Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trade Deadline Day Post Mortem:Who Won/Lost

1) Its conventional for any hockey blog, especially one like ours that specializes in trade talk/discussion/rumors, to analyze the days events and try to discern who helped themselves, and who did not.

  • Montreal: Our first reaction was" What the hell is Gainey thinking!?! Now a full 24 hours later our position is " What the hell was Gainey thinking!?! Why did BG feel he needed to move his # 1 goalie a few weeks before the playoffs? If Price is ready, great, but wouldn't it be nice to have a veteran with impeccable stats there to back him up? Its not like the Caps gave up a king's ransom to acquire Huet. Will that late 2nd round pick make such a difference? Sorry, unless Price leads the Habs to at least the conference Finals(2 playoff series wins) this deal will prove to be a loser in Montreal. Additionally, they couldn't land Hossa and didn't trade Ryder. The Canadiens overall are no stronger, and we feel overall are weaker today than they were yesterday

  • Pittsburgh- OK, we can't argue with the Hal Gill pick up. They needed a guy like him on the back line. However, and from what we've read so far we're a minority in this opinion, the Hossa deal will be a bust in Pittsburgh. Was the Penguin weakness in scoring? If not, how will Hossa make them much better? In our opinion losing guys who are hard working role players who can chip in offensively/are well liked by team mates is an intangible negative that shouldn't be overlooked! Has Hossa in his NHL career shown to be a clutch playoff performer? Almost all agree that this is merely a rental. If he fails in the post season (at least the Conference Finals) it was a colossal blunder! Marion may suddenly turn out to be the missing link, but we wouldn't bet on it!

  • TampaBay- Probably their biggest move was the one they didn't make(yet): The firing of John Tortorella. Its no secret that about 75% of the team would murder him if they knew they could get away with it. He needs to be replaced. Torts is the primary reason that Vaclav(Vinny) Prospal needed to be dealt. The Boyle contract is another head scratcher. Yes, Dan is a very good offensive defensemen that would be hard to replace, BUT at 6.6 mil for another 5 years, he will have a hard time living up to that money. As a result Feaster was forced to deal Richards. We feel what he received back for the star forward is a mere pittance of what he should have received. Perhaps Mike Smith will become a legit starting goalie, but if not, the deal was a huge bust!

  • Dallas- (See above) The Stars improved their offensive depth considerably with the Richards signing. They already were one of the better scoring clubs, and now they are officially a playoff threat!

  • San Jose- The missing piece of the puzzle as they say for the Sharks was a legitimate puck moving defensemen who can quarter back their power play. With the reemergence of Cheechoo, the Sharks seem to be poised to challenge the Ducks and the West

  • Washington- First the positives (Its 90% good). Excellant swindle (see Montreal above) of the Habs for a younger, better option to start in net. Kolzig, despite his recent surge has not been the same goalie he's been in DC the past decade. This acquisition shocked almost everyone in the NHL. Not the least of which were caps fans accustomed to deadline snooze. Additionally the addition of Fedorov should bolster a forward lineup that was hurt by the Nylander and Clark injuries. It remains to be seen how much 'Feds' has left in the tank. Another positive is the Cooke addition. He's a player who has an edge. An aspect the team was missing. The only negative is the 3 goalie situation is going to be awkward. Huet will have to play the lions share of remaining games. Can Ollie be effective as the #2 guy? GMGM should have dealt him as well to dispell any potential locker room issues!

  • Colorado- Some have whimsically thought that the Avs were trying to reassemble the 2001 team with the additions of Forsberg and then Foote. Had they been able to land Blake it may have been a bigger story and room for additional conjecture of when Roy and Bourque would return.; ) Seriously, the Forsberg addition got the most ink, but the additions of both Foote and Salei are the biggest moves the Colorado sextet made yesterday. It solidifies their shaky backline and together with a healthy group of forwards should propel the team into the playoffs where they will go as far as their goaltending can take them.

  • Buffalo- They got the SJ first round pick and a solid young forward in Bernier, but its NOT enough to alleviate what fans in Buffalo must be wondering. Can we ever really compete? They have now lost Briere, Drury and now Campbell in less than 8 months. Wasn't the salary cap supposed to allow small market teams to compete? Guess that's not how it works?

  • Anaheim- Picked up a couple of French hyphenites in M-A Bergeron, and J-S Aubin. Both are merely depth players who will see limited action barring injury. The biggest thing Burke did was nothing. Like last year he resisted the urge to make a big splash in the rental sweep stakes. It worked for him last time around, why not take this approach again. Therefore after all is said and done we feel the Ducks are still the favourites to win the Cup.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Which Way To Go? Deal Or Extension

1) As time quickly moves towards the trade deadline it seems that teams and soon to be UFA's are either moving towards trades or contract extensions. First the most recent signings:

  • Dan Boyle in TB. Reportedly a 6 year 40 mil deal. He would have been the most sought after available defensemen with Blake apparently out of the running. The new owners gave Feaster the go ahead earlier yesterday to try to get a deal done in front of the deadline. Its a HUGE mistake in our opinion. The 32 yr old is gifted for sure, but is he worth that kind of dough? No! It almost forces the team to try to unload one of the big 3 (with Richards the most rumoured to be on the block)

  • Barret Jackman also won't be going anywhere at the trade deadline as the St. Louis Blues re-signed the defenceman to a four year contract extension worth $14.4 million.

  • Brian Campbell Reports this evening tell FR2 that the Sabres made a 'considerable offer' to the impending UFA defender. We're told it was a 3 year 15 mil extension which Brian's agent rejected. Although talks could restart, if the Sabres don't give Brian at least 5 years he will be dealt by this afternoon. We hear the Sharks are hot and heavy on acquiring the talented defenseman. The Boyle deal makes it MORE likely that Campbell will have to be dealt as the bar has been raised by the silly TB deal

  • Mike Comrie- As FAUXRUMORS mentioned yesterday our sources told us that the Islanders and the impending UFA centre are closing in on a deal of at least 1 more season to keep the Edmonton native on Long Island

  • Marion Hossa- Negotiations are on going so its no guarantee that the Slovak will be going anywhere, unlike a few of his team mates, mentioned yesterday by FR. However, if things fall through we are hearing that the Habs have a deal on the table that could include Chris Higgins plus a prospect/pick.

2) As for trades/impending deals. No surprise to anyone that Vinny Prospal was traded. He goes back to the Flyers the team that drafted him 15 years ago. Vaclav and hot-head coach John Tortorella have been feuding not so privately the past few weeks to the point where the two had to be restrained at a recent practice. Ironically, Tortorella's days may also be numbered as the new ownership group isn't too keen on his coaching style of alienating/berating players in public.

3) Also, as FR mentioned yesterday a lot of the Brad Richards trade talk is a load of hot air. However our sources tell us that the Boyle deal almost forces Feaster to have to try to make a deal. One could be worked out with an unidentified Western conference team with considerable cap space and one Eastern Conference team, also with lots of space to absorb Richards enormous(and in our opinion over-inflated) salary. Some have mentioned Columbus. If true it would be a huge mistake in our opinion. They would simply be replacing one over priced forward(Fedorov) with another. The East team has not been confirmed to be the Islanders, BUT they do fit the bill in having tons of space. Their problem is not necessarily having many top assets that would interest TB. Its also possible that Feaster can wait until the off season to complete such a trade.

4) It appears the Black Hawks are going to try to be very active this afternoon. They have at least 8 players for whom they are making available: Nikolai Khabibulin, Martin Havlat, Robert Lang, Tuomo Ruutu, Marty Lapointe, Yanic Perrault, Andrei Zyuzin, and Rene Bourque. Of these as FR discussed yesterday LaPointe, Zyuzin and Lang would be most likely to go. Havlot would get the most return. Khabibulin is unlikely to go now, but almost assuredly to be traded at the draft if he's still with the team.

5) And so it goes. Many teams will continue to try to get their players resigned before 3:00 p.m. (EST) However, if players who will be UFA's remains unsigned and lures of attractive offers start coming in, both sides could find themselves in a quandary. That's the beauty of the NHL trade deadline. Sometimes you don't know how it's going to play out until the very last second. As always, keep it here for all the latest news, rumors and expert/unique analysis!

Monday, February 25, 2008


1) In a stunning turn of events (especially in Philadelphia!) The Colorado Avalanche evidently won the 'Peter Forsberg sweepstakes'. Signing FOPPA for the remainder of the season. Our Sources tell FAUXRUMORS that Forsberg will earn $5 million, which prorated for the remainder of the season, comes out to approximately $1 million.(US) The deal also includes a no-movement clause. Not that this is important at this juncture of the season

2) While there were always subtle rumblings in the Forsberg camp that Colorado was a slim 2nd choice IF he returned, it has been almost universally known that Philadelphia was his main focus if he could return from his chronic foot issue. He had been in weekly contact (almost daily the last few weeks) with the Flyer organization. We had been told by our reliable Flyer source that Peter was either going to play in the city of Brotherly Love or no where this year. When we called that same source late this afternoon, he was needless to say flabbergasted by the turn of events. He tells us that to put it mildly "Flyer owner Ed Snider was none too pleased"!! More on that as the days proceed.

3) What is interesting is that the Flyers could use his services now more than ever. They are a team nose diving on the brink of going from division leader earlier last month to out of the playoff picture entirely. Its very possible one league source tells us that "Peter saw the writing on the wall" and didn't feel the Flyers were in a position to make a playoff run. With Sakic, Stastny, Smyth, etc and most of the Av's team again healthy the boys from Denver along with this addition could poise a serious threat to the upper echelon teams(Anaheim/Detroit/Calgary). Time will tell of course, but the biggest deadline deal apparently did not involve a trade after all. Another league source tell us that you can bet your boots that Cliff Fletcher is getting more than a call or two requesting (pleading) with him to convince Matts Sundin to change his mind!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

D-Day Approaches!

1) We at FAUXRUMORS decided it was as good time to take a brief (4 day) hiatus to try to digest the many and varied rumoured deals going around. Its a mere 36 hours until the trade deadline, and even at this late date there are only a handful of teams that we are hearing are going to be definite sellers. Of those few teams that even want to deal away a player, many could be handcuffed by giving ill advised no trade clauses to entice the players to sign in the first place.

2) Now, for the record, we have NO problem with individual players exercising their contractual rights to invoke the clause. It was negotiated in good faith. The team wasn't forced to agree to that term. So the team has no right to complain about it now. On the other hand we can't understand why a player such as a Sundin who has never won a Cup, wouldn't want to get a chance to raise the trophy for which every NHL-er strives. Many may recall how Ray Bourque, an icon in Boston, left the B's to have a chance at a championship in Colorado in 2001. It was a tough choice, but one we're sure Ray does NOT regret.

3) As of this writing here are the teams that are definitely/most likely to be in 'selling mode' in the next 36 hours.:

  • Florida: Radek Dvorak, Steve Montador, Jassen Cullimore are all on the block. Its not impossible that the Panthers may try to make a larger deal BUT DO NOT expect Olie Jokinen to be a part of any Panther's trade!!)

  • Tampa Bay: Vaclav Prospal, Chris Gratton, Andre Roy, Dan Boyle, Jan Hlavac could all be trade fodder. (DO NOT believe ANY Brad Richards rumours) With the impending sale it'll be difficult for Mr. Feaster to make any block busters. Prospel wants out badly. He has had harsh words publicly for coach Tortorella. He will get a ton of interest. The Rangers and Senators in the East and Vancouver and Calgary in the west have inquired.

  • Toronto: Mats Sundin is of course on everyone's list. As reported here he has already agreed to waive his NTC IF the right deal is consummated. Until then he will maintain his desire to stay a Leaf. Others who will probably be moved are Hal Gill, Andrew Raycroft(if possible), Dominic Moore, Wade Belak. Also do NOT expect Blake or McCabe to be traded! Their contracts/health issues are too considerable for any team to take on right now.

  • Atlanta: Pascal Dupuis, Joel Kwiatkowski, Mark Recchi for sure. Bobby Holik is being persuded hard by the NYR's Glen Sather. The Marion Hossa sweepstakes is coming down to ony a handful of teams. The Canadiens of course are the favourite, but a sleeper team that could land the gifted Slovak is Vancouver if they can't get Sundin to agree to a deal. Also do NOT rule out a return to the Senators, as they have expressed interest recently.

  • LA: Brad Stuart will be strongly sought after. Robert Blake states publicly he wants to stay in LA until the season is over, but some of our sources have told us he'd waive that IF he were given a good contract extension from a short list of Western Conference teams (A sign and trade) Its unlikely, but still possibel then that Mr. Blake could be on the move. Others that might be soon dealt from LA are Brian Willsie, and Tom Preissing

  • Edmonton: Injuries have hurt their trade possibilities. We're told Lowe wanted to deal Raffi Torres and actually was close to a deal with an Eastern team before the forward was injured last month. The remaining trade possibilities won't bring back much: Geoff Sanderson, Marty Reasoner

  • Chicago: Now that the Hawks are clearly out of it, they have been actively trying to move Martin Lapointe, Yanic Perreault, and Andrei Zyuzin. The Flyers have expressed interest in Lapointe. Pereault being injured is less likely to go anywhere. Khabibulin's name will inevitably come up but we're told his additional year on 6+ mil will make any deal for him difficult

4) Here are the teams that even on this late date are on the bubble and may decide at the last possible second:

  • NYI: Miroslav Satan, Mike Comrie, Bryan Berard, Joe Vasicek all will get attention, BUT with their recent surge Garth Snow will have to weigh heavily what his team's long and short interests are. We're told that they would consider a deal for Satan only if they got a good return (1st round pick or young prospect). Comrie isn't likely to be dealt. They have already started contract talks with him to try to keep him after the season. Vasicek after Satan is the most likely to be traded.

  • St. Louis: After a very nice run it looks like the Blues have fallen back from contention. So we're hearing that Rucinsky, Salvador and Barret Jackman will be up for trade. Rucinsky to the Rangers seems to be too frequent to be ignored, but Dallas has also expressed interest

  • Columbus: The Jackets like the Blues were hoping to avoid being seller yet again, but it appears that they will miss the post season. If they decide to 'sell' the names we are hearing are David Vyborny, Sergei Fedorov and Mike Peca. All would be sought after and could return a nice pile of picks/prospects for the up and coming Jackets. The Flyers' Holmgren would LOVE Feds

5) Thats a mere 10 teams that may or may not be 'selling' players in the next few hours. that leaves 20 or so teams that may want these players. Of course as we saw with Ottawa and Carolina, teams that are both in the race might pull off a deal.

  • Along those line the Sabres who see that they will probably lose Brian Campbell are taking offers for the offensively gifted defensemen. There are at least 5 teams in the West alone who would quickly get into a bidding war for his services!

  • Alex Tanguay is certainly on the trading block we're told. He and coach Keenan have been at odds almost since training camp

  • Michael Ryder is about a sure bet to be traded as anyone. His recent improved play should assists a team in taking on Mike. The inevitable Tanguay for Ryder rumours will continue, but if Alex has any say (and he does!) he will NOT go to the Habs

  • R.J. Umberger or even Jeff Carter of the now desperate Flyers could be had. The Flyers are looking for BOTH a defensemen and a forward. Now that Forsberg is a sure bet to not come back Holmgren is super motivated to make a deal for a forward that could get his team back in the playof race. Flyer scouts have been seen in Columbus fueling speculation of a Fedorov and or Vorbony deal?

  • Pavel Demitra has been rumoured to be available, but our source in Minny tell us that Risebrough wants to retain Pavel for the playoffs and worry about resigning him in June.

  • Ed Jovanovski, long rumored to be going to the rangers appears to want to stay in the desert and is NOT available

  • Patrick Marleau's significant decline combined with his huge contract make him almost immovable

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No FOPPA! Trades Can Now Commence?

1) Many published and some private sources have told FAUXRUMORS that the uncertainty of the return of Peter Forsberg had created a bit of an ice jam for some clubs in initiating trades. The story goes that several GM's were hoping to land the super-star Swede's services and were holding off on making any deals until they were certain that he wasn't coming back to the NHL.

2) While we believe that may be true in some very isolated cases, its total bunk to believe that a great many GM's were waiting for one player before embarking on trying to improve their clubs. In fact as we at FAUXRUMORS have been writing here for months, most GM's already knew that Forsberg was either going to not play this season OR play exclusively for the Flyers. This was NOT a very good secret, so we doubt that many other GM's besides Paul Holmgren were waiting on Peter's answer. We also doubt that as much as Holmgren has been discussing things with Forsberg the past few weeks that he was shocked by the decision either.

3) Meanwhile with all 30 GM's huddled in one place (Naples Florida) the rampant speculation will undoubtedly start in earnest that deals are being consumated. However our sources tell us just the opposite. That at these meetings there are so many GM's clustered so closely that few have the time, and actually less privacy to discuss potential trades. Certainly trade discussion is no more likely here than when the general managers are in their respective offices. In these days when phones, fax machines, e-mail etc are all being used, face to face meetings are not required to construct a trade.

4) This is not to say there aren't rumours-a-plenty, but we're told most GM's/teams are playing is close to the vest and most moves will take place as close to the deadline as possible. As discussed last week, with so many teams still in the race the number of clear cut sellers could be minimal. As of this writing only 2 teams in the East were more than 4 points from the playoffs, and in the West a mere 3 teams are that far from the post season. That's 25 of 30 teams still in the playoff hunt. 25 potential 'buyers' and 5 potential 'sellers'. Maybe a good year to be a seller! One player that could now be involved in a deal is RJ Umberger. We are hearing is that Paul Holmgren is dangling the young forward in hopes to land the player(s) he wants. Certainly things should start to get interesting. We at FAUXRUMORS will stay a top of things. As always, keep it here for the latest!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eklund Losing Readers/Credibility?

1) Since we feel the truce that FAUXRUMORS and Eklund made last summer doesn't pertain to us, we felt it our duty to report that the biggest hockey rumour spreader known as Eklund is fast losing readers (money)

2) Some may recall that he came to prominence during the last NHL lockout. Apparently he had a source within the NHL who was using Eklund to throw out trial balloons. Later Eklund craftily parlayed this into a major business to sell his web site.

3) He actually had one agent who used him and the aforementioned league source, but the vast majority of the crap that he was 'selling' was stuff that he created out of this air. With his usefulness for the NHL over with, they no longer have been feeding him anything meaningful. Our source within the NHL tells us that Eklund was 'a useful idiot, but we don't tell him anything anymore'.

4) We have been told that many of the writers who signed up to write for the site have gone unpaid for their work for months. One told us that, "If things don't change soon you may see the site closed by the end of the year". We have no other independent confirmation that this is true. There are no longer many professional writers contributing to the site anyway. Instead he now uses amateurs (bloggers) to write articles for each team, for free.

5) Certainly it shouldn't cost too much to create rumours then mass-e-mail them and post them on a web site. What IS true is that many of the 'faithful' are getting restless. We are on friendly terms with many. We talk (using a non-faux screen name) often on how we are wondering how much this guy (Eklund) actually knows. Some who were previously regular contributors to his discussion board have abandoned him. Others who had the temerity to disagree with Eklund, actually making him accountable for the lies had their accounts eliminated. This totalitarian/thin skin style should be a clue as to the truthfulness of the nonsense being spewn.

6) If one were to try to unravel and write down all the conflicting and different trade rumours he's postulated this year it would take days! Yet with regard to the ONLY meaningful trade that has transpired this season (Ottawa-Carolina) he had ZIP! No discussion or hints until after the deal was done. By the way, last year he had poor Jason Allison signing with almost every team. (We're still waiting Ek!) LOL

7) As we have said time after time fans love to read about rumors. Hey its what we do as well!However if you're going to charge folks money to subscribe, to charge cash for 'insider status', to continually put out rumor after rumor and get NONE right, then the folks are going to lose their trust and move along. This is precisely what is happening with Eklund. Many other sites (ours included) give far overall better hockey discussion to go along with the occational rumour. Hockey fans are discerning folks. They know a con-man when they read/see it. It just took a bit longer in his case, but it appears the curtain has fallen, and the man manipulating the 'Wizard' has been unmasked!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Deal Or No deal?

1) That is the VERY interesting question many teams/GM will very shortly be facing. Teams that are on the bubble playoff-wise, or may very well be solid playoff teams And/OR also possess a player(s) who are set to become an UFA after the season. If a deal looks unlikely before February 26th do the teams try to deal them to get something for their soon-to-be lost property, or do they retain their player in hopes he assists them in the post season?

2) With so many teams in the playoff race (with a mere 20 or so games remaining only 1 team is 10 or more points from a playoff spot -LA) Only 5 teams are greater than 5 points from the post season, and with the crazy SE division all teams are in the race for the title to 'The Weakest link' of the NHL. So its likely that at the deadline (a mere 10 days away) that many teams will be in this dilemma.

3) So whom are we talking about?

  • Matts Sundin:

  • Marion Hossa

  • Brian Campbell

  • Wade Redden

  • Dan Boyle

  • John-Michael Liles

  • Matt Norstrom

  • Pavol Demitra

  • Cristobal Huet

  • Miroslav Satan

  • Mike Comrie

  • Sean Avery

  • Ty Conklin

  • Barrett Jackman

  • Vaclav Prospal

  • Markus Naslund

4) These are probably some of the bigger names of the possible 2008 summer UFA class that are on teams that are either in the playoffs or have a legitimate shot at the post season. Almost all are vital to their current teams' success. The (multi) million dollar questions are:

  • Can we win without them?

  • Can we sign them after the season?

5) The official FAUXRUMORS position on this is:

  • IF you believe(truly believe, not just PR bullshit to keep fans coming to games) that your team can make the playoff, OR can have an impact in the playoffs then by all means retain ALL your teams vital assets and try not to overly tinker with your squad heading into the home stretch. You basiclly paid for the player for the year, why not get all your money's worth?

  • If you think that your team has a minimal chance at the post season OR if they get in they'll be dispatched quickly, then by all means get as much from the sucker GM's as you can to try to quickly rebuild from their mistakes. You may even get to get your player back over the summer.

6) A related news item. We have learned that Matts Sundin HAS already waived his NTC! We're told that earlier this week he met with new/interim GM Cliff Fletcher. Our source tells us that Matts asked for some very specific things in return for waiving the clause.

  • His decision would be kept unpublicized UNTIL a trade was made or about to be made public
  • He had the right to refuse any specific deal. He would first be told of the impending trade then have veto power over it.
  • He specified only 3 Western Conference teams he'd agree to go to and one Eastern team. We can tell you with certainty that Vancouver was one of the 3 west teams!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Deal: Finally! And Other News

1) Well there was finally a deal of consequence/substance yesterday. For any who may have missed it the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators desperate to change their recent fortunes swapped forwards and defensemen. The specifics of the deal:

  • Carolina gets:Joe Corvo and Mike Eaves

  • Ottawa gets:Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore

2) The Senators take the biggest gamble for the long term here. Both players they traded for are set to become UFA's this summer. While Corvo has another 2 years left on his deal after this season and Eaves is a RFA. Will these deals improve their respective teams? In our opinion, no! We see that both teams weakened themselves to some degree, and at least didn't address their main needs down the stretch.

3) No rumour outlets had a whiff on this deal prior to its conception. Which should indicate the degree of silence that both camps took. We're told that neither GM wanted to get into a bidding war so they wanted to get this done quickly and quietly. Our Carolina source tells us this deal was first suggested by Murray in Ottawa around the All star break. Once Rutherford got the OK from ownership it was quickly consumated.

4) Several media outlets are confirming what we at FAUXRUMORS have been anticipating with regard to Henrik Lundqvist. The team reportedly signed the Swede to a 6 year 40 mil extension. This is much higher than what we anticipated last summer:( With King Hank set to become an RFA this summer Glen Sather had no choice but to give their team MVP what he asked for. It will be interesting to see how this affects the prospect of signing thier other free agents this summer. That could include Jaromir Jagr, and Sean Avery. If the salary cap goes up another 3-5 mil, it could ease those issues

5) According to our sources close to the Peter Forsberg situation, the Swedish center is ready to announce a decision on whether he will return to the NHL. If the foot is not yet up to snuff Peter may finally have to admit its time to retire. If he were to return the only team he has considered is the Flyers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Islanders: Bush-League!

1) Of course we're referring to the way the NY Islander organization (Charles Wang) recently treated Pat Lafontaine. According to Brian Burke, he said he asked the Islanders for a credential for LaFontaine, a former Islander and Hall of Famer, so he could sit with him on Tuesday night when the Ducks played at Nassau Coliseum. But for some inexplicable reason the Islanders would not grant him one. Burke then said he reiterated his request as a personal favor, and was again refused. "I'm bewildered by it, but you'd have to ask the Islanders about it," said Burke.

2) Bewildered? That was a very diplomatic way to say that the Isles spit in his face. We don't want to hear one sentence from any Islander fan defending this action. It doesn't matter what (if anything) LaFontaine supposedly did to the Isles (more specificlly Charles Wang) but when an opposition GM asks for a personal favour to permit the admission of someone (out side of a convicted child molester, etc) you do it.

3) The Islanders' side? Through a spokesman, the Islanders said that Lafontaine, would have been welcome to sit in an alumni section, rather than with Burke. WHAT?? BULLSHIT! Is that the best they could come up with? Instead of accepting this inane offer, Burke just got LaFontaine a ticket and had him sit in a suite with Burke and members of the Ducks ownership group.

4) What appears to be transparently clear is that Islanders owner Charles Wang is carrying a bit of a grudge against the former Islander. To review for those who might not have followed the circus that is the NY Islanders organization:

  • LaFontaine once served as a personal consultant to Wang, and a member of a hockey round table of sorts inside the team's front office, that included head coach Ted Nolan, then-GM Neil Smith and fellow Hall of Famer and player personnel director Bryan Trottier.

  • When the shit hit the fan between Wang and Smith, it was Patty who tried to convince Wang to reconsider his rash decision of dismissing Smith after only a scant few weeks on the job.

  • However Wang, the hockey-genius that he is, went ahead and canned Neil anyway, eventually replacing him with then back up goalie, Garth Snow. Probably seeing the writing on the wall, that the franchise was being run by an egomaniacal moron (Steinbrenner without the success), LaFontaine wasted no time tendering his own resignation.

  • Fans were outraged enough to see Smith fired so quickly, but when LaFontaine(someone who had always exuded class his entire playing/retired career and gave some credibility to the team) quit it made the Isles (Wang) look even worse.

5) Again we do NOT want to hear from Isles fans who say that the Isles had the right to treat Pat this way because:

  • Of the way his tenure as a player ended. His playing days on Long Island ended early in the 1991-92 season after he rejected a long-term contract offer and then refused to report to the team. LaFontaine was traded to the Buffalo Sabres soon after the season started.

  • He had the audacity to play for the hated, rival NY Rangers.

6) Sorry neither argument holds water. Wang and the Isles get very little/no slack. When you compare the two (Wang/LaFontaine) its not even close whom we give the benefit of a doubt The Isles would have been far better off simply allowing their former alum (who was invited and took part in Al Arbour night this fall) and a Hall of Famer (one of the best American born players, ever!) to sit where ever he wanted! Bush-League!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Who's On The Block?

1) As promised Monday, here is a first look at who may be most likely to be on the move by the February 26th Trade deadline. We will list ALL 30 teams(in alpha order) and list whom we are hearing are MOST likely to be wearing a different sweater February 27th.(Kris Beech does not count!) As we mentioned earlier this week, right now it doesn't appear we will have too many 'blockbusters', but that of course as we get closer to the deadline, and GM's who feel they have a shot to either make the post season or challenge for the Cup may get an itchy trigger finger. Also NOT every player listed WILL be traded.

  • Anaheim Duck: Brad May, Mark Mowers, Doug Weight.

  • Atlanta Thrashers: Pascal Dupuis, Joel Kwiatkowski, Mark Recchi, Bobby Holik, Marion Hossa

  • Boston Bruin: Aaron Ward, Alex Auld

  • Buffalo Sabres: Brian Campbell, Maxim Afinogenov

  • Carolina Hurricanes: John Grahame, Wade Brookbank

  • Calgary Flames: Stephane Yelle, Eric Godard, Alex Tanguay

    Chicago Blackhawks: Martin Lapointe, Yanic Perreault, Andrei Zyuzin

    Columbus Blue Jackets: David Vyborny

  • Colorado Avalanche: John-Michael Liles,

  • Dallas Stars: Niklas Hagman

  • Detroit Red Wings: Daniel Cleary

  • Edmonton Oilers: Geoff Sanderson, Marty Reasoner,

  • Florida Panthers: Richard Zednik, Radek Dvorak, Steve Montador, Jassen Cullimore,(NOT Jokinen!!)

  • Los Angeles Kings: Ladislav Nagy, Brad Stuart, Robert Blake, Brian Willsie, Jaroslav Modry, Tom Preissing

  • Minnesota Wild: Pavol Demitra

  • Montreal Canadiens: Michael Ryder, Jaroslav Halak, Bryan Smolinski

  • Nashville Predators: Martin Gelinas, Radek Bonk

  • New Jersey Devils: Arron Asham

  • New York Islanders: Miroslav Satan, Mike Comrie, Bryan Berard, Joe Vasicek

  • New York Rangers: Marek Malik, Paul Mara

  • Ottawa Senators: Wade Redden,

  • Philadelphia Flyers: R.J. Umberger

  • Phoenix Coyotes: Mike York, Derek Morris

  • Pittsburgh Penguins: Ryan Malone, Kris Beech(OK, we had to!)

  • San Jose Sharks: Alex Semenov

  • St. Louis Blues: Bryce Salvador,

  • Tampa Bay Lightning: Vaclav Prospal, Chris Gratton, Andre Roy, Dan Boyle, Jan Hlavac. ( NOT Brad Richards)

  • Toronto Maple Leafs: Mats Sundin, Hal Gill, Andrew Raycroft, Dominic Moore, Wade Belak (NOT Blake or McCabe!)

  • Vancouver Canucks: Brad Isbister, Ryan Kesler

  • Washington Capitals: Matt Pettinger, Steve Eminger

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Phaneuf Signed!

1) As most expected Dion Phaneuf has signed a lucrative extension with the Calgary Flames. Although the official details have not been released, most outlets are reporting that the deal is 6 years at 6.5 mil/per. That is very close to what our sources had been telling FAUXRUMORS.

2) To review as we reported a few days ago we expected a deal to be very shortly signed by the All Star Flame defensemen. At the time our well placed Flame source told us that, the third-year NHL-er in the final season of his entry-level contract, was looking to get a long term deal. The source told us initially that a deal in the 8 year 6.25 mil range was being discussed as well as other possibly longer or shorter terms that were on the table.

3) In the end both sides decided to settle on a slightly shorter term (6 years) for a tad more money(6.5) We're told a deal that would have kept the Edmonton native in a Flame uniform for a decade or more was proposed by the Phaneuf camp, but rejected by the Flames. Apparently Flames owner Harley Hotchkiss, a more hardline owner, did not want to be lumped with Snyder, Leonsis, and definitely not Wang, for whom he holds considerable contempt for initiating the concept of decade-long contracts!

4) The inportance of Dion to the success of the Flames aside, this deal will likely be the bench mark other soon to be free agent defensemen will have to use to guage what they can expect. Certainly no RFA defensemen will get more than Dion. It is possible though that a UFA rear guard with a tad more leverage/ability to get into a modest bidding war could get more. We'll have more on those folks as the season progresses.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nothing Better to Do?

1) Its seems to be a growing/continuing refrain of politicians getting involved where they don't belong. At the very least where they should NOT be spending a lot of time/tax payer dollars. Its called Grandstanding: Taking on a meaningless issue, but one that garners significant interest/press coverage.

2) The most recent example of this is the idiocy which came from Pennsylvania's liberal Republican senator, Arlen Spector. (Pictured above) Yesterday he held a news conference. No, not to discuss any pending legistlation or an issue which might affect his constituents or any one in the country. No, he wanted to know why NFL destroyed the Patriots spy tapes .

3) You heard us correctly. A Senator NOT from NY or Massachusetts (the teams involved in that long ago resolved issue) wanted to know what became of a tape confiscated by the NFL, and adjudicated from within. A privately owned/run organization is now being hassled by the federal government for no apparent reason other than to give the unaesthetic Spector some face time and possibly deflect voters from thinking about actual important issue for which he was elected to fix.

4) In another matter that is being exploited by politicians: Today the Congress continues its delving into the steroid policy of MLB with Roger Clemens appearing before/giving a deposition before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. This issue at least has some relevance, especially as it can relate to children/minors trying to emulate their heroes, but even here we don't feel the degree of involvement of these ego maniacal politicians is for anything other than to get some easy positive exposure. Avoiding the real possibly divisive issues that we face as a nation/society.

5) The U.S. government is not alone with this kind of grandstanding. Hockey also had a recent issue which saw all 3 major political parties in Quebec pass a motion calling for Hockey Canada to explain the Shane Doan captaincy of Team Canada . at the world championships last spring Apparently this was in response to an alleged(never corroborated) story that Shane made some unflattering statements to Francophone referees the previous December. Their politicians, like their American counterparts, didn't care that this was a non-issue/never occurred. It garnered a natural emotional response that could be successfully exploited for political gain.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Penner Deal Re-Visited

1) With 3/4 of an NHL season having been played since the infamous Dustin Penner offer sheet fiasco this past summer we figured we'd look at how things stack up so far.

2) To review for those who may not recall. Last summer RFA Ducks forward Dustin Penner won the lottery when Desperate Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe made him an offer he couldn't refuse (five-year, $21.25 million contract). Smartly the Ducks and Brian Burke refused to match the insane offer and decided to take the picks (4- 1st rounders)

3) At the time we and FR went on record saying the correct thing for the Ducks to do was to allow Penner to go to Edmonton who were in the midst of 'rebuilding' (euphemism for suck). As the posts from us state, we felt that at least 1 possibly more of the 1st round picks the Ducks would get from Edmonton could turn out to be 'lottery picks'. Thus enhancing the chances that the Ducks would get a blue chip prospect at the expense of the Oilers hasty decision. You can review our previous posts here and here

4) Though 55 games this season Dustin has 16 goals, 17 helpers for 33 points. Pretty much a duplicate of his season last year with Anaheim. He may yet blossom into the 1st line power forward that the Oilers thought they acquired/over paid for last summer, but thus far he's treading water on improvement. To be fair he isn't on as talented squad as last year, BUT he's getting oodles of quality ice time(PP/1st line duty) that he didn't get in large quantities a year ago.

5) Meanwhile, his team, the Edmonton Oilers through 55 games are 6 points from a playoff berth but also 8 points from LAST overall in the NHL! Currently they are 26th which if the season ended today would mean the Ducks would be in line to possibly acquire the 1st overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry draft (Pending the lottery results they could be no worse than 5th) Not bad considering many of the s0-called experts are saying this is one of the deepest pools of talent to come along in many years. Too bad a team that is in desperate need of some won't have their own first round pick. The rebuilding(sucking) will therefore likely continue in Edmonton! (Perhaps resulting in even more lottery picks for the Ducks!) How does Lowe still have a job?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Morning Rumor Round-Up

1) While many of you were busy losing your Super Bowl pools, we at FAUXRUMORS were busy burning up the phones/Internet to try to find out what is going on with regard to future hockey transactions. Firstly, and this should NOT be a huge surprise to anyone who follows the NHL. One of our more connected sources tells us to "not expect much major movement" between now and the deadline. That the fact that there are so few seller GM's combined with several teams feeling that last years deadline additions were mostly over-paid busts, that 'this could be the quietest deadline in recent memory.' That sources opinion aside, there are still quite a few interesting story lines that should make the next couple of weeks quite interesting.

2) This is some of what we are hearing:

  • Peter Forsberg: The Swedish forward is meeting with Flyer GM Paul Holmgren this week. They will discuss the possibility of a return to Philadelphia. We're told Peter is doing well so far with his foot, but it hasn't been 'NHL tested' yet so who knows. Its become clear though that despite other rumors of where Peter may go, IF Forsberg plays again in the NHL it would ONLY be for the Flyers. (Sorry Av's fans) If he does come back its definitly not for the money! He's definitly this years wild card. If it doens't cost much we guess it can't hurt Philly, but we'd maintain that defenseive depth would be their primary need, not another forward

  • Mats Sundin: Another Swede who could be headed elsewhere come the deadline. The big mystery; is Mats interested in leaving TO as a rental? He holds the cards with a 'no trade clause'. The Leafs are listening to offers, but as of yesterday Mats had yet to inform new/interim GM Clif Fletcher of his decison. One asst. GM told us thats its probably 70-30 that Mats is wearing a new uniform by months end. That (as we reported already) a move to western Canada is the most likely destination.

  • More Dumb Leaf Rumours- Really its redundant to say that. The media up in Canada's largest city have a lot of competition to feed the insatiable appetite of their readers with rumor fodder(mostly BS). The Gaborik to the Leafs rumors are total hogwash. (Our Minny source was laughing out loud on the phone when he heard that one!) Get over it Leaf fans, the Wild are not going to trade their best player for a package of Tucker/Blake, fill in the blank! A more plausable trade might involve Hal Gil or Raycroft, but do NOT expect a GM to try to land McCabe or Kaberle, Blake, etc. They simply have too much salary left on their deals. Also don't believe anything about the Antropov rumors. he's 27, and just entering his prime. IF he or the others meantioned here were to be dealt it would be part of a large complicated deal. One that would occur at the draft/summer, NOT a deadline deal!

3) Whats for certain, things should be getting very intersting over the next couple of weeks. We are currently working on a more comprehensive trade rumor post. In it we will go through ALL 30 teams. Listing at least one player from each team that may be elsewhere come February 27th!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Next Big Deal?

1) Our sources as well as several published reports have been discussing the contract situation between Dion Phaneuf and Calgary. While some of the better known rumor paysites had earlier mentioned Dion in potential trade rumors, we hadn't heard any such rumblings from any reputable source. Anytime we'd ask about Dion's situaton we were told "they're working on it". Its the worst kept secret, but appears that the 'work' is just about complete.

2) Certainly its likely that it will be a done deal within a week or less. Its possible the announcement could be as soon as today. When pressed as to details of the forth coming deal we were told it will be 'big', and set the standard for any other pending free agent defensemen. There have been a few possible options of years and dollars. The most likely deal may be something in the range of 8 years 50 million(US). Although its still not out of the realm of possibility that a double digit length contract could be struck. Also a no trade/movement clause is likely to be a part of any deal. What is certain: Dion will be a Flame for a LONG time!
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