Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weller on waivers

The Minnesota Wild have placed forward Craig Weller on waivers.

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 28, 2009

Speculation continues to swirl that the Anaheim Ducks are willing to deal Chris Pronger at the trade deadline. The TSN Tradecentre panel reported that the Boston Bruins are very interested, as well as the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils are the frontrunners for his services. There's rumors that the Ducks would want a package that would involve players such as Patrice Bergeron, Phil Kessel and Joe Colborne. Brochu's take: A defensive pair of Chara-Pronger would be downright scary. If the Bruins really believe that this is their year, than Pronger would be a fantastic addition, but he won't come cheap.

Ray Ferraro of TSN is also reporting that there's a rumor that the Philadelphia Flyers would package Joffrey Lupul and Randy Jones for Pronger. Brochu's take: Unless the Flyers have $6 million in imaginary cap space, I don't see this happening.

Florida Panthers GM Jacques Martin has been scouting the Flyers very closely lately, and was present at Friday's game between the Flyers and Montreal Canadiens. It's believed that both teams are interested in acquiring Jay Bouwmeester, and Martin is most likely scouting potential players. Brochu's take: Martin wants players that will help his team now, so I guess that's why he's been following the Flyers so closely.

According to TSN, New York Islanders forward Bill Guerin is willing to waive his no trade clause if the right deal came. Brochu's take: His game has really dropped the last few years. He may get some interest, but the value in return will be low. Source

The Florida Panthers have sent defenseman Nick Boynton home and will not accompany the team's three game road trip. There have been rumors GM Jacques Martin was even thinking of waiving Boynton. Martin confirmed that Boynton had been sent home for discipline but wouldn't go into further detail. Brochu's take: There's probably a good chance he will be traded. Source

Friday, February 27, 2009

Canucks claim Vaananen, Habs claim Metropolit

The Vancouver Canucks have claimed defenseman Ossi Vaananen off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. Brochu's take: A depth move, or a prelude to a trade of a Canucks defenseman?

The Montreal Canadiens have claimed forward Glen Metropolit off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers.

TSN is reporting that the Dallas Stars will place Sean Avery on re-entry waivers on Monday. It's expected the New York Rangers will pick him up. Brochu's take: Unless someone else picks him up before the Rangers can, which might happen.

The Montreal Canadiens have placed defenseman Doug Janik on waivers.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Begin for Janik, Whitney for Kunitz, Tangradi

The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded defenseman Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi. Brochu's take: Very curious trade. This means that one of Pronger of Niedermayer won't be back next season. Tangradi was just signed to an entry level contract, and Kunitz still has several years left on his contract.

The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Steve Begin to the Dallas Stars for defenseman Doug Janik. Brochu's take: GM Bob Gainey is hooking up with his old buddies in Dallas once again. But the only positive I see in this trade is that it clears cap space for the Habs...perhaps a bigger trade in the works? Janik is currently in the AHL.

According to TSN, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Dandenault has requested a trade, and an NHL source is saying that GM Bob Gainey has agreed to help him out. Brochu's take: Whoa. What is going on in Montreal? That's three Habs veterans that want/are out. Another cap clearing move?

The Ottawa Senators have placed goalie Martin Gerber on re-entry waivers. Brochu's take: Rumors are flying that the Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres are interested.

The Philadelphia Flyers have placed forward Glen Metropolit and defenseman Ossi Vaananen on waivers. Brochu's take: Look for a rumor report late tonight or earlier tomorrow, I have more on this cap clearing move.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have placed forward Chris Minard on waivers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 26, 2009

According to RDS, Montreal Canadiens forward Georges Laraque expects to be traded at the trade deadline. Laraque has been a healthy scratch often this season, and is frustrated with his lack of ice time. Brochu's take: Let's be clear that Laraque has NOT requested a trade nor wants to be traded, just he wouldn't be surprised if he was.

The New York Rangers have claimed forward Mark Bell off re-entry waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke stated that defenseman Tomas Kaberle's asking price is a 1st round pick, top propect and a roster player, at minimum. Brochu's take: This was Chris Pronger's price when he came to the Ducks. But Pronger is much better than Kaberle.

TSN is reporting that there were 13 scouts watching the Montreal Canadiens - Vancouver Canucks game on Tuesday. Source

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 25, 2009

According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche are close to a multi-player deal with an Eastern Conference team. The two rumored teams are the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins. Brochu's take: Could be interesting, as Avs GM Francois Giguere is under intense pressure from ownership to cut payroll to around $46 million. Source

According to Pierre LeBrun, there's a rumor that the Los Angeles Kings are interested in forward Ryan Smyth. He also believes that defenseman Scott Hannan and forward Darcy Tucker are also available. Brochu's take: I still don't think Smyth will be moved, and he has a no trade clause.

Matthew Sekeris of the Globe and Mail is reporting that his NHL sources are telling him that Atlanta Thrashers forward Marty Reasoner and New York Islanders forward Andy Hilbert are available, and at a much lower price than the marquee names on the market. Brochu's take: These players can make a big difference on a team, and they won't cost much.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forward Mark Bell on re-entry waivers.

The St. Louis Blues have placed forward Yan Stastny on waivers.

Monday, February 23, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 24, 2009

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets are interested in Buffalo Sabres forward Tim Connolly. The Sabres are willing to trade the forward, because he is due to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, and it's unlikely that they will re-sign the injury troubled centre. Brochu's take: Connolly would be a good fit in Columbus, as they are still looking for a centre for their top two lines.

Pittsburgh Penguins scouts have been following the Blue Jackets closely lately. Also, Jackets scouts have been attending several Tampa Bay Lightning games. The most rumored names being tossed around are defenseman Rostislav Klesla and forward Jeff Halpern. Source

According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, there is a "very good chance" that the Anaheim Ducks will trade Chris Pronger at some point. Teams such as the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and several other teams are monitoring the situation closely. McKenzie also believes that the Ducks could shop Chris Kunitz to get some salary cap space in the summer. Brochu's take: All those teams McKenzie mentions have some serious cap issues IF they want to bring Pronger in. And something tells me Pronger doesn't want to go back to Alberta. Source

The New York Rangers have officially announced John Tortorella as the new head coach, but McKenzie's blog states that "sources say there may have been other potentially "inappropriate" contact between the Ranger organization and members of the Lightning." The NHL is investigating and while there has been much discussion between all involved parties, it's not out of the question that the Lightning will file formal tampering charges against the Rangers. Brochu's take: I think this has to do with Bolts assistant coach Mike Sullivan, who HAD a clause in his contract that stated he could leave the team to join Tortorella. I'm sure this will be settled privately unless Tampa plays hardball.

Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Calgary Flames have a keen interest in re-acquiring Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris. Brochu's take: GM Don Maloney has let the league know that Morris is available, and the Flames desperately need re-inforcements. I would think a 3rd round pick would do the trick. Source

Pierre McGuire on a New York radio station stated that the Rangers are shopping forward Scott Gomez, and there is some definite interest. Brochu's take: Not dismissing McGuire's sources, but when do you remember a player with a massive contract (term and dollar value) being traded at the deadline?

Rangers fire Renney, Tortorella steps in?

The New York Rangers have fired head coach Tom Renney. Rangers' assistant coach Parry Pearn was given his pink slip as well, however fellow assistant Mike Pelino was retained along with goalie coach Benoit Allaire. Sources say the New York Rangers and John Tortorella have an agreement in place that would make him the next head coach of the NHL team, but that the Tampa Bay Lightning have not yet granted him permission to do so. Brochu's take: Incidentally, all four teams that went to Europe this season have had all their head coaches fired. The European curse? There's been speculation that Renney's system and style started to grate on the players. As for Tortorella, he must have been sick of doing that TSN quiz show thing, and sitting next to James Duthie must have not been a pleasant experience. Source

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend rumor roundup for Feb 21-22, 2009

Just wrapping up some of the rumors this weekend, and some I missed this past week:

Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting a rumor of the Philadelphia Flyers trading top prospect James van Riemsdyk to the Atlanta Thrashers for goalie Kari Lehtonen. Brochu's take: Lehtonen was once hailed as the next great goalie, but he hasn't shown that in Atlanta. Maybe a change of scenery would help him out. The Flyers are desperately looking for good goaltending. Source

Chris Pronger's name continues to be in the rumor mill, with the New Jersey Devils being the team most linked to. The Anaheim Ducks continue to fight for a playoff spot, and Pronger let it be known on his blog that he doesn't want to be traded. Speculation is that IF Pronger is shopped, the package would have to include a young roster player, prospect and multiple picks. Brochu's take: I would think the Chicago Blackhawks are also in the mix. Perhaps a package of Cam Barker, Bill Sweatt and a couple picks could entice the Ducks?

Nashville Predators defenseman Ville Koistinen has asked for a trade. The young Finnish rearguard has been a healthy scratch for most of the season. Brochu's take: Could be a good depth move for any team looking for a defenseman. Source

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 22, 2009

It's Sunday, so it must be time for Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

"League sources" are saying that the Montreal Canadiens are interested in acquiring forward Ryan Smyth from the Colorado Avalanche. Avs GM Francois Giguere is shopping the forward, as well as several other players. Giguere has orders from ownership to slash payroll. Smyth has three years left on a $6.5 million a year deal, and also has a no trade clause. Brochu's take: No one is going to take Smyth at $6.5 million, and especially not for three more years! Smyth is a good forward but his value is not in his production. I really don't believe in all these Smyth rumours.

The Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning may be interested in Ottawa Senators defenseman Christoph Schubert. The Sens would like defenseman Ladislav Smid in return. Brochu's take: While both teams need defensemen desperately, there are better options for Schubert. As for Smid, I think he's worth more than Schubert, Bruce.

The Atlanta Thrashers have been shopping defensemen Ron Hainsey and Niclas Havelid. Both are expected to be dealt at the deadline. Brochu's take: Havelid, yes. Hainsey, no.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are interested in acquiring forward Erik Cole. Brochu's take: Like I've said before, as long as the Oilers are in the playoff race, they won't be subtracting roster players.

The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks are interested in Sens forward Chris Neil.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in Alex Kovalev. There's also rumors that the Penguins are interested in re-acquiring him. Brochu's take: The BJs are looking for more centres than wingers. The Pens could be a good fit for Kovalev.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Columbus claims Gratton

The Columbus Blue Jackets have claimed forward Chris Gratton off re-entry waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Comrie, Campoli for McAmmond and 1st

The New York Islanders have traded forward Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli to the Ottawa Senators for forward Dean McAmmond and San Jose's first-round pick in the upcoming draft, obtained via a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brochu's take: A desperate move from GM Bryan Murray. He knows that he has to make the playoffs or he's gone. Value wise, it's essentially Comrie and Campoli for a first. However, the more important matter is that Hilary Duff and Carrie Underwood will be on TV together more often!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kostitsyns affiliated with gang member?

It appears the "bombshell" that La Presse was going to report tomorrow is not as hyped as it was. The issue is that Montreal police were investigating a known gang member, 38 year old Pasquale Mangiola, and during their investigations, the police recorded several telephone conversations between Mangiola and the Kostitsyn brothers. Defenseman Roman Hamrlik may also be involved. Brochu's take: Given that there were wild rumors that several Habs players would be arrested, this is a bit of a letdown. The French hockey media strikes again! Source

Scandal in Montreal?

Rumors are flying in Montreal that some sort of "scandal" involving Montreal Canadiens players will be know late tonight or early tomorrow. There's been tons of chatter on Montreal television and radio stations. Lots of speculation right now, but I'll try to keep on it as late as possible! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 19, 2009

According to Sportsnet and TSN, Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev will return to the Habs this weekend. Kovalev denied a Russian report that he blamed Montreal's recent struggles on the habits of some of the younger players on the team. La Presse also reported that GM Bob Gainey has shopped Kovalev around the NHL for the past two weeks. Brochu's take: Kovalev's value is at an all time low right now, so Gainey's smart enough to know he won't trade him. After Kovalev returns from Exile Island, I think he will be a much better player.

The Forecaster on CBC is reporting that defenseman Jay McKee is unhappy with his current situation with the St. Louis Blues and would like to move on. It's possible that the Blues would send McKee to the minors and call him up on re-entry waivers. Brochu's take: McKee's $4 million salary this year and next appears to be the big stumbling block. This sounds more like a scenario where you trade a bad contract for another bad contract.

The Forecaster report is also saying that the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers would also love to Edmonton Oilers forward Erik Cole for the stretch run. Brochu's take: Suddenly, Cole's price goes up. But I would imagine the Oilers holding on to him, unless they get blown away by a package. Source

Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Vancouver Canucks are still far apart in contract negotiations with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
The twins are seeking five-year deals that average $6.5-million a year. The Canucks have countered with $5.5-million over three or four years. The Canucks are also talking contract with impending UFA Alex Burrows, and the rumor is that the deal could be in the three to five year range, averaging $2 million a season. Brochu's take: Statistically, the Sedins are worth around $6 million each. However, GM Mike Gillis might want to see what they will do in the stretch and the playoffs before he commits that much salary cap space to two players. As for Burrows, that is a decent number for a player of his calibre, especially considering his humble roots in the ECHL. Source

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 18, 2009

According to Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Maple Leafs were close to a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins last weekend, but the firing of Michel Therrien could have scuttled those talks. Rumors were that the Leafs would send Nik Antropov to the Pens for Ryan Whitney, or a package of a 1st rounder and defenseman Alex Goligoski. There also was belief that if the Penguins acquired Antropov, he may have been used as part of a package for a trade to the Atlanta Thrashers for scoring whiz Ilya Kovalchuk and Colby Armstrong. Brochu's take: First, that would be a huge overpayment for Antropov, who is definitely not worth a Whitney or even a Goligoski. Antropov is being shopped, but his value is not that high. As for Kovalchuk rumor, he's not moving this year and certainly not in a package involving Antropov. Source

Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey has sent Alex Kovalev home for the next two road games. Gainey told Kovalev to rest his body and get his mind straightened out. When asked if he would trade Kovalev, Gainey responded, "It is trading season." Brochu's take: Not exactly a confidence boost, is it? And Gainey didn't deny that he was shopping Kovalev. Source

TSN is reporting that there has been an offer to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. The party is unnamed at this point. Brochu's take: Perhaps Jim Balsillie?

Monday, February 16, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 17, 2009

The Boston Herald is reporting that Edmonton Oilers forward Erik Cole is, according to "one NHL source", is telling his friends that he expects to be a Boston Bruin soon. Most speculation focused on Vladimir Sobotka and defenseman Matt Lashoff as trade bait for the impending unrestricted free agent. Brochu's take: The Oilers are still fighting for a playoff spot, so it would be odd if they traded Cole now. Source

According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has told defenseman Derek Morris that he will be unable to sign the 30-year old. He has offered a one-year contract, but because of Phoenix's financial situation, there are unable to offer a longer term. Brochu's take: This pretty much means Morris is done in Phoenix, as Maloney can't let him go to free agency without getting something in return.

TSN is reporting that Tomas Kaberle has waived his no trade clause and given the Toronto Maple Leafs a list of 10 teams he is willing to be traded to. All the teams are in the Eastern Conference, and it's believed whichever team has Frantisek Kaberle could have the edge. Brochu's take: Eliminating the non-playoff teams, you can figure out exactly which teams are on the list. As for Frantisek, he remains with the Carolina Hurricanes organization, awaiting a potential recall on re-entry waivers.

Canadiens acquire Schneider

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenseman Mathieu Schneider to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a second round draft pick in the 2009 and a third round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In addition to Schneider, the Canadiens will receive a conditional draft pick from the Thrashers. The draft pick is conditional on how far the Habs go in the playoffs. If Montreal loses in the first round or doesn't make the playoffs, the Canadiens get a third-round pick from Atlanta. If Montreal wins one rounds, it becomes a fourth round pick. If Montreal wins two rounds or more, it becomes a fifth-round pick. Brochu's take: GM Bob Gainey shows that he won't wait till the deadline to shake up his team (and his team needs a BIG shakeup). The acquisition of Schneider greatly improves their powerplay.

Weekend rumor roundup for Feb 14-15, 2009

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post believes the Colorado Avalanche will make a deal this week involving one or more of defensemen Jordan Leopold, Brett Clark and Ruslan Salei. Dater also shoots down the Ryan Smyth rumors, citing that he has a no trade clause, along with family and contractual issues. Brochu's take: I agree that Smyth is not on the block, but I'm sure some NHL teams have asked about him. As for the three defenseman, it's more than likely that at least one will be traded before the deadline. Source

Pierre LeBrun reports that the Ottawa Senators will definitely trade forward Chris Neil before the trade deadline if he doesn't sign a contract extension.

LeBrun also reports that the Buffalo Sabres have asked to start contract negotiations with forward Tim Connolly. It still remains a possibility that the Sabres could deal Connolly if they don't come to terms before the deadline.

The Carolina Hurricanes are likely to put defenseman Frantisek Kaberle on re-entry waivers in the next 10 days. LeBrun speculates that any team willing to pick up Frantisek might have an inside edge on acquiring Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who has expressed an interest in playing with his brother. Brochu's take: A Niedermayer like situation? Source

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Penguins fire Therrien

The Pittsburgh Penguins have fired head coach Michel Therrien. Dan Bylsma, head coach of the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, will take over as interim head coach. The Pens also re-assigned assistant coach Andre Savard, while assistant coaches Eric Meloche and Mike Yeo will remain on staff. Tom Fitzgerald, the team's Director of Player Development, has also been added as an assistant. Brochu's take: I'm surprised that it took this long. It's been well known that the players hate playing for him, and he would have been fired last year had the Penguins not made their Stanley Cup run. Source

The latest rumors from the Hotstove

Here are the latest hockey and NHL rumors from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada intermission program, The Hotstove:

Pierre LeBrun reports that the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers are the front-runners in the Jay Bouwmeester sweepstakes. GM Jacques Martin has confirmed that he is talking to teams about possible offers, but is also in serious contract negotiations with Bouwmeester and his agent. LeBrun also reports that Bouwmeester has turned down a contract offer worth $6.5 million a season. Brochu's take: The Panthers are now in a playoff position, so it makes trading Bouwmeester even harder. However, it's crystal clear now that Bouwmeester does not want to re-sign with Florida though.

It was also reported that several Colorado Avalanche players are available, notably defenseman Jordan Leopold, forward Ryan Smyth and forward Ian Laperriere. The Boston Bruins are very interested in Leopold. Brochu's take: Leopold seems to be on top of several GM lists around the league.

The panel also reported the rumor that's being going around the last few days, that Olli Jokinen is not fitting into the Phoenix Coyotes team (on and off the ice) and is on the market. Brochu's take: The rumor continues to be that the Montreal Canadiens are the most active team pursuing Jokinen.

The Hockeycentral panel on Sportnet is speculating that the Edmonton Oilers could pursue 'Yotes defenseman Derek Morris.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 14, 2009

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Phoenix Coyotes are not conducting a fire sale, but have let other NHL teams know that several players are available. Dreger mentions that forward Olli Jokinen, defenseman Derek Morris and defenseman Ed Jovanovski are up for grabs, if the right deal came along. The Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames are believed to be interested in Jokinen, while the Habs are also pursuing Morris. Brochu's take: It's not a trade deadline unless there's a Jokinen rumor! Dreger reports that there are definitely talks between the Coyotes and Habs, so you should probably keep an eye on the situation.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

There are reports from Sweden that several NHL teams are interested in goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. Scouts from the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets have been watching the young Swedish goalie. The 24-year old Gustavsson stars for Farjestad, and currently has a sparking .933 save percentage and 1.93 GAA in 37 games. Brochu's take: Another Swedish gem? Some have compared him to Henrik Lundqvist. Source

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gratton, Hollweg, Kaberle on waivers

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed forward Chris Gratton on waivers. Brochu's take: I think the Bolts want to set an NHL record for the most amount of players put on waivers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forward Ryan Hollweg on waivers.

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed defenseman Frantisek Kaberle on waivers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 13, 2009

According to Erik Erlendsson of, the San Jose Sharks have been scouting the Lightning somewhat in the past couple of games. John Ferguson Jr., was in Pittsburgh last week watching the game and then showed up in Tampa for Tuesday’s game against Atlanta. The word is that they are looking at Jeff Halpern, who has one year left on his contract at $2 million. Source

Erlendsson also reports a rumor that the Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in Bolts forward Vinny Prospal. Brochu's take: Scouts are at the games all the time. But I don't see the Bolts trading Prospal yet.

The Pioneer Press is reporting that 11 NHL scouts were at Wednesday's game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche, including four from the Boston Bruins. Also represented were San Jose, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Montreal. Writer John Shipley speculates that the Wild are looking to trade a defenseman for some offensive, and Kim Johnsson's name would make the most sense. Brochu's take: The teams could also be looking at the Avalanche, who are currently dwelling in the Western Conference cellar. Johnsson's large contract won't attract a lot of interest. Source

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forwards Bates Battaglia and Boyd Devereaux on re-entry waivers. Brochu's take: This was reported earlier this week here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 12, 2009

Speculation continues to mount that Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey will start making moves to pull his team out of their losing streak. The Canadiens held a players-only meeting right after their loss to the Calgary Flames, which actually violated NHL rules about player accessiblity immediately after games. Brochu's take: Gainey does have a history of making deadline moves, no matter how good or bad the team is doing. Remember Huet being traded last season?

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun believes that defenseman Senators defenseman Filip Kuba will gather a lot of interest as the trade deadline approaches, but Kuba controls his destiny with a no trade clause. Garrioch states that "it's believed the Bruins, Panthers, Sharks, Flames, Wild, [Blue] Jackets, Hurricanes and Flyers are among the teams looking for help on the blue line." Brochu's take: Hmm...didn't know Kuba had a no-trade clause. [Why?] His offensive skills could be valuable to a playoff contender. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, goalie Ray Emery has returned to his KHL team, Atlant Mytishchi. “I talked to Ray on Monday, and we made the decision that he should go back [to Russia],” his agent, J.P. Barry, told on Tuesday. “I felt that he should finish what he started and that we would continue to work out the compensation issue. There was NHL interest here, but the problem was that even if he signed, he would have to clear waivers, and we had no idea where he would have ended up," Barry said. "He'll be an unrestricted free agent and can hit the market as early as May." Brochu's take: Hmmm, I wonder what NHL teams were interested? It looks more and more like Emery will be returning to North America in the summer. Source

Poll Results:

Do you think Vinny Lecavalier will be traded?

58 (45%)
69 (54%)

Total Votes: 127

Do you think firing Craig Hartsburg will save the Senators season?

4 (4%)
57 (63%)
Who cares
29 (32%)

Total Votes: 90

There are four veeeerry die-hard Senators fans! ;-)

Williams on waivers

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forward Jeremy Williams on waivers.

In an interview with Team 1040 radio in Vancouver, Canucks forward Daniel Sedin confirmed that he was aware of rumors that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was interested in signing both the Sedins in the summer. Sedin re-iterated that he would like to stay in Vancouver. Brochu's take: If Burke wants them enough, he can certainly outbid the Canucks. But I believe the Sedins will take a hometown discount to stay together in Vancouver.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 11, 2009

After clearing waivers, the Dallas Stars have assigned forward Sean Avery to the Hartford Wolf Pack, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. It's presumed that after several games, the Stars will re-call Avery through re-entry waivers, and the Rangers will pick him up. Brochu's take: Of course, it's entirely possible, if not probable, that some other NHL team will pick up Avery before the Rangers get a chance. Also, like Bob McKenzie says in his blog, the Stars could just keep Avery in the minors as long as possible and not make a decision at all.

The Edmonton Oilers have denied a local report that forward Jaromir Jagr is close to joining the team. According to the Edmonton Journal, a Czech source says Jagr is close to finalizing a deal that would see him join the Oilers for the remainder of the season. Jagr is currently playing with KHL team Avangard Omsk. Brochu's take: Not only that, he would have to clear waivers before he can come back to the NHL. Jagr does not have an out clause in his three-year contract with Omsk, but it's quite possible that he could sign with Edmonton in the summer. The Oilers offered a contract last summer, and with the KHL facing economic uncertainty, Jagr could contemplate a return to the NHL. Source

There's been a lot of speculation that the Anaheim Ducks are looking to shop defenseman Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. According to, the New Jersey Devils could be interested in both players. Brochu's take: I think the Ducks will hang on to Pronger. As for Niedermayer, it's unknown if he wants to return in 2009-2010. But rumors are that he would be willing to accept a trade to four teams: The Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and the Devils. Source

According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey held a meeting with the coaching staff in Montreal before the team left for its six-game road trip this week. LeBrun believes that the Canadiens will be active, and will be willing to trade some of their young assets or some of their impending free agents to "right the ship." Brochu's take: Tomas Plekanec's name has been tossed around the rumor mill, with the Chicago Blackhawks the most interested. Source

Monday, February 09, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 10, 2009

The St. Louis Blues have re-signed forward Andy McDonald to a four-year, $18.8 million contract extension. Brochu's take: A fair price for a point-a-game player. Good move by the Blues.

According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Montreal Canadiens and Phoenix Coyotes are in trade discussions. Forward Olli Jokinen and defenseman Derek Morris were mentioned as possible targets. Brochu's take: The Habs are still looking to make a big splash on the trade front, but has done nothing yet. Their recent struggles might trigger a move.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke gave a clear indication that Nik Antropov is done as a Leaf. "From my take, at this point, I don't see any reason to put a new contract offer on the table here," Burke told AM 640. "I think that this might be time for a change of scenery for Nik Antropov. I don't think Nik's play has merited that discussion to this point." Brochu's take: You got to give credit, he certainly cuts to the point. This really doesn't hurt Antropov's value as he was already on the market. Source

On Toronto radio station AM640, Burke also mentioned that certain players from the Leafs AHL affiliate Marlies will be recalled on re-entry waivers before the end of the season. Burke specifically mentioned forwards Mark Bell, Kris Newbury, Boyd Devereux and Bates Battaglia. Brochu's take: Clearing roster space? In a recent interview with The Hockey News, Burke said he wanted to build a "fair" organization, where players will be given chances to play for the Leafs, or another NHL team.

The Philadelphia Flyers have placed defenseman Lasse Kukkonen on re-entry waivers. Brochu's take: Poor guy has been on waivers a good 3 or 4 times this season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed defenseman Wade Brookbank on waivers today, and have recalled defenseman Josef Melichar on re-entry waivers.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend rumor roundup for Feb 7-8, 2009

There will probably be another part of the rumor roundup on Monday, just to pick up the rest of the reports this weekend.

According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, the Detroit Red Wings can only sign one of Johan Franzen or Marian Hossa, because of the CBA's tagging rule. The other player will have to wait until July 1st. Brochu's take: The moneys' on Franzen being signed, as he will cost significantly less than Hossa. Hossa wants to stay in Detroit, but unless he takes a massive hometown discount, he won't be with the Red Wings come next season.

The Vancouver Canucks have yet to officially make a contract offer to veteran defenseman Mattias Ohlund. Ohlund has a no trade clause. Brochu's take: It's likely that the Canucks will keep Ohlund (unless they are out of the playoff picture) and let him walk into the sunset come summertime.

There has also been contract discussions between the Canucks and the Sedin twins, but talks have stalled. Both Daniel and Henrik Sedin denied a report that they were seeking a $6-7 million a year contract each. They re-iterated their desire to stay in Vancouver and play together. Brochu's take: They will have to take a big hometown discount to stay together in Vancouver.

LeBrun also reports the Canucks, along with the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres may also have interest in Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Mathieu Schneider. Brochu's take: Schneider's name has been in the rumour mill a lot lately. Look for him to be moved to a playoff contender at the NHL trade deadline. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

LeBrun also reported that goalie Ray Emery has left his KHL team Atlant Moscow. Allegedly, the team has been using the wrong exchange rate most of the season and Emery is about 33% shy right now of what he should have earned. There are still several NHL teams interested in his services. Brochu's take: He would have to clear waivers first anyways. There's also been tons of speculation that KHL teams have been unable to pay their players.

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 8, 2009

It's Sunday, so it must be time for Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

According to "league sources", the Florida Panthers are leaning towards keeping defenseman Jay Bouwmeester instead of trading him at the trade deadline. If the Panthers, don't make the playoffs, it's believed that GM Jacques Martin will be fired by owner Alan Cohen. League sources say the Philadelphia Flyers may have been asked to discuss a deal that included top prospect forward James van Riemsdyk and forward Scott Hartnell in exchange for the rights to Bouwmeester. Brochu's take: Garrioch and his league sources. Just because van Riemsdyk had a bad tournament, they're going to trade him? That just doesn't make sense.

The Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings have all called Martin about the impending unrestricted free agent. Garrioch believes that Bouwmeester will sign with Edmonton in the summer. Brochu's take: Bouwmeester has said that he doesn't like to play in Edmonton, and would like to play for a winner.

There's "talk" that the New York Rangers could fire head coach Tom Renney soon and replace him with Pat Quinn.

The talk is the Montreal Canadiens are getting tired of Alexei Kovalev and his disappearing acts. Kovalev has played a valuable role this season, but not consistently. Nobody would be surprised to see him moved soon. Brochu's take: I would be surprised, Bruce.

Garrioch believes that the St. Louis Blues will put goalie Manny Legace on re-entry waivers, and the Columbus Blue Jackets would pick him. Brochu's take: This is possible, but not too many big-name contracts have been claimed off re-entry waivers.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Lightning/Hurricanes trade, Avery on waivers

The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded forward Jussi Jokinen to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and a fourth-round draft pick in 2009. Brochu's take: A pretty even hockey trade. Jokinen earns $1.81 million, while Melichar and Brookbank make a combined $1.475 million. The Bolts get a nice extra draft pick for taking on an extra contract. Source

The Dallas Stars have placed forward Sean Avery on waivers. Brochu's take: His journey back to New York City begins.

The Toronto Sun is reporting that New York Rangers scout Rick Kehoe has been following the Calgary Flames across the continent. Flames GM Darryl Sutter is said to have liked Rangers forward Nigel Dawes in the past. Brochu's take: Dawes could be available at the right price. Source

Nashville Predators scout Ray Knickle continues to monitor the Calgary Flames. The Flames might be willing to part with forward Matthew Lombardi for a defenceman such as Dan Hamhuis, writer Mike Zeisberger suggests. Brochu's take: I don't think Calgary needs another defenseman, and the loss of Lombardi would really kill their depth. Look for the Flames to add to their roster, not subtract.

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 7, 2009

The Washington Capitals have claimed defenseman Staffan Kronwall off re-entry waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The St. Louis Blues have placed goalie Manny Legace on waivers, with the intention to send him to the AHL. Brochu's take: Hmm, didn't see this coming. There's a small possibility that the Detroit Red Wings might pick him up.

According to New York reports, the Rangers are looking to re-acquiring forward Sean Avery from the Dallas Stars. GM Glen Sather accompanied the team to Dallas to speak with Stars co-GM Les Jackson. Avery is about to come off a "behaviour modification" program, and would be eligible to play in the NHL soon. The plan is put Avery on waivers, assign him to the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford, and see if he fits into the plan. Then, the Stars would call him up through re-entry waivers, and the Rangers would pick him up and pay half the salary owed to Avery. Brochu's take: A complicated plan, this is. The Stars don't have an AHL affiliate at the moment. If this was to take place, the Rangers are assuming that no other NHL team will pick up Avery on waivers. Rumors are that this is not necessarily the case. Source

Rumours continue to swirl that the Toronto Maple Leafs will trade goaltender Vesa Toskala at the trade deadline. This has come on the heels that both the coach and GM have called him out in consecutive days. Brochu's take: The market for goalies that don't perform to their contract is obviously low. But I think GM Brian Burke can still get a 2nd or 3rd round pick for him. The Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames are looking for goaltending depth.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 6, 2009

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed defenseman Staffan Kronwall on re-entry waivers.

According to TSN, Tomas Kaberle and his agent may be preparing a list of teams that he is willing to be traded to. Also, it's possible that the Leafs could shop both forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Dominic Moore if they don't get them signed. Brochu's take: Grabovski will be signed, but it's unknown if Moore and his family history will have any impact on Burke's decision.

The two Ottawa Senators most likely to be traded at the deadline appear to be defenseman Filip Kuba and forward Chris Neil, who are both due to be unrestricted free agents this summer.

The Edmonton Journal is reporting a rumor that Erik Cole may be traded to the Boston Bruins. Oilers pro scout Dave Semenko has been watching the last two Boston Bruins games. There's speculation that the Oilers could be looking at forward Vladimir Sobotka, defenseman Matt Hunwick and Matt Lashoff. Brochu's take: Edmonton sees themselves as buyers, so I don't think they will trade Cole...just yet. And Boston are definitely playoff contenders, but giving up Hunwick would be a big mistake. Source

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ducks/Canucks trade, Jokinen waived

I will be blogging shortly after TSN's Countdown to TradeCentre NHL trade deadline special with any rumors that haven't been reported lately.

The Vancouver Canucks have traded forward Mike Brown to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Nathan McIver. McIver had cleared waiver earlier Thursday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed forward Jussi Jokinen on waivers.

According to Pierre McGuire on the Team 1040 radio in Vancouver, several NHL teams have been inquiring about Canucks defenseman Shane O'Brien. McGuire reported that it's well known that GM Mike Gillis is shopping O'Brien around the league. Brochu's take: Rumors are that the Toronto Maple Leafs are very interested in him.

Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the Atlanta Thrashers are shopping forward Erik Christensen, and some teams are interested. Brochu's take: LeBrun also has a list of the latest rumors, but nothing new other than Christensen. He could be had for a mid-round pick. Source

Adrian Dater on the Denver Post is reporting reports scouts from the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers were at the Colorado Avalanche-Calgary Flames game. Source

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 4, 2009

The New Jersey Devils have traded defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to the Anaheim Ducks for the rights to center David McIntyre. Brochu's take: Let the trade floodgates open!

CKAC is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens are interested in Brad Richards and Matt Niskanen of the Dallas Stars. According to the radio hosts, GM Bob Gainey has had some talks with Stars GM Les Jackson. Brochu's take: Gainey's been looking for an offensive centreman, but I think Richard's contract is a bit high for his production level. Source

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN is reporting that Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray was interested in acquiring Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom, but was told only defenseman Mathieu Schneider was available. There were also talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders, but nothing came of it. Brochu's take: Murray's on his last legs in Ottawa, he may be prone to making a panic trade. Look for him to be very active as we near the trade deadline. Source

Edmonton Oilers forward Dustin Penner, who has been called out again by coach Craig MacTavish for his poor play, has been rumored to traded to the Florida Panthers for Jay Bouwmeester. Brochu's take: Who would want Penner's contract? Source

The Toronto Maple Leafs are rumored to be interested in Bouwmeester as well.

Former NHL star Eric Lindros resigned as ombudsman of the NHL players' union. The NHLPA confirmed the move on Tuesday but gave no reason why. Brochu's take: You'll probably hear about it on Hockey Night in Canada this weekend.

Monday, February 02, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 3, 2009

According to CBC, the NHL is tentatively set to kick off the 2009-10 regular season in Europe, with six teams playing in 3 cities. The Calgary Flames would play the San Jose Sharks in Helsinki, Finland, the Detroit Red Wings would take on the St. Louis Blues in Stockholm, Sweden and the Chicago Blackhawks would face the Florida Panthers in Prague, Czech Republic. Source

RDS is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens could be looking for an experienced, offensive centre with Robert Lang out with an injured Achilles tendon. Possibilites could include St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, Washington Capitals centre Michael Nylander and New York Islanders centre Doug Weight. Brochu's take: If there's one thing about GM Bob Gainey, he's quite decisive about personnel decisions. If he feels there's a need for an experienced centreman, he will go and get him. Source

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Mike McKenna to an NHL contract. McKenna was playing for Tampa's AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.

According to Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has the next two games to pull the team out of its losing streak, or he will be fired. Brochu's take: Speculation continues to mount over Vigneault's future. Could he go the way of Hartsburg?

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Shane O'Brien fired back at his coach and GM Monday, claiming that he was asked to fight more. O'Brien was a healthy scratch on Saturday and will likely be scratched on Tuesday as well. GM Mike Gillis has denied that he told the player to fight, only that he played "harder." Source

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Feb 2, 2009

According to the National Post, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is not looking to deal Tomas Kaberle, but would be willing to consider a "home-run" deal for him. Burke has not asked Kaberle to waive his no-movement clause, but a source close to the player's agent said the Leafs would soon be given a list of teams he would agree to play for. The Post also reports that an NHL team has offered a top-5 pick for defenseman Luke Schenn, but Burke isn't biting. Brochu's take: Burke's got a point about Kaberle, who's contract is actually fair in today's market. Schenn is pretty much an untouchable at this point. Source

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that "there's talk [Florida]Panthers GM Jacques Martin has had talks with [Pittsburgh]Penguins GM (and old friend from their Senators days) Ray Shero about a Jay Bouwmeester for Ryan Whitney and draft picks deal." Brochu's take: Why would Shero do that for a impending UFA? Source

The Ottawa Senators have fired head coach Craig Hartsburg, only 48 games into his first season behind the team's bench. Binghamton Senators head coach Cory Clouston will replace him for the rest of the season. GM Bryan Murray has also said there will be "judgements" made on players before the trade deadline. Brochu's take: They fired the wrong guy. Murray has just been re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic, and sooner or later owner Eugene Melnyk will fire him as well.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Alexandre Picard on waivers.

The Anaheim Ducks have placed defenseman Nathan McIver on waivers.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Weekend rumor roundup for Jan 31-Feb 1, 2009

Here's the lastest NHL and rumour roundup for the weekend of Jan 31-Feb 1, 2009:

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks are interested in re-signing Martin Havlat to a long-term contract extension. There appears to be interest on both sides. Garrioch also adds that the Montreal Canadiens had planned to make a hard run at Havlat at the trade deadline, and were going to pursue him in the summer. Brochu's take: The Hawks are not going to trade Havlat when they are in a playoff position. However, I do see Havlat looking to the open market in the summer.

The Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins could be interested in more toughness, and Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil could be a possibility. Garrioch speculates that it would cost any team a 2nd round pick. There has also been one NHL team interested in forward Shean Donovan.

The Atlanta Thrashers are looking to move forward Marty Reasoner. Brochu's take: Along with half of Atlanta's roster.

The New Jersey Devils are rumored to be willing to move forward Brian Gionta. Brochu's take: Ain't going to happen, Bruce.

The Los Angeles Kings are looking to move forward Alexander Frolov. Brochu's take: He could be available, but the price to get him would be high. Source