Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bruce Garrioch's latest rumours

The latest from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock could become the next coach of the Ottawa Senators. Babcock has the option for next year, but could become a "free agent" if he chooses to. Senators GM Bryan Murray and Babcock have a close relationship, with Murray hiring Babcock as the coach of the Anaheim Ducks.

The Chicago Blackhawks may be shopping Martin Havlat and his $6 million a year contract in the off-season.

The Columbus Blue Jackets may try to acquire San Jose Sharks centre Patrick Marleau in the off-season.

The Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning could make a pitch for impending UFA goaltender Jose Theodore. Garrioch believes that Theodore needs a strong playoff run with the Colorado Avalanche to boost his stock.

Paul Kelly, the NHLPA's executive director, said yesterday the union would be willing to change the CBA to allow Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke's plan for salary retention. Burke has been floating the idea that teams be allowed to pick up as much as $500,000 of a player's contract if the player is moved to another team.

The likelihood of the Atlanta Thrashers shopping defenseman Alexei Zhitnik in the summer is high. Zhitnik has one year left at $3.5 million and has been a healthy scratch several times this season.

The talk out of Philly is that if the Toronto Maple Leafs had traded Tomas Kaberle to the Philadelphia Flyers at the deadline, Toronto would not only have received Jeff Carter in return, they would have gotten a 1st round pick in the deal as well.

Garrioch also speculates in this article that the Ottawa Senators could buy out Ray Emery. Under the terms of the new CBA, Emery, who is 25 and doesn't turn 26 until September, would only be eligible to receive $2.25 million in a buyout because he's under 26. The Senators would be allowed to spread the cap hit over double the remaining term of the deal which means it would cost the club $562,500 per season for four years.

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