FEBRUARY 29, 2004.
FLYERS INTERESTED IN LEETCH?
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Tim Panaccio reports Flyers GM Bob Clarke
claims he's had no contact with NY Rangers GM Glen Sather about
defenceman Brian Leetch. Speculation for the past several days has
the Flyers among several teams believed interested in Leetch, but
Clarke says he doesn't know if Sather is actually shopping the long
time Ranger. If he does, Clarke admits he'll be interested, but not
if the asking price is prospect centre Jeff Carter. He also considers
rookie blueliner Joni Pitkanen and prospect center Mike Richards
THE LATEST ON THE AVALANCHE.
DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports Colorado Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix
denied a report in a Swedish newspaper yesterday that claimed centre
Peter Forsberg had decided to play for his hometown club MoDo in
Sweden next season regardless of the status of labour negotiations
between the league and the players. Lacroix noted MoDo also denied
the report. Regarding speculation he was trying to land goaltender
Olaf Kolzig and defenceman Sergei Gonchar from Washington, Lacroix
was his usual cryptic self, claiming he was happy with David
Aebischer in goal and feeling confident about his club's Cup chances,
but adding if a deal came along to make his club better he would do
WINGS NOT DONE DEALING?
MICHIGAN LIVE.COM: Dennis Tanner reported yesterday Detroit Red Wings
GM Ken Holland doesn't expect to be active at the trade deadline in
the wake of his acquisition of NHL leading scorer Robert Lang from
Washington this past Friday. Holland did claim to be "taken aback" by
some of the offers he's received from other clubs, and says he'll
continue working the phones until deadline day while claiming he
won't do anything major.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reported several days ago that Wings captain
Steve Yzerman is believed to be lobbying Holland to acquire NY
Rangers centre Eric Lindros
MIGHTY DUCKS GM READY TO DEAL.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Chris Foster and Mike Bresnahan report Anaheim
Mighty Ducks GM Bryan Murray plans to be a seller by the March 9th
trade deadline. He won't comment on whom he'll shop but said he would
listen to proposals. The only untouchables on the club are goalie JS
Giguere, centre Sergei Fedorov and defenceman Keith Carney. The Tampa
Bay Lightning would like to re-acquire forward Vaclav Prospal but
Murray apparently wants the Bolts to include $4 million, the amount
the Ducks gave Prospal as a signing bonus, as part of the deal.
LEAFS TO WAIVE KIDD?
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reported yesterday that the Maple Leafs
might consider waiving backup Trevor Kidd, who has not played well
while starter Ed Belfour was out and was outplayed by call-up Mikael
RUMOURS FROM THE OTTAWA SUN.
Bruce Garrioch reports the following:
- The Ottawa Senators might try to pry defenceman Jason Smith from
the Edmonton Oilers. The two clubs held talks in the past about Smith
and Garrioch claims defenceman Karel Rachunek could be available.
- There are wild rumours regarding potential moves by the Colorado
Avalanche. One has the Avs offering the Capitals defenceman Derek
Morris for Sergei Gonchar and goalie Olaf Kolzig, while another has
the Avs then moving Kolzig and either a draft pick or young backup
Phillipe Sauve to Carolina for winger Jeff O'Neill and either goalie
Kevin Weekes or Arturs Irbe.
- There's word the Vancouver Canucks were interested in Peter Bondra
and Robert Lang before they were dealt by the Caps. Apparently GM
Brian Burke offered Brendan Morrison and two draft picks for Lang but
Caps GM George McPhee passed because Morrison has arbitration rights
- Rangers forward Matthew Barnaby could be attracting interest in the
coming days. Apparently Boston Bruins GM Mike O'Connell is trying to
land both Barnaby and defenceman Brian Leetch by offering up a top
pick and a prospect, while the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks
might also make a pitch for him.
- There's speculation the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers may
have contacted the Rangers regarding centre Petr Nedved.
- Speculation in Montreal has the Habs trading defenceman Craig Rivet
to Ottawa for winger Antoine Vermette, but Garrioch says it won't
- The Sabres, Canucks and Oilers are believed interested in Alexei
The Islanders, Coyotes and Panthers have apparently contacted the
Senators regarding defenceman Shane Hnidy, who isn't available at the
moment but could be by the deadline.
- The New Jersey Devils have apparently contacted the Chicago
Blackhawks about Alexander Karpotsev.
RUMOURS FROM THE TORONTO STAR.
WAYMORESPORTS.COM: in their "Weekend Mag" reports the following:
- The Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils,
Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings are rumoured to have "serious
interest" in Rangers defenceman Brian Leetch. If the Blueshirts move
him, it'll likely be to a Western Conference club.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins might still be in a selling mood by the
deadline. They could shop defenceman Dick Tarnstrom and veteran
forwards Mike Eastwood, Kelly Buchberger and Aleksey Morozov.
- Another Washington Capital who might be shopped is gritty winger
RUMOURS FROM THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH.
- Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean isn't actively seeking a deadline deal
but would love to move a veteran to free up room in his payroll for
the bonuses set to kick in for Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev. If a
deal could be found MacLean could shop "Geoff Sanderson, Todd
Marchant, Andrew Cassels, Scott Lachance or even Luke Richardson."
- Buffalo Sabres managing director Larry Quinn suggested his club
might be "aggressive" at the deadline yet he also claimed the team is
set to lose $10 million this season. They'd like to land a rugged
blueliner like Washington's Brendan Witt but could also try to move
the salaries of "Miroslav Satan, Alexei Zhitnik, Taylor Pyatt, Curtis
Brown and a goaltender (Martin Biron or Mika Noronen)."
RUMOURS FROM THE DETROIT NEWS.
Ted Kulfan reported on the players believed available at the
deadline. While most have already been reported on ad nauseum
(Gonchar, Kolzig, Leetch, etc), Kulfan did add a few new names to the
mix. Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Bryan Berard could be of interest
in the coming days. The San Jose Sharks might turn their interest to
either Rangers forward Martin Rucinsky or Minnesota forward Andrew
Brunette. The Colorado Avalanche might try to land Wild goalie Manny
Fernandez to back up David Aebischer. The Edmonton Oilers might try
to move veteran centre Adam Oates. The Vancouver Canucks might have
interest in the Capitals Brendan Witt and Michael Nylander. The
Senators may not be confident in Patrick Lalime and might consider
obtaining either Edmonton's Tommy Salo or Washington's Olaf Kolzig.
RUMOURS FROM THE BUFFALO NEWS.
Like Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, Bucky Gleason touched on those
players who might be available at the trade deadline. Along with the
usual suspects, Gleason noted the Sabres might be willing to shop
Miroslav Satan if they could get a good young scorer in return.
Defenceman Alexei Zhitnik is a UFA this summer but apparently the
Sabres wish to retain him. The Dallas Stars might have interest in
Capitals forward Mike Grier and they might try to land a role player
from the Wild. Edmonton Oilers blueliner Eric Brewer might be
available, as could tough guy Georges Laraque and disappointing
forward Brad Isbister. The Wild could shop impending UFA players Brad
Bombardir and Sergei Zholtok.