making pre-emptive strikes before the actual trade deadline February 28. Of course, what makes this all the stranger is that in Gary Bettman's NHL dream world that he's created here, a few of these teams selling are still somehow in the Playoff race.
So what we really have instead of true buyers and sellers, are buyers and a bunch of teams stuck somewhere in the middle that aren't in the Playoffs right now but aren't out of it yet, so they have to decide whether they rebuild or take a run at a Playoff berth.
But nevertheless, this is the place for all the latest NHL trade news. From rumored deals to more on the Chris Kelly trade and whether a certain Toronto defenseman could possibly be the next to go, this is your one-stop shop for all the latest news.
Chris Kelly, C, Boston
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So when news broke that there was going to be an 11 p.m. press conference by the Bruins last night, the hockey world went into def-con four. It all worked out perfectly: Boston was going to announce a trade, the Leafs were in town, Brian Burke and Peter Chiarelli were spotted talking during the first intermission.
Turns out it was much ado about Chris Kelly.
Kelly, the checking-line center from Ottawa is now a Bruin, heading to Boston for a second round pick in this year's draft. If nothing else, Kelly provides some depth in terms of a center who can bring some offensive upside but fits in better in a checking or penalty killing role. He'll slide right into the third line, where he's apparently a better option than Tyler Seguin right now.
Meanwhile, for all the turmoil surrounding the Senators, Bryan Murray needs to get a little bit of credit. Mike Fisher and Kelly will never be considered stars but Murray was still able to turn them into basically a first and second round pick, which isn't bad. He could've gotten a lot worse in return for those two.
For both sides, it's expected this move is just a gateway to more moves, especially for Ottawa.
Tomas Kaberle, D, Toronto
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So now that the Bruins landed a forward, almost everyone is now expecting them to go after a defenseman.
Some reports have already identified a few defense-men the Bruins could go after, with Ottawa's Chris Phillips, Carolina's Joni Pitkanen and Ottawa's Sergei Gonchar included. But the name at the top of that list yet again is Tomas Kaberle.
And so begins the media frenzy that will swirl around Toronto until February 28, as the "will he or won't he" will take Leafs Nation by storm. We all know about Kaberle's contract situation, that if Burke doesn't deal him now he'll lose him in the summer. We also know that this will be the biggest decision Burke has made as Leafs' GM, so if he does do it, he needs to do it right for his own sake.
Meanwhile Boston doesn't have to go for Kaberle, but they've made it clear they want to. He has what the Bruins now identify as their top need: a puck-moving defenseman to quarterback the power play. Kaberle's even made it clear he wants to go to Boston with the news yesterday, so it could be a match made in heaven.
That being said, what will the Bruins want to give up for Kaberle and what will the Maple Leafs want for Kaberle will dictate whether something will get done.
Boston and Kaberle hold all the cards here, at least for now.
Joel Quenneville, Chicago
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We all know that coaching can be a very stressful job, especially in professional sports and especially in the NHL, where coaches don't usually last that long.
But sometimes, it can be too much and real life gets in the way. It happened to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville this morning as he was taken to a Chicago hospital, according to ESPNChicago.com. According to the report, Quenneville was taken to the hospital with "severe discomfort", according to a team spokesman. The team spokesman also said in the report that Quenneville was being treated for a health concern "not cardiac related."
We've seen this before with other coaches, famously with Urban Meyer. I think we tend to dismiss them when we hear about these coaches dealing with stress. But when something like this happens, part of us of realizes that maybe all this talk is actually true. Not to change sports again, but Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio had a heart attack after a game last season.
It's easy to be cynical about these guys, especially because of the life they lead and what they get to do. And we're all guilty of it.
But it's not until something like this happens that we realize these coaches, these athletes are still human beings.
Zach Bogosian, D, Atlanta
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Back in 2008, the Thrashers drafted Zach Bogosian after Drew Doughty and Steven Stamkos were swept up with the first two picks.
Bogosian still has the potential to be a star in the league but with the acquisition of Dustin Byfuglien and the development of Tobias Enstrom, Bogosian's time in Atlanta might already be running out.
Nick Kypreos of Rogers Sportsnet tweeted today that Bogosian is unhappy in Atlanta and may want a new home by next season. He added that Bogosian hasn't officially asked for a trade, but you can read between the lines on that.
Atlanta has been no stranger under this new regime to getting people who want to be in Atlanta. Remember this was the same organization that only a few weeks ago was dangling Niclas Bergfors in possible trades and he was the main piece Atlanta got back for Ilya Kovalchuk. So the Thrashers will play hardball.
But the question is will the Thrashers move him? Remember he was a top-five pick in the draft just three years ago. And while his development has stagnated somewhat, one would think it's way too early to just give up on him. That being said, Bogosian might be the most attractive trade chip the Thrashers have, and a team like Boston is willing to part with some assets (including Toronto's No. 1 pick) to land a puck-mover like Bogosian.
He stays for now, but it's a situation worth watching.
Brad Richards, C, Dallas
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Brad Richards has been one of the main reasons why the Dallas Stars are competing for the Pacific Division title. But he's also had a couple of injury concerns (according to reports he'll be out for the Stars again tonight in Calgary) and the Stars have somewhat struggled, falling out of the Pacific Division lead and into a tie with four other teams for fourth place and the last five Playoff spots.
So that led to this tweet from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, which said the Stars need to trade Richards if they continue to slip and his head injury isn't serious.
A couple of things with this. First, I can understand where he's coming from. Dallas can realistically lose him in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent and at least the Maple Leafs and Rangers will be making huge pushes at him in free agency. If the Stars were to fall out of the Playoff picture by February 28, then it would make sense.
But Dallas is also making it clear they're going for it this season to try and re-generate interest in the area and re-energize the fan base. So trading away Richards would not make much sense at all for a team trying to sell a winning culture to the fans.
Of course, things are so jumbled in the West that it'll be hard to tell what happens until right at the deadline day. Even then, the Stars could be in that position of stuck in the middle between buyer and seller.
But unless something drastic happens, Richards isn't going anywhere.
Cory Schneider, G, Vancouver
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One could make the argument Cory Schneider might be the best back-up goalie in the league.
The Canucks trusted Schneider from the beginning of the season to be a valued contributor and the man who will make Roberto Luongo take a day off every once in a while. But he's played so well that he's earned himself more starts. He's also garnered interest from other teams in the league.
According to the Ottawa Sun, the Senators and Bryan Murray went to Mike Gillis when the Senators were in Vancouver and asked what it would take to get Schneider. Not surprisingly, the Canucks weren't interested in parting with him.
Schneider's proven to be a key piece of the Canucks, not only giving Luongo nights off but also showing he's good enough to be a starter in this league. With the Canucks preparing for what they hope will be a long postseason run, they'd be more than apt to keep Schneider.
It makes sense for them, not just for keeping Luongo fresh, but also as an insurance policy in case something happens to Luongo. Schneider has the ability to be that type of goaltender for the Canucks. If you watched Vancouver at all back in October, you could make the argument he was one of the best Canucks, stealing games for them while the team and Luongo found its footing.
Vancouver would be foolish to let him go now.
Ian White, D, Carolina
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Ian White has already been traded once this season, so it only makes sense he would be on the move again.
Multiple outlets are reporting about a possible deal involving the Hurricanes' defenseman, stemming from White missing the Hurricanes' practice in New Jersey today. TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted earlier today that White has not been traded yet, but that a deal is likely. Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer tweeted that according to coach Paul Maurice, there is a "pending situation" with White and if anything happens, it would be in the next 24 hours.
White was not a name that was on anyone's radar leading up to the trade deadline, neither on his own team nor around the league. Erik Cole and Joni Pitkanen were talked about much more than White has been, although White wasn't expected to be traded out of Calgary earlier this season either.
White does have offensive tendencies, although I don't see him as a premier puck-moving defenseman or a quarterback. He's probably a better fit as a third or fourth defenseman who plays on the second power play unit.
But perhaps in a bigger vein what would the Hurricanes, who are well within the Playoff hunt and sitting in the No. 8 spot as of this posting, gain by trading White unless they're getting a great package in return?
We'll have to see how this plays out, but it sounds like something will happen with Ian White.
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Update: Canucks GM Mike Gillis has publicly stated there is no trade and that he hasn't spoken to anyone about Ian White.
The Ian White Watch that was on all morning has apparently struck midnight, and the pending deal has apparently come to fruition.
White is on his way to Vancouver, according to Jeff Marek of the CBC. Marek tweeted that Brad May said on Hockey Night in Canada Radio that White was likely to be a Canuck. Nothing has been confirmed yet and the particulars of the deal haven't been reported, namely what the Canucks will be sending in return.
From Vancouver's perspective, it's a move of desperation. The Canucks' blueline has been decimated by injuries once again (which led to some funny quips from the Vancouver media) and the management is obviously willing to do what it takes to not squander what might be the team's best ever chance at a Cup. Which means, I doubt they broke the bank or moved a key piece like a Mason Raymond to reportedly get it done.
But from the other standpoint, I don't see the point of Carolina moving White if it wasn't for a nice package in return. As I said earlier, Carolina is not out of it by any stretch; the Hurricanes currently hold the last playoff spot in the East. So it doesn't make much sense to me.
We'll have to see when (or if) the deal becomes official to see what the Canucks sent back. But looking at it right now, it's a win for Vancouver at least until they start getting healthy again. Then we'll see what they decide to do.
Mike Gillis, Vancouver
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Well that lasted long.
It only took about five minutes after Jeff Marek tweeted that Ian White was likely heading to Vancouver for the Twitter world to explode and two popular Vancouver bloggers looking to save Jannik Hansen.
Only minutes after the rumored deal that would've sent White to Vancouver, possibly for Hansen, the deal was quickly shot down and rebunked. Bob McKenzie of TSN first tweeted there was no deal before Mike Gillis publicly denied any rumors of a trade.
"There is no trade. I have never talked to anyone about Ian White", Gillis said, according to the Twitter of Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca.
In retrospect, it was an interesting trade but one that didn't make a lot of sense. White would've filled a big need for the Canucks but considering all their defensemen are going to be healthy at some point, it would've created a giant gridlock on the back end, unless the Canucks flipped him again in a couple of weeks for another player.
It didn't make any sense for Carolina as well, who didn't need another forward (which is what Vancouver was likely to offer) and would be losing a big part of their defense corps in White. Instead, the hockey world is now once again watching what will happen with White. But if nothing else, the rumor confirms the Hurricanes are actively listening to offers for White and a trade could be coming soon.
But just another experiment on the power of Twitter.
Chris Phillips, D, Ottawa
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The fire-sale is apparently on in Ottawa.
Mike (Mr. Underwood) Fisher and Chris Kelly have already been shipped off for draft picks. Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Gonchar and Jaarko Ruutu could be next.
But the elephant in the room will be defenseman Chris Phillips, the defenseman who's garnered the most rumors and the most interest out of all the Senators not named Alfredsson or Karlsson. For what it's worth, Phillips has said he wants to stay in Ottawa, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
Phillips has a no-trade clause and would have to turn his key to make any trade happen. And just because he gets traded doesn't mean he couldn't pull a Keith Tkachuk and return to Ottawa as a free agent in the offseason. Let's face it, he'd be a much better option on the Sens' blueline than Filip Kuba.
But if the Senators are serious about a rebuild, then Phillips is the best asset they have. And he's the only player they have who can bring back more than just draft picks because the Senators need young forwards desperately to develop.
The Senators want to make a move, and Phillips wants to stay. Where have we heard this before? What is it about the Province of Ontario and defense-men with no-trade clauses playing a game of chicken with their GMs?
Ales Hemsky, RW, Edmonton
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With Ales Hemsky now healthy and playing well (he scored in the Oilers' win last night), the trade rumors involving him and Dustin Penner have perked up again.
Hemsky had already caught a couple of teams' eye, but the LA Kings seem to be pretty smitten with Hemsky. According to Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period, the rumors involving the Kings and Oilers won't die down. Bernstein was quick to point out the Kings haven't made a formal offer yet, but he feels any offer would involve winger Wayne Simmonds going to Edmonton.
The Kings have made it very clear they want offense and even though they acquired Marco Sturm earlier in the season, they still feel they need a top-six winger. Hemsky definitely has the offensive skill. He has some phenomenal moves and when he feels like shooting the puck he can be a dangerous scorer. But he's also very streaky, very inconsistent, doesn't shoot enough and also gaining the label of injury-prone.
Is he an upgrade over Simmonds? In terms of offense, yes. But if the Kings are going to go out and get a forward, I don't think getting Hemsky is anything more than a lateral move. Of course, considering what's out there on the trade market, Hemsky might be the best option.
Jason Arnott, C, New Jersey
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The recent hot stretch by the Devils has cooled off the a lot of the talk about selling off some of the team's older assets. But with Jamie Langenbrunner long gone, the focus is now on Jason Arnott and where he will be.
According to The Record in North Jersey, Arnott is still unsure about waiving his no-trade clause. The report states Arnott's desire to be in the Playoffs and how the recent Devils' streak has made the decision all that much tougher.
Arnott would definitely garner interest as a No. 2 center, especially from a team like Washington (mentioned in the report). The Rangers were briefly mentioned, but I doubt that will happen considering the bitter history between the two teams, not to mention being in the same division. There's a better chance of a comet hitting Earth than the Devils doing anything to make the Rangers better.
But the recent streak has perhaps put the Devils (rightly so or otherwise) in that in-between buyers and sellers state that so many teams sit in right now, creating doubt not only from Arnott but also from the Devils' front office.
If it's me, I trade Arnott. The Devils can definitely use the cap relief and the young prospects/assets/draft picks wouldn't hurt either. But that's right now. A couple of weeks down the road, it might be even tougher.