Here are some of the latest NHL and hockey rumors from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada intermission program, "The Hotstove":
Al Strachan reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning are in such a sad state that during their European games, co-owner Len Barrie came into the dressing room and started drawing plays and schemes on the board. Strachan also speculated that coach Barry Melrose has until November 15th to turn things around. Brochu's take: This is according to a player that spoke directly to Strachan.
Analyst Pierre LeBrun also reported that the Chicago Blackhawks have inquired about free agent forward Mats Sundin, and Strachan believes the Vancouver Canucks are still the frontrunners to land him.
Strachan also reported that the Montreal Canadiens turned down the Minnesota Wild's offer of trading Marian Gaborik, but still believed that they could be involved in a 3-way trade. LeBrun also reported that the Los Angeles Kings are interested in Gaborik, but only if he agrees to sign a long-term contract with them.
LeBrun also mentioned that contract negotiations between the Senators and forward Daniel Alfredsson are not going smoothly as previously thought.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the price of Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has gone up, but the Ottawa Senators are still somewhat interested. Garrioch also reports of "talk" that the Canucks are shopping Mattias Ohlund. Brochu's take: There's still the little matter of fitting Khabibulin's big contract under the Sens salary cap. As for Ohlund, Garrioch must have fascination a with him, as he has been the only media person reporting the "rumor". Source
According to RDS, the Habs are no longer interested in Marian Gaborik and could be focusing their attention on Hawks forward Martin Havlat, who is due to be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Brochu's take: Havlat has the same injury concerns as Gaborik, but won't command the same price. Source
Bob McKenzie of TSN mentioned in an interview on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver that the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers are the only real teams in the Mats Sundin sweepstakes. Brochu's take: Wake me up when Sundin actually signs.