With the NHL Draft coming up and free agency right around the corner I have decided to instill the first of my series of articles, “Trade Rumor Thursday”. Each Thursday I will post a list of several trade rumors floating around the NHL.
The GM meetings started Wednesday, so going along with that is trade talk between general managers. Throughout this week several rumors have surfaced about some high quality players.
1. Joe Thornton - David Pollack of the San Jose Mercury News says there is a lot of speculation about Joe Thornton’s future with the San Jose Sharks. The team is in need of change after repeated failure in the postseason, Thornton could be a part of that movement. When Pollack asked Thornton of whether he’d like to continue where he is, he said:
“If he felt the fans didn’t want him in San Jose, he might re-think things.”
Of course, no player would want to be somewhere the hometown crowd does not want them there. If Thornton were to be traded, it would have to be to a contender. Pierre McGuirre was quoted saying to not be surprised if he ended up in Chicago.
2. Jason Spezza - The Ottawa Senators’ general manager Brian Murray has confirmed that their captain, Jason Spezza, has requested a trade. Spezza was quoted by Murray saying, “Change is something I’d like to have happen.”
Nothing is imminent quite yet, but the Senators are looking for a roster player, prospect, and a first round pick in the 2014 or 2015 Drafts.
3. Vincent Lecavalier - Darren Dreger reported on TSN that new Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall has expressed interest in trading his $4.5 million fourth line center.
Lecavalier has a no-movement-clause, so if the Flyers find a suitable trade partner they would have to talk to him first. Seeing he has no role on the team other than being a fourth liner, Lecavalier would most likely welcome a change of scenery.
4. Montreal Canadiens – Sportsnet.ca has confirmed that three Canadiens players, Thomas Vanek, Douglas Murray, and George Parros will not be returning to the Habs next season.
After the Habs acquired Vanek from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline, it was uncertain whether he would re-sign or not. Many believe he will go straight to Minnesota, Buffalo likes to think he will come back, and Islanders fans senselessly dream at night for Vanek to return. The likely destination will be the Minnesota Wild.
Douglas Murray will garner some interest from teams in need of a veteran defenseman. Someone like the Edmonton Oilers or New York Islanders could have interest. George Parros is a fan favorite, fourth-line enforcer that could be valuable to a team needing to fill out their fourth line. The New Jersey native and Delbarton hockey standout could be brought back home to replace Steve Bernier.
5. Boston Bruins - ESPN’s Joe McDonald says nothing new is surfacing on a new contract between Boston and Jarome Iginla. Speculations are that the Bruins are too tight against the cap and cannot afford to bring him back after re-signing RFA’s Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith.
The Bruins would love to bring Iginla back, but that may come at the cost of another roster player. Speculation of Brad Marchand being on the move has begun to resurface. Frequently named “The League’s Most Hated Player”, Marchand carries a three-year $13.5 million contract, $4.5 million AAV. Many teams would and should be interested in his services. Marchand would be a great fit for the Devils and the Bruins ought to receive a call from Lou Lamoriello.
6. Shea Weber - Finally, Nashville Predators GM David Poile has put the end of trade rumors surrounding superstar defenseman Shea Weber. Poile was quoted by NHL.com saying, “We’re keeping him, we’re building our franchise around him,” he also added, “No, we are not trading Shea Weber.”
There you have it, the first edition of Trade Rumor Thursdays on Pucks & Pitchforks. I hope you all enjoyed it, stay tuned for next week!