NHL Trade Rumors, Tomas Kaberle, Ian White and Friday's NHL Buzz
With the way things are going, by the time we get to the February 28 trade deadline, there may be no more trades left to make.
Another day of NHL trade rumors starts with another trade, albeit a small and puzzling one, as the Ottawa Senators are clearing out their inventory faster than Woolworth's.
Meanwhile, the rumors continue to fly about the Los Angeles Kings and Ales Hemsky, who continues to put on a good show for possible suitors with two more goals last night.
Stephen Weiss continues to be a hot name out of Florida as one of the few playmaking top-line centers available, and the Canadiens might have to make a move for another defenseman after the injury to James Wisniewski.
But the biggest rumors and news are still coming out of Toronto, where no news is apparently frustrating news, as the hockey world continues to wait and see where Tomas Kaberle will be by next week.
There are some developments on that front, however.
Whatever the reason and whatever your favorite team is, this is the place to be for all the latest news surrounding NHL trade rumors and the buildup to the trade deadline.
So keep reading for the latest updates.
Brian Elliott, G, Colorado
The fire sale continues in Ottawa, as Bryan Murray is having his own kind of everything-must-go sale. Apparently now that even includes the goaltender.
Brian Elliott, who has struggled this season after winning the starting job last year, was sent off to Colorado in a deal not a lot of people saw coming. In return, the Senators get Craig Anderson, an older goalie who has also underperformed this year.
Both goalies are in the last year of their respective contracts, so it's not like either one will be around next year unless they stand on their heads for the last month or so.
Still, for a team trying to make a playoff run in Colorado and another just trying to hoard draft picks and prospects, I'm not sure I see the sense in this.
They're both having disappointing seasons. But what's the point in trading a goalie with an .894 save percentage and a 3.14 goals against (Elliott) for one with a .897 save percentage and a 3.28 goals against (Anderson)? And for Colorado, who's supposedly trying to make the playoffs, this is an upgrade?
I've written about it a little the last couple of days, and it's looking more and more like this isn't just a rebuild in Ottawa, it's a complete demolition. Bryan Murray's clearing out anything he can and trying to start over, maybe in an effort to save his own job past this season.
What he's done so far is commendable. That being said, this one's a head-scratcher.
Tomas Kaberle, D, Boston
The Tomas Kaberle story, which could also be known by its other title "The NeverEnding Story," might finally be coming to an end.
Yesterday there was a feeling that a deal was close between Toronto and Boston, and now this morning it's sounding like a deal is imminent. Both Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger reported via Twitter today that a deal is coming that would send Kaberle to the Bruins.
McKenzie specified a little more on the trade, reporting that it looked like Kaberle was asked to waive his no-trade clause and that the rumored deal is Kaberle for prospect Joe Colborne and Boston's first-round pick.
If that's the deal, it's a very good one for Boston. They keep the better of their two first-rounders in 2011 (Toronto's first) and won't have to part with Blake Wheeler to get him, at least in this deal. There are still the rumors of Boston making a separate move, possibly involving Wheeler, to clear the cap space for Kaberle.
Either way, it looks like this story will finally have an end. Brian Burke and the Maple Leafs can finally free themselves of Kaberle, and the Bruins will get the puck-moving defenseman and power play quarterback they desperately need.
Meanwhile there are fans across Ontario and around the world who are finally relieved it's over for Kaberle. It would be wrong to say they're saying good riddance to Kaberle, as he had some great years for the Maple Leafs. But it's clear that the fan base just wants to move on after years of rumors surrounding the defenseman and his sometimes whimsical play.
Now it looks like they finally are.
Tomas Kaberle Traded To Boston
Well, that was quick.
Now TSN is reporting the Tomas Kaberle trade to Boston is done. Like the rumors have suggested, Kaberle will be heading to Boston while the Leafs will receive prospect Joe Colborne, a first round pick in 2011 (no word if that's Boston's original pick or the pick the Bruins received from Toronto for Phil Kessel) and a conditional pick. As expected, the Bruins made a secondary move as well, sending Blake Wheeler to Atlanta. We'll get to that later.
But Tomas Kaberle and possibly Carmelo Anthony traded in the same day? This might knock out the Internet in North America before the solar flares do.
Like I mentioned earlier and did all week, this is a trade the Bruins had to make. They needed a puck-moving defenseman who could play the point on the power play. Let's put it this way, it had gotten to the point where Mark Recchi was playing the point on the top unit alongside Zdeno Chara. No disrespect to Mark Recchi, who's a great player, but he's not the type of player who should be playing the point on the power play.
Kaberle slips right into that first power play unit with Chara as a distributor who can set up the shooters, especially Chara with that monster shot. He's an automatic upgrade over what the Bruins had on the backline.
But the Kaberle saga is finally over. What will we do now?
Blake Wheeler, RW, Atlanta
The rumor was that if the Boston Bruins were going to acquire Tomas Kaberle, then there could be a secondary deal possibly involving Blake Wheeler to clear the cap room for Kaberle.
The Bruins made that rumor reality today, sending Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to Atlanta in return for defenseman Boris Valabik and center Rich Peverley. Wheeler will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and had about a $2.2 million cap hit, so he saves the Bruins some money. It was a trade that was expected to happen, as Wheeler was a trade candidate all season and Stuart had become expendable in recent weeks.
From the actual trade itself, Atlanta comes out with the better end of the deal by getting a young forward in Wheeler, who has some good scoring touch and can play center or wing. Boston in return gets a serviceable center in Peverley who is older but has some offensive upside and another hulking defenseman in Valabik.
For Boston, it was what it was. The Bruins dumped salary and got a couple of spare pieces back, so the Bruins could go after Tomas Kaberle. And since they landed Kaberle after this trade, it served its purpose.
Stephen Weiss, C, Florida
Next to Bryan McCabe, Stephen Weiss is probably the most attractive trade asset the Florida Panthers have. And while there aren't teams banging down the door to get him like with Jay Bouwmeester a couple of years ago, he still has value as a top-six center.
Both the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel in South Florida wrote about Weiss today and playing with trade rumors circling around him. Both papers named a number of teams who would be interested in acquiring Weiss including Pittsburgh, Washington, Montreal and Calgary.
Of course, it will all depend on what kind of interest he garners from other teams that will decide whether or not he'll stay. Weiss seems like he wants to stay and the Panthers will eventually have to do something in terms of making a gesture to the fan base that they want to win.
Part of this too is that many teams aren't willing to take on Weiss and think the price is too high for a center who's a nice player but not an outstanding player, and more of a playmaker than a scorer. Even so, considering McCabe is also available at a higher price, teams are weary to deal with either of them knowing Florida will demand a high price in either prospects or draft picks.
That being said, if the Panthers have the right deal come along for them, they need to take it.
Ed Jovanovski, D, Phoenix
So the Phoenix Coyotes defense will be a little less tough with "Jovo-Cop" out of the lineup.
The team announced today that Ed Jovanovski will be placed on IR with an upper body injury, according to ESPN. Jovanovski suffered the injury during the Coyotes' game against Atlanta last night.
AZCentral.com went into greater detail about the injury, reporting that Jovanovski was expected to have surgery today for a fractured orbital bone and would be out several weeks. The report also specified Jovanovski was injured when he was in a face-to-face collision with Atlanta's Patrice Cormier during the second period.
Either way, it's a notable loss for the Coyotes.
He's a long way from his "Jovo-Cop" days that rocketed him to stardom in Florida and made him a hot commodity in Vancouver. But he's still a veteran presence on that Coyotes blueline and one of their more dependable defensemen. If anything, having another veteran like Adrian Aucoin and the continued development of Keith Yandle as a star blueliner will help tremendously.
But it still doesn't replace the minutes and the presence of Jovanovski.
What this means for the Coyotes in terms of the trade market is unsure. Phoenix is leading the Pacific Division but by a very slim margin over the rest of the division. But as tight as the West is, where a two-game losing streak could knock a team out of the playoffs, the Coyotes will need to do something to make a move.
Ian White, D, San Jose
UPDATE: The Hurricanes' website is reporting Carolina received San Jose's second round pick in 2011 for Ian White, the AP is reporting the Sharks will receive future considerations for Derek Joslin
Now that the Tomas Kaberle trade is done, it's now time to pick up where we left off with everyone's favorite top-six defenseman from Carolina.
When we last left Mr. White, he was a Hurricane again after he was rumored to be a Canuck (this was after he was formerly of the Flames earlier in the season) and his future was completely up in the air.
Well, his future is still completely up in the air, but now it looks like he's heading to San Jose, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN. McKenzie tweeted it "looks like" White is heading to the Sharks, but nothing's official yet. McKenzie also tweeted the Sharks were sending young defenseman Derek Joslin to Carolina, but in a separate deal.
(Update: McKenzie has now tweeted that White was informed he'll be a Shark)
If this goes through, then White is a nice pickup for the Sharks. He's nothing special, but he's a dependable two-way defenseman who'll get the job done. He's also very mobile, has offensive upside and will play the power play, which makes him very valuable to San Jose.
It still remains to be seen how he'll react to being in a playoff race for the first time in his career, but it's value pickup that San Jose loves to make.
Meanwhile Carolina gets a young, puck-moving defenseman in Joslin. They get an NHL-ready defenseman who could eventually replace Joni Pitkanen.
Chris Phillips, D, Ottawa
The prevailing theme was that Chris Phillips wanted to stay in Ottawa, but the Senators were thinking of trading him. Not because of his lack of play, but because once the organization decided they would sell off everything and anything not named Alfredsson or Karlsson, Phillips became the most attractive trade chip they had.
But now, surprisingly, that might not be the case.
Phillips has publicly stated his desire to stay this week, despite being an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and apparently now the Senators might want to keep him. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun and Sun Media reported that the Senators will talk with Phillips' agent and that Phillips could stay if the price fits for the organization.
“We’ve indicated that there’s a strong possibility (Phillips can stay) if Chris is inclined to do so,” Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “The only question I asked: If it doesn’t fit financially for him or if what we’re doing here going younger (doesn’t work), give us an answer early enough.”
Phillips wants to stay, and in a perfect world, the Senators would like to keep him. But the Senators also know that teams will be banging down the doors of Scotiabank Place come February 28 if Phillips is on the market as the best defenseman available. If a great trade comes to Bryan Murray, it'll be hard for him to turn down.
We'll have to see how this plays out in the next few days.