Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 03/01/14 at 12:06 AM ET
For those of us who aren't glued to Twitter or the interweb, the Dan Girardi's re-signing with the New York Rangers and the Ott-and-Ryan Miller-for-Jaroslav-Halak-etc. trades were the first of perhaps a dozen or so meaningful moves that will result from literally thousands of trade rumors per actual transaction made...
But the Sportsnets, ESPNs and deadline-drama-loving fans are obviously hoping that Friday's transactions broke a dam's worth of inactivity ahead of what many of you are probably hoping will be a 35-to-45-transaction period of time between now and 3 PM EST next Wednesday, and both TSN's Bob McKenzie (on Twitter) and ESPN's Scott Burnside and Craig Custance suggested that we've not seen the last of Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray's pre-trade deadline moves...
[Burnside]: But let’s talk about the Sabres for a minute. Is it possible new GM Tim Murray may make a hundred trades before 3 p.m. Wednesday? For instance, is it beyond the realm of possibility that both Stewart, who has one more year left on his deal at a $4.15 million cap hit, and Halak, who will be an unrestricted free agent in July, could be dealt again before the deadline? And let’s just think of this: What if Halak ended up going back to the Western Conference to, say, Minnesota or even Chicago as a backup to Corey Crawford? I think it’s more than a little possible. Murray also has other assets he might end up dealing, including Matt Moulson and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.
CUSTANCE: I could also see a guy like defenseman Henrik Tallinder being an attractive addition for a contending team looking to add depth like the Boston Bruins. When I spoke with Murray on Thursday, he said there were four or five guys beyond Miller, Ott and Moulson drawing interest from NHL teams. I wondered if former GM Darcy Regier raised the expectations in Buffalo too high with the return he got for Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, but that's clearly not a concern any longer. Murray did just as well in this deal and could potentially have three first-round picks in a stacked 2015 draft. Other teams around the league should take note of the Sabres' strategy. The Sabres wisely started the rebuild while their best players still could get a premium return rather than wait too long like the Calgary Flames. Teams considering big changes, like the Vancouver Canucks, might want to follow suit. So what does this leave us to look forward to with Dan Girardi signing an extension in New York and Ryan Miller already traded?
And TSN's Pierre LeBrun continued to add fuel to the rumor bonfire on Friday evening...
Are there any new developments on the Ryan Kesler trade front?
LeBrun: Kesler is the biggest name on the market right now. He didn't officially ask for a trade - I think that's true - but everyone knows that from both his side and the Canucks side, a change of scenery might be the best thing. I was told on Friday by a source, and this is now public, that the action has absolutely picked up and the phone is ringing off the hook in Vancouver. So many teams want to at least educate themselves about what it would cost to get in on the Ryan Kesler market. And again, the Canucks are telling everyone "we don't have to move him before Wednesday." If they don't get their price met (which is very high) then they can wait until June to possibly trade him. The Flyers, Blue Jackets, Red Wings - of course he's from Michigan - the list goes on as there's so much interest in Kesler.
(Quoth the Red Wings fan: so does Kesler fill that second-defensive-pair hole the Wings have going on?)
How does Dan Girardi's six-year deal impact Ryan Callahan with the New York Rangers?
LeBrun: I do feel in my heart of hearts that it has an impact and that's where it starts with Callahan. I have this gut feeling that he might soften on these contract demands and if he does, I think he can re-sign with the Rangers. And that's because this team is on a roll, he's the captain, and he and Girardi are close so look for that to maybe have an impact. But certainly if he doesn't soften on his contract demands then the Rangers are going to trade him. One small note on Girardi, by the way - his no-movement clause, which is in his new extension, starts right away. He doesn't have to wait until July 1 when his new deal kicks in.
And TSN also posted a quintet of videos about the Miller-and-Ott trade, what the Sabres might do with their haul, whether Chris Phillips will go to Boston and what's going on in Carolina (Cam Ward?), Edmonton (Ales Hemsky?) and Buffalo again (Ehrhoff?)...
I would also be remiss to not note that former Sportsnet reporter Chris Nichols is now running a website called "Nichols on Hockey," (kind of like Spector's Hockey?), so we're not lacking for hockey analysis or rumor-tracking from people who do not ask readers to pay money to access made-up rumors and "charts."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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