Puckin' Around With Spector
by Lyle Richardson on 11/23/11 at 12:44 PM ET
Those of you who regularly follow my work on Spector’s Hockey know my bread and butter is NHL trade and free agent rumors, commenting upon those reported by the mainstream media and rumor bloggers.
As NHL teams reach the quarter-mark of this season, here’s a look – in no particular order - at the stupidest trade rumors and trade suggestions over that time. Enjoy!
“The Montreal Canadiens trading Scott Gomez…”. It really doesn’t matter the destination, the very notion of the Canadiens finding any takers for Gomez - who (as of November 22nd) hasn’t scored a goal this season, and carries an annual average cap hit of over $7.3 million until the end of the ‘14-‘15 season – is not just stupid, it’s laughable. I realize general managers can do dumb things, but I don’t believe there’s anyone out there right now that dumb or desperate looking at him and saying, “Y’know, he’s worth the gamble”. There’s a better chance of Gomez being demoted to the minors this season (which I also don’t see happening), or bought out next summer (provided the new CBA contains a “one-time-only, penalty-free” buyout period) than of him being traded this season.
“Eric Staal is no longer untouchable”. One reason the Carolina Hurricanes suck on toast right now is the poor performance of their captain, who after 22 games was on pace for a miserable 36-point season, but with management desperately seeking scoring depth, the last person they’ll move is the 27-year-old Staal. Besides, his $8.25 million per season cap hit and “no-trade” clause are definite stumbling blocks if they were to even consider that option.
“Roberto Luongo for Vincent Lecavalier”. This one was an October editorial in the Vancouver Province. Not sure if its author was serious, or merely having a little fun at the expense of Canucks fans still seething over Luongo’s meltdown in the last two games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. I’m assuming it’s the latter, because if it’s the former, the author deserves a game misconduct for talking out their ass.
“Ship Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers”. This one suggested the Vancouver Canucks would soon have to choose between Luongo and promising Cory Schneider, and it would be better off to return Luongo to Florida, as the Panthers needed to address their goaltending situation soon. When this suggestion appeared in late-October, Panthers goalies Jose Theodore and Jacob Markstrom were playing very well. Markstrom would be returned to the minors (he’s since been recalled), not because of his performance, but rather to give playing time to returning backup Scott Clemmensen. Theodore, the Panthers starter, has a solid 8-4-2 record in 15 games, with a 2.49 GAA and .920 SP. Looks like the Panthers are doing just fine between the pipes, with no need for a blast from the past.
“Rick Nash for Tuukka Rask”. The Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly inquired about Rask’s availability and were told he’s unavailable. No way in hell, however, did they, or will they, offer Nash for Rask straight up. This deal would be voted down in a fantasy league.
“Mike Ribeiro to the Toronto Maple Leafs”. The Leafs could use an experienced, healthy playmaking center for Phil Kessel’s line. “Mickey Ribs”, however, isn’t that center, as the Stars have no reason to move him. They’ve got a new owner, who has vowed to spend more on player payroll, so the theory of moving Ribeiro to dump salary doesn’t hold up.
“Martin Brodeur to the Florida Panthers”. The basis for this one had the New Jersey Devils trading their long-time goalie if he were unwilling to retire at season’s end, suggesting Brodeur would be a good tutor for young Jacob Markstrom, as well as boost the Panthers attendance. Yeah, nothing draws fans like a once-great goalie in the twilight of his career. Beside, the Panthers already have a future tutor for Markstrom in Jose Theodore, who’s signed through next season, so bang goes that theory.
“Canadiens scouting Ales Hemsky”. Doesn’t appear to be anything unusual about this one…except, when it came out on October 27th, Hemsky had been sidelined for two weeks with a shoulder injury, and wouldn’t return to action until November 8th. Hard to scout a player who hasn’t even been in the lineup.
“Blue Jackets had interest in Jay Bouwmeester”. If that were even true, and I doubt it was, Bouwmeester wouldn’t be interested in the Blue Jackets, and his “no-trade” clause would ensure he wouldn’t go there. Yes, I know, players waive those clauses all the time, but only to go to a better team, not a bottom-feeder. Flames GM Jay Feaster would have to be one helluva salesman to convince “Jay-Bo” to accept a trade to the Blue Jackets, and I don’t see him threatening to bury Bouwmeester in the minors tto force him to accept such a deal.
“The Buffalo Sabres had serious interest in Jets captain Andrew Ladd”. The Jets, however, had no interest in moving Ladd at the time this one came out (October 18), and have no intention today, tomorrow, or next season.
“Shea Weber to the Toronto Maple Leafs”. A word of advice: Friends don’t let friends post when drunk. Thank you.
“Leafs to shop Tim Connolly, perhaps at the trade deadline”. This one was posted on October 13th, when Connolly had yet to play a game for the Leafs due to injury. A tip to its author: One week into the season is not the ideal time to start dreaming up February trade deadline deals.
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About Puckin' Around With Spector
I’m Lyle Richardson. You might know me from my website, Spector’s Hockey, my thrice-weekly rumor column at THN.com, my weekly column at Eishockey News (if you read German), and my former gig as a contributing writer to Foxsports.com.
I’ll be writing a once-weekly blog here with my take on all things NHL. Who knows, I might actually find time to debunk a trade rumor or two.