The 2006 trade deadline
Deadline day is Thursday at 3 p.m. EST, and I've yet to opine on the fracas that it should be. While some are predicting it'll be a quiet day, there are a ton of teams looking to shuttle out soon-to-be unrestricted free agents and I feel we just might have a few big deals made.
Allow me to distill the rumour mill into a few moves that I actually think we may see:
- TSN's Bob McKenzie says he has it on good authority that the Edmonton Oilers will almost definitely pick up a goaltender. Who that is, however, is anyone's guess. Dwayne Roloson, Martin Biron, Mika Noronen, Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph have all been talked about as candidates, and, of those, Joseph and Noronen seem the most likely. Belfour will be the most unlikely to move. If I was Oilers GM Kevin Lowe, Roloson would be who I'd want, although it's difficult to imagine the Wild wanting to deal to a team ahead of them in the standings.
- I think Mark Recchi's going to be dealt from Pittsburgh, and there's a good chance he could be returning to the Philadelphia Flyers. From what I've heard, Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter has enquired about the Kamloops native as well.
- Todd Bertuzzi's staying put in Vancouver.
- The Flyers will probably be the deadline's busiest team, as in addition to Recchi they're seeking another defenceman and a defensive forward, namely Derek Morris and Wes Walz. Injuries have forced GM Bob Clarke's hand, and this team hasn't been playing particularly well.
- Brendan Witt will be dealt from Washington and there are a number of teams interested (almost everyone interested in getting a blueliner will be in the mix here).
- On the dumping side of things, the Chicago Blackhawks should be the busiest. They'd like to move Tyler Arnason (Anaheim's interested) and players like Jim Dowd, Jassen Cullimore and Matthew Barnaby are getting some interest from around the league. The word is the Tampa Bay Lightning would like to regain the services of Cullimore, who was with the Lightning duringtheir Stanley Cup run.
- The New York Islanders will be moving Mark Parrish and perhaps even Mike York as they've fallen well out of the playoff picture. Carolina is interested in Parrish as a possible replacement for Erik Cole, who will miss the rest of the season with a neck injury.
- The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils won't make any moves due to salary cap concerns.
- The Boston Bruins have three prominent pending unrestricted free agents in Sergei Samsonov, Brian Leetch and P.J. Axelsson.
- I'd also be surprised if Olli Jokinen isn't moved, and the Ottawa Senators are said to be making the biggest push. This may turn into a bidding war, however, with the Eastern Conference teams trying to keep the big centre — one of the NHL's top goal scorers this season — away from rivals.
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