NHL RUMOR SUNDAY
The Atlantic Division could see some big names being moved by the April 3rd trade deadline or this summer. Marian Gaborik tops the list as the New York Rangers are shopping the star winger for a top flight center, NHL sources say.
Sources indicate GM Glen Sather remains infatuated with trying to acquire Sharks center Joe Thornton but the buzz is this type of deal would be more likely to happen during the summer than before the trade deadline.
Those around the league say the Rangers shopping Gaborik in the “right deal” is a sign that John Tortorella’s seat isn’t even warm as Tortorella is regarded as growing tired of Gaborik and a likely driving force to the Rangers at least exploring potential trade options for Gaborik.
Meanwhile, struggling center Brad Richards is suddenly becoming a hot topic in league circles. In the second year of a 9 year, $60 million contract, Richards is no longer a No. 1 center and turns 33 in May. Many wonder whether the Rangers would consider buying him out to open up significant cap space they can use elsewhere. That remains to be seen but if the Rangers looked to trade Richards this summer, Calgary would be a team that looks hard at trading for Richards.
Another name to watch leading up to the trade deadline and in the summer if he stays put is Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere. The 35 year old has two years remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $6.5 million and buzz around the league is GM Paul Holmgren is quietly shopping Briere who has a no movement clause. The sense is Holmgren’s determined to move Briere by the summer for a top-6 winger or top-4 defenseman.
The Blues, Bruins, and Sabres are among a handful of teams to express early interest in Briere. One sleeper team to keep an eye on is the Anaheim Ducks were the Ducks decide to move Corey Perry which is a possibility, despite Anaheim being the second best team in the Western Conference. The buzz around Perry is that he has all intentions of testing the open market.