NHL Rumors: 5 Interesting Offseason Rumors

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2011

NHL Rumors: 5 Interesting Offseason Rumors

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    Rumors—they are in every part of life, but especially in sports.

    During this free agent period, some of the rumors floating around have people wondering what is true and what is just stirring the pot.

    From three-way trades to players leaving teams to a certain player actually playing for his former most-hated rival, the five rumors in this slide show make us (and those running the teams) wonder what is going on.

5. Zach Bogosian

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    Even if the Atlanta Thrashers are no more, at least one rumor from the team is still alive.

    ESPN's NHL Rumors reported that it had been rumored that the Jets were looking to trade Zach Bogosian. 

    However, Kevin Cheveldayoff quickly shut down the rumor through the Winnipeg Free Press.

    "Bogosian, for me, is someone that I hope to build our defence around," Cheveldayoff told the Free Press. "In this game there are never any certainties, but what is certain is he is a 21-year-old defenceman that was drafted very, very high with lots of talent. For our organization, I hope he's someone that's here for a long, long time."

    So while the Thrashers have disappeared, it looks as though rumors from the Winnipeg Jets' Atlanta days may haunt them for at least a season.

4. Keith Yandle

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    This rumor really changed shape over the few days it was alive.

    It was tweeted by TSN's Bob Mckenzie earlier this month that the Coyotes would explore all options when it came to restricted free agent Keith Yandle, including draft picks or young players. With the Coyotes in trouble, this may have brought them some good options to improve the team in the long run for a pretty cheap price.

    But, on Monday ESPN NHL Rumors reported that the Coyotes and Yandle were looking to make a deal this week to keep the young player on the team despite ownership issues.

    "Although the ownership instability isn't ideal, it will not be a major issue in working out a new contract for Keith," Yandle's agent Jerome Buckley told the Arizona Republic.

    ESPN seemed to be right on the money here as Yandle was resigned yesterday to a five-year contract worth $26.5 million.

    While this may not be major news on the rumor front—especially since the deal has gone through—it's one that was being watched by quite a few hockey people who were interested in the Coyotes' next move.

3. Antti Miettinen

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    This rumor shows us that before starting any sort of speculation, it is best to check all sources.

    While Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune got his part partially right by saying that Antti Miettinen was looking at KHL offers on the 4th of July, ESPN NHL Rumors thought Miettinen would eventually sign with an NHL team for next year.

    Imagine their surprise when Miettinen's agent confirmed that his player had been looking at KHL offers at one point—and had signed with a KHL team a month ago.

    This looks like a big "oops" rumor that probably provided Miettinen and his agent with some entertainment for a few days.

2. Will Evgeni Nabokov Play?

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    There was major drama last season with Evgeni Nabokov and the New York Islanders.

    It is pretty obvious that Nabokov doesn't want to be on the team, but if ESPN's rumors are right, he may play for the Isles next year in order to get a trade.

    With multiple teams needing goalies for next season, there's almost no doubt that Nabokov was hoping for one of them to offer a trade, so he could escape from the Islanders. 

    But with those teams signing different goalies, it looks as though Nabokov needs to catch the attention of teams by playing well for the Islanders—no matter how much he hates it.

1. Steven Stamkos Trade

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    The biggest rumors in the league right now are probably those flying around Steven Stamkos.

    While it is pretty hard to fight against him returning to Tampa next year, one of the rumors out there is pretty much a love triangle that takes the cake of all rumors this year (so far).

    While Twitter is a wonderful place to get up-to-the-second information, it is also a place to start crazy rumors, which has happened in this case. Talks on the website caused the crazy speculation that Stamkos would go to the Maple Leafs while Pittsburgh would send Evgeni Malkin to the Lightning.

    It is not clear what the Penguins would receive from the deal but the St. Petersburg Times—who mentioned the tweets in their Stamkos watch—blew off the rumor.

    There are some crazy rumors out there about where Stamkos will be next season—especially with contract negotiations with the Lightning taking forever—but even if he doesn't end up with the Lightning (which is a huge if), it is highly doubtful that this three-team juggle would hold any water in Stamkos's move.