1) With the Christmas trading freeze set to ice over any possibility of a trade in the remainder of 2006, the rumor mills are sure to start to churn out some doozies. Among the popular rumored deals will involve a variety of 'excess', or talented back up goalies.
2) Among these, Marty Biron in Buffalo, Vesa Toskala in SJ, Ilya Bryzgalov as the first string of potential goalie trade bait. Add to that several others who have been mentioned repeatedly as possible trade bait due to their teams' poor start. However, for this piece we will concentrate on back ups on teams with Cup aspirations
3) We at FAUXRUMORS believe that neither of the 3 teams mentioned should entertain any offers for their talented, but not quite good enough to start goalies. For example; Even if Buffalo might lose Biron for potentially nothing to free agency after this season, we believe that possibility is far out weighed by the possible loss of starter Ryan Miller to injury after the trade deadline. (See Ottawa/Edmonton) Both of those teams lost their starter at inopportune times last season, and their second string were not up to the task of carrying the team, thus eliminating their Cup runs.
4) We believe those teams have savvy enough GM's to have seen what can happen without a starter who can be relied upon. With the earlier trade deadline of February 27th, teams will have much less time to patch up holes, or add pieces in anticipation for a playoff run. Teams that have fallen out of the playoff hunt, or have lost a major skater to injury are another matter. However there are very few teams that are truly out of it, so at this relatively early date we don't anticipate a flurry of activity before Santa's ride, especially for a back up goalie.