When it comes to haters of incessant and random rumors, today marks a day of mixed feelings.
On one hand, you’ll have an enormous atom bomb of ridiculous fake-outs, near-trades and genuine attempts to mislead the Internet as a whole for the first half of Feb. 27. (Seriously, you know it’s bound to happen; at least one disturbingly real-looking fake Twitter feed will “break” some news that doesn’t exist and plenty of reasonable people will bite. I’d wager it’s a fake trade involving the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rick Nash, although it might be easier to float a less obvious player like Steve Ott or James van Riemsdyk.)
On the other hand, by the time the mid-afternoon rush of final deals are done trickling in and the deadline passes, those same easily annoyed folks won’t have to hear baseless trade rumors until the summer. Instead, that attention will shift to injuries, coach firings and other day-to-day things that can still have us irritated and maybe entertained. But at least the trade rumors are de-fanged to "this might happen in the off-season" irrelevance.
Either way, the trade deadline is upon us. With that in mind, here’s one trade I’d LIKE to see each team make or not make - in many cases, these choices are based on sheer comic and/or entertainment purposes.
Anaheim – I’m indifferent about Teemu Selanne moving – it’d be great if he retired with his long-time team but would also be great if he received another swing at the Cup – so how about Niklas Hagman? He should try to collect as many jerseys as he can, like a hockey Paul Shirley with more sporting talent, less writing ability and presumably none of the political commentary.
Boston – With the Bruins’ injury issues, they might want some forward help. The Dallas Stars seem like they’re trying to contend and hold a fire sale, so what about Michael Ryder going back to Beantown? It would be refreshing to see him fall in Claude Julien’s doghouse again for the sake of nostalgia.
Buffalo – Derek Roy’s been linked to trade rumors, at some point, so why not?
Calgary – They’re in quicksand and Jay Feaster won’t acknowledge it, so consider this a pass. I actually think they have a shot at the playoffs, even though it’s hard to imagine them not getting smeared like a smashed bug.
Carolina – The Hurricanes really screwed us by not trading Tuomo Ruutu, whose “getting hit really hard way more often than the other way around” act is a hoot. In an ideal world, they’d humor us and send him somewhere interesting.
Chicago – Chris Campoli!
Colorado – David Jones’ days seem numbered, but it’s admittedly kind of hard for me to get too excited about him.
Columbus – Scott Howson needs to cut it out and trade Rick Nash for our entertainment purposes. Besides, it’s not like he’s done much to make the Blue Jackets a good team, so why not do some good?
Dallas – Steve Ott is the big rumor sponge and it would be entertaining if he became a Vancouver Canucks irritant to put that team over the top. That being said, Mike Ribeiro trolling in a different uniform would be awfully appealing, too.
Detroit – Is it too late for the Red Wings to nab Ryan Suter? (Actually, I guess the question is if it’s too early.)
Edmonton – A logical GM probably would have traded Ales Hemsky rather than handing him a two-year, $10 million contract extension on Friday.
Florida – The Panthers are covered already. They traded for Wojtek Wolski. *snickers*
Los Angeles – The Jeff Carter trade scratched the itch, so how about a non-trade? Don’t trade Dustin Brown. Don’t do it, Dean Lombardi; don't do it.
Minnesota – Josh Harding is an interesting trade chip; it’s almost tough to place his value in the market, though. He’s kind of like the Jonathan Bernier-type backups, only he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and doesn’t have the same sexy potential. In other words, he’ll probably yield a second-round pick like everyone else.
Montreal – I can’t help but say Tomas Kaberle. That can’t happen until Pierre Gauthier gets fired, though, so just hold onto it for this summer or so. (Though no one will want to trade for him who isn't Gauthier, so people might have to wait for him to become a GM somewhere else first.)
Nashville – The Predators received some brief Rick Nash humor hype. You know what that would mean: Rick Nashville. Also, that’s not ever happening.
New Jersey – The Devils already made their move by trading Noah’s Ark for Marek Zidlicky on Friday.
NY Islanders – Seriously, they’re really going to re-sign Evgeni Nabokov? C’mon, just trade him to Chicago or somewhere interesting.
NY Rangers – Is Nash just an over-hyped, overpaid player? Being on Glen Sather’s payroll would almost force that to become true, right?
Ottawa – Much like New Jersey, the Senators anteed up this weekend by sending a second-rounder for Blues’ odd man out Ben Bishop. Not sure if Ben Bishop is anything but really tall, to be honest, but it should make their backup battle interesting if nothing else.
Philadelphia – It would be wildly entertaining if the Flyers traded JVR and even more if the move was for Luke Schenn. (Notice I didn’t say “really smart,” though?)
Phoenix – The Coyotes’ red-hot run dictates that a) Shane Doan won’t be dealt and b) Antoine Vermette shows that they’ll be bolstering, not selling. That’s hard to argue with.
Pittsburgh – The Penguins are in an odd spot because of injuries and what not.
San Jose – If the price for Nash is Joe Pavelski + good stuff, the Sharks shouldn’t do it – well, logically speaking. That being said, if that’s what it takes to get a Nash trade made, that I don’t really care. Again, bad idea, but it would be delightful to watch Joe Thornton pass to Nash again. It’s a win-win situation for non-Sharks fans because a) you could witness them purge their demons – entertainingly – OR b) Nash could join Thornton in the “Guys who annoyingly get chastised by the media for not winning the big game” club – for real. Either way, it would be interesting.
St. Louis – Why mess with a good thing? No sense mortgaging the future when the future is still such a big part of what’s so promising about St. Louis. (This was already true since they kinda sorta did that already by trading Bishop, even if the move makes sense.)
Tampa Bay – You know what I miss? The Vincent Lecavalier trade rumors were really fun. Those aren’t actually likely to come to fruition, though. Ryan Malone could bring a decent bounty, although they won’t have much forward toughness with Steve Downie out of the picture …
Toronto – The Maple Leafs are brimming with different trade possibilities, but my favorite involves Nabokov getting shipped to the fishbowl.
Vancouver – It would be wicked cool if they traded Cory Schneider, because really, how are they going to be able to re-sign the young netminder? I doubt it'll happen, though.
Washington – The Capitals have a bunch of pending free agents – Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Dennis Wideman and Alex Semin – but the only one who could reasonably be traded is Mike Knuble. Bummer.
Winnipeg – I cannot really figure one out for the Jets, so let’s just insert “Teemu Selanne” here.
QUICK HITS/INJURY SNIPES
Kyle Turris avoided a suspension this weekend … Jonathan Ericsson looks like he’ll miss about a month. Doesn’t make for an obvious trade, necessarily, since the Red Wings added Kyle Quincey … Jonathan Toews could be back on Wednesday … Willie Mitchell received a contract extension … Jason Garrison’s back in action for the Florida Panthers. (Click here for the full injury list.)