NHL Trades & Free Agency: Tracking Latest Rumors and Speculation for Each Team

Brad Kurtzberg@@sealshockeyContributor IAugust 6, 2012

NHL Trades & Free Agency: Tracking Latest Rumors and Speculation for Each Team

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    We have just entered the month of August, which is arguably the quietest month of the hockey calendar.

    But beneath the relative quiet, there are plenty of rumors about pending trades and possible free-agent signings that will still have a large impact on teams by the time the 2012-13 season gets under way this October (assuming a new CBA gets signed).

    Here is a look at the latest rumors and speculation for trades or free agency for each NHL team.

Anaheim Ducks

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    The big question around Anaheim right now is, what will happen to first line forward Bobby Ryan?

    Trade rumors continue to swirl around Ryan. The Flyers (Philadelphia Inquirer), Sharks (CSN California) and Red Wings (Ottawa Sun) are among the teams who are allegedly interested in acquiring Ryan's services.

    If Ryan is indeed moved, the other big question is, what will the Ducks get in return?

    The recent trade of Rick Nash is another example of how teams who are forced to deal a star player rarely get back full value in return.

    The Ducks would definitely need to add some players who can fill in on the top two offensive lines if they are going to deal Ryan before the start of the new season.

Boston Bruins

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    Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has already indicated he will take the 2012-13 season off to spend more time with his family and end his contract with the Bruins.

    With that in mind, Boston may try to trade their veteran netminder, who helped lead the team to their first Stanley Cup since 1972 just one year ago.

    The question becomes whether or not Thomas' outspoken social media postings on political issues would make some teams nervous about acquiring him.

    While Thomas has every right to speak his mind about politics, his strong political opinions have made him a bit controversial and may lower his trade value.

    Either way, it appears Thomas' days with the Bruins are over, so why shouldn't the Bruins try to get some value for Thomas before he leaves next season for free?

Buffalo Sabres

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    Like many teams, the Buffalo Sabres have expressed an interest in signing UFA Shane Doan if the Coyotes captain fails to re-up with the Desert Dogs.

    The Sabres may not be frontrunners for Doan's services, but they would want to take at shot at Doan to help provide leadership and upgrade their forwards, if he officially moves on from Phoenix.

Calgary Flames

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    According to mlive.com, the Flames and Red Wings are talking about a trade involving veteran Jay Bouwmeester.

    Bouwmeester does play 26 minutes a game and has value, which could be used to provide more scoring punch for a Flames club that struggled to score enough goals last season.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    The Canes should be looking to add a defenseman before the season gets underway, with free agent Carlo Coaliacovo being a most desirable target.

    Carolina has had a busy offseason with the recent signing of Alexander Semin and the earlier trade to acquire Jordan Staal.

    Since both of those moves upgraded the Hurricanes offense, GM Jim Rutherford should be looking to add something to his blueline corps.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    The Blackhawks have eight NHL defenseman on their roster. Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago notes the team may look to move Niklas Hjalmarsson.

    Hjalmarsson is steady in his own end of the ice but is not a big factor offensively. Still, he would be a solid addition for teams looking to add depth to their blue line without paying too much in salary.

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Avalanche are looking to add some experience to a talented, but young, group of forwards. Bobby Ryan could be a possibility.

    It remains to be seen if the Ducks would be willing to trade Ryan to another Western Conference team.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Goaltending has been a major question mark for the Blue Jackets since Steve Mason's great rookie year.

    Even with the acquisition of Sergei Bobrovsky from Philadelphia earlier this summer, the Jackets are mediocre at best between the pipes.

    The latest word from the Columbus Dispatch is that the Jackets have inquired about a deal for Jonathan Bernier, the backup goalie of the Los Angeles Kings.

    Bernier is still young and was originally considered a better prospect than Jonathan Quick. The deal would make sense, depending upon what Columbus would have to give up to get him.

Dallas Stars

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    The Stars have revamped their forward lines by adding Derek Roy, Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr to the lineup.

    However, Dallas would like some more depth on the blue line. One possibility is Jay Bouwmeester of the Flames.

    Bouwmeester eats up a lot of ice time—something that would make things easier for the rest of the Stars defensemen—if the Stars can pull the deal off.

Detroit Red Wings

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    There are lots of rumors surrounding the Red Wings, especially since they were unable to add Ryan Suter or Zach Parise during free agency.

    Detroit is allegedly interested in adding Jay Bouwmeester but Shane Doan also remains on their radar right now, according to The Detroit Free Press.

    If Doan leaves the desert and wants to sign with a Cup contender, Detroit is a logical choice for the Coyotes captain.

Edmonton Oilers

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    The Oilers are gushing with young talent up front but are still looking to add some depth to their blue line according to The Edmonton Journal.

    Yes, Edmonton added NCAA star Justin Schultz; however, concerns about his inexperience, and  also about the health of Ryan Whitney, add up to a desire for more depth. Don't look for the Oilers to spend big to add to their defense, but an addition before the start of training camp is expected.

Florida Panthers

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    Most of the talk in Florida this summer (reported by Aaron Portzline of Columbus Dispatch; h/t Greg Whyshynski of Puck Daddy) revolves around the possible return of goalie Roberto Luongo via trade from Vancouver.

    Luongo spent five seasons with the Panthers before moving on to Canada's Pacific coast, but his playoff inconsistency has helped wear out his welcome with the Canucks.

    Luongo would be a big upgrade to the Panthers' present duo of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen, but Florida is just one of several possible destinations for the goalie, if and when Vancouver decides to trade him.

Los Angeles Kings

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    After winning the Stanley Cup, the Kings were more concerned about keeping their own players in the house rather than acquiring new talent.

    They may be willing to trade one player in particular, though—backup goalie Jonathan Bernier, as reported by CSN Philly. The former first-round pick is considered talented enough to start in the NHL but is stuck behind Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick on the LA depth chart.

    The Kings are unlikely to move Bernier unless they get something good in return, but he is the most likely player to be moved before the start of the season.

Minnesota Wild

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    The Minnesota Wild have already made their big splash this offseason when they signed free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on July 4th.

    Torrey Mitchell and Zenon Konopka were also signed to add depth up front, filling out their lineup.

    The rumor coming out of the Twin Cities, as noted by the Star-Tribune, is that the Wild will be staying put between now and the start of training camp.

Montreal Canadiens

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    New Habs GM Marc Bergevin has made several major moves this summer, which include bringing in some size in players Brandon Prust and Francis Bouillon and also by inking franchise goalie Carey Price to a long-term deal.

    The biggest issue on the table now for the new GM is keeping young defenseman P.K.Subban in the fold. Subban is a restricted free agent. The latest rumor from Montreal (RDS, h/t TSN and PHT) is that Bergevin has made an offer to Subban for a two-year deal, but Subban has yet to sign it.

Nashville Predators

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    Believe it or not, the latest rumor from The Tennessean is that the Predators are interested in acquiring Shane Doan if he does indeed leave Phoenix.

    Despite spending over $100 million to match the front-loaded offer sheet from the Flyers last month (for Shea Weber), the Preds are still open to adding more talent.

    They do admit, however, that adding Doan would be a long shot if the Coyotes can't keep him—but that won't stop them from trying.

New Jersey Devils

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    The New Jersey Devils made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup final in June, but they had a disappointing July when captain Zach Parise opted to sign with the Wild.

    GM Lou Lamoriello will likely replace Parise with youngsters like Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson rather than go out and add a big-name forward.

    One way to get a depth forward would be to trade a defenseman off the roster. Could Marek Zidlicky be a candidate?

New York Islanders

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    The Islanders have been trying to improve their defense since last summer. On draft day, GM Garth Snow appeared to have accomplished that when he dealt for veteran Lubomir Visnovsky from the Ducks.

    But now Visnovsky is challenging the deal: claiming that his no-trade clause should still have been in place, which would allow him to void the trade.

    The Isles have seen this before: a player who is supposed to join the club tries not to report (Evgeni Nabokov). Nabokov ended up not only staying with the Islanders, but has since signed a two-year extension to return this season.

    The Isles can only hope Visnovsky decides to join the team—regardless of the arbitrator's decision in the case—as he would be a solid addition to the blue line.

New York Rangers

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    As The New York Daily News notes, the Rangers are pursuing Coyotes captain Shane Doan if he does decide to leave the desert for greener pastures.

    GM Glen Sather has already brought in winger Rick Nash in a big trade from Columbus. While Doan would be a top six forward, his contributions would be less as a sniper and more as a leader and experienced sage in the locker room.

    The Rangers are said to be one of the finalists for Doan's services.

Ottawa Senators

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    The Senators were informed that captain Daniel Alfredsson will be returning for at least one more season.

    Now The Ottawa Sun reports that Ottawa wants to improve their scoring power and is interested in adding Bobby Ryan of the Ducks if Anaheim does decide to move him.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    It's been a frustrating summer in Philadelphia thus far. The Flyers have tried to sign Ryan Suter and Zach Parise but they came up empty. They also fell short in any attempt to acquire Rick Nash. They signed defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet only to see the Predators match it and keep him in Nashville.

    But, GM Paul Holmgren isn't giving up by any stretch of the imagination and now has his sights set on the last truly big free-agent prize out there: Coyotes captain Shane Doan (via CSN Philly).

    We'll see if the Flyers can add Doan to their already deep corps of forwards.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    While there are several teams interested in signing Shane Doan, the bottom line remains that the Coyotes captain still says his first choice is to stay with Phoenix, the only franchise he's ever played for in the NHL.

    The problem is a big one for the franchise. The league still owns the Coyotes and no solid alternative has been found as of this time. The latest serious candidate, Greg Jamison, is said to be $20 million short right now, as the Sports XChange notes.

    Unless the Coyotes' ownership situation gets straightened out quickly, the franchise will likely lose Doan, and they may be heading to another city shortly.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Another team in the thick of the Shane Doan sweepstakes is the Pittsburgh Penguins, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    The Pens have added center Brandon Sutter from the Jordan Staal trade, and they've acquired backup goalie Tomas Vokoun. Adding Doan would give the Pens amazing scoring depth amongst  their forwards—assuming Sidney Crosby stays healthy.

    Doan has expressed some interest in coming to Pittsburgh if he leaves the desert, but that remains a big "if."

St. Louis Blues

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    The Blues are in danger of losing defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to free agency. If they do lose him, the latest rumors out of St. Louis say they would be interested in adding another top four blueliner, very possibly Jay Bouwmeester of Calgary, according to Jeremy Rutherford of The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

    Bouwmeester would add a veteran presence to a talented, but young, Blues defense corps which already includes Barrett Jackman, Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk.

San Jose Sharks

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    While many people ask about a possible trade involving one of the Sharks' top forwards, GM Doug Wilson is rumored to be after a depth defenseman, with names like Carlo Colaiacovo, Michal Rozsival and Scott Hannan being listed among the players they may be interested in, according to CSN Bay Area.

    The depth is needed because of questions about the health and ability of players like Douglas Murray and Jason Demers.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    With the addition of Zach Parise, could Dany Heatley be moved?

    One rumor has already been shot down, as Rob Rossi of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes Heatley-Penguins talk is false.

    Heatley had a disappointing season in Minnesota last year but would certainly have a chance to bounce back if he were put on a line with Steven Stamkos or Martin St. Louis in Tampa.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    The biggest hole in the Maple Leafs roster remains in goal, where James Reimer is the tentative number one on the depth chart.

    One possible deal the Leafs are rumored to be interested is for Jonathan Bernier (Toronto Sun).

Vancouver Canucks

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    If Shane Doan is going to stay in the west and sign with another team, the Vancouver Canucks are rumored to be among the favorites, as the Vancouver Province reports.

    Of course, Doan still has to decide to leave Phoenix first. The possibility that Doan could play with the Sedin Twins or fill in for the injured Ryan Kesler until his midseason return would make sense for Vancouver.

Washington Capitals

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    While everybody is still talking about the departure of Coach Dale Hunter and winger Alexander Semin, the Caps still must also replace defenseman Dennis Wideman, who was traded to Calgary.

    The Caps can use a defenseman with size, and Pavel Kubina, who is still available as an UFA, would fit the bill.

    It remains to see who GM George McPhee will go out and get, but look for the Caps to add a big defenseman to their NHL roster before the start of training camp.

Winnipeg Jets

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    The Jets have added forwards Olli Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky but rumor has it they are still looking to add some more complementary pieces to the puzzle before the season starts, as The Winnipeg Free Press reports.

    Among the players that Winnipeg may target are Milan Jurcina, Kurtis Foster, Carlo Carlaiacovo and Kristian Huselius.