Trade speculation and rumors are bigger than ever in 2011. If one searches the Internet on the topic, you can find everything from credible, legitimate information to pure, unadulterated nonsense. It can get a bit confusing to decide what you want to put stock in to and what is pure silliness.
For example, earlier this offseason there were plenty of rumors that Jeff Carter or Mike Richards would be dealt from the Philadelphia Flyers. In early May, Sam Carchidi was saying "not yet" to the question of whether there was any truth to the rumors that either player could be moved.
By the NHL draft, both players were moved.
Conventional wisdom would have speculated that if one were to be traded, the other would stay put.
That is the type of confusion you deal with when wading through rumors and speculation.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum. TampaBay.com mentioned the widespread "rumor" that the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins would swap Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin and an unknown commodity (assumed to be "????—Profit" from the "Gnomes" episode of South Park).
So with that in mind, I venture into the ever-dangerous territory of assessing the odds that the top rumored (or speculated) players will actually be traded. This is tricky, because in case you cannot tell, I am not an NHL insider.
Based on that alone, I would hope that you do not get too worked up about the list that follows. If you think someone is or is not more likely to be moved than I do, leave a comment and we can have a good old fashioned chat on the "Interwebs."
According to The Globe and Mail columnist James Mirtle (@Mirtle), Evgeni Nabokov is likely going to back in the NHL this season. That would mean that the New York Islanders will have to trade him somewhere.
Nabokov, of course, was claimed by the Isles last year in order to block him from going to the Detroit Red Wings. Once that happened, he balked and would not report, causing the current stalemate between the team and Nabokov.
Apparently, in order to be traded, Nabokov would again have to clear waivers, which muddies the waters of any potential trade.
Regardless, I would set the odds of a trade at 1:2, which means he's more likely to be traded than not.
Ryan Malone has been the source of much speculation and rumor. The main focus of the discussion is that Malone would seemingly be headed to Toronto.
So we have two credible sources basically saying this is not going to happen, and based on that, set the odds at 25:1.
There they say, regarding Malone: "The 4-6 months is inaccurate. He did have shoulder surgery, but he should be fine for the start of training camp."
Hmm. Remember how in the first slide I mentioned that people were not convinced that Carter or Richards were leaving Philly?
Did the Lightning issue that tweet for the fans, or for Toronto general manager Brian Burke? Most likely for their fans, but if you see 25:1 odds on the trade somewhere, it could be worth the chance.
It seems unlikely the Washington Capitals would finally acquire the goalie they believe will put them over the top and then just start getting rid of pieces at random.
Set the odds at 20:1 that Semin is gone before the start of the season. If the Caps get off to a bad start next season, look for those odds to drop drastically.
Check this story out for some initial reaction to the Caps wins from free agency by an entertaining Bleacher Report writer, Jack Soule. He is a Caps guy and I'm a Pens guy, but if we can get along then there is hope for the world yet!
Mike Green is not just a name that comes to mind when you think, "Who buys a scooter?" He also has had his name bandied about in trade speculation this offseason.
The Fourth Period believes he could end up in Calgary. Now, as I mentioned in the last slide, I just cannot see the Caps starting to send their core pieces off to the four corners of the globe just as they seem to be gearing up for a serious run at the Stanley Cup.
I do believe that if it came down to Semin or Green, Green would be the one moving so I set the odds at 10:1 to any team, but 50:1 to the Calgary Flames in specific.
I was not a math major in college, and to be candid I have not done any real math without a calculator in more than a decade. Despite those limitations, it does not seem realistic for Green to just magically appear on the Flames roster and I'm not sure what they would send back to the Caps to get the numbers to work.
A somewhat-dated piece at The Fourth Period indicates that GM Paul Holmgren may have been trying to send Sergei Bobrovsky to the Colorado Avalanche prior to the Semyon Varlamov deal was consummated. Homgren denied this.
If you follow pure, unbridled speculation (not saying that in a bad way since I often engage in such things on this fine website) the past month has seen a lot of it involve the now re-signed Steven Stamkos.
One such scenario of hopeful thinking had a package including Brayden Schenn and Bobrovsky being offered to the Bolts if they were of the belief they could not reach a deal with Stammer.
This, of course, did not materialize. However, it does not seem unlikely that Bobrovsky could still be shopped around.
It seems just as likely that he could stay in Philly and be mentored by Ilya Bryzgalov as well. Since there is a pretty good chance of that happening, place the odds of him moving at 5:2.
Finally, we come to another somewhat dated piece from The Fourth Period involving Edmonton's Alex Hemsky. There are mixed signals here because Hemsky is stating he would like to remain in Edmonton for his entire career, rather than become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2012.
The article mentions the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings as potential trade partners if a deal goes down, but also managed to discredit the chance he lands in either place.
Columbus seemingly needs to make a big splash this season, since according to NBC they are losing money hand over fist. But did the acquisitions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski end their spending tear?
As for the Kings, according to NBC, they are still angry at the Oilers for an undisclosed injury to Colin Fraser as part of the Ryan Smyth deal.
So if both teams involved in the speculation may not be willing or able to deal, I'd put the odds at 30:1 that Hemsky lands in either spot, but at 3:1 that he is traded somewhere before the trade deadline.