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Insider Only Saturday Morning Trade Rumblings: Av’s Jones has big game in front of Pens scouts, 6 other teams

Saturday’s Rumor Mill on Av’s Jones, Allen/Spacek, Sabres, Red Wings, Leafs, Kings, Rangers & more |
— A growing trend in the NHL is GM’s resigning their own players (pending UFA’s). That continued Friday night when the Edmonton Oilers signed Ales Hemsky to a two year, $10 million extension. A big cap hit for a player with just 5 goals on the season and only 64 points since the 2009-2010 season.
A big factor in team’s arguably overpaying to resign their own like Edmonton and Carolina just did with the Hemsky and Ruutu signings this week, is GM’s come to the assumption that they won’t be able to replace those particular players in free agency.
— The New Jersey Devils paid a steep price for 35 year defenseman Marek Zidlicky. New Jersey sent defenseman Kurtis Foster, forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux, as well as a second-round pick in 2012 and a conditional third round pick in the 2013 draft for Zidlicky. The buzz on Zidlicky who has one year remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $4 million, is that he’s on downside of his career and has no shot since shoulder surgery. The Devils might not be done as they see the East being wide open.

— In front of Penguin scouts and six other teams, Avalanche winger David Jones had a big game Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, collecting 2 goals and 1 assist. Jones who scored 27 goals last season and has 14 this year, is an intriguing options to teams looking for help on the wings.
Jones is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at seasons end and as of a week ago was available, but the Avalanche are just two points out of a playoff spot. If the Av’s move him, the sense is someone will have to overpay.
— Canes GM Jim Rutherford is expected to keep one of Bryan Allen/Jaroslav Spacek to stay above the cap floor. Allen wants to return next season, has a no trade clause and the vibe out of Carolina is that Spacek will be the one who’s moved. Pittsburgh was scouting Allen earlier this month but there hasn’t been much chatter on that front lately.
— If Kings captain Dustin Brown is available, it’s only to one or two teams that GM Dean Lombardi targeted before word leaked that Brown was available. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported last night that he still believes Brown could be moved by Monday. The Kings want to start the transition of Mike Richard becoming their new captain and the only way to do that is to move Brown. Don’t be shocked if it happens by the draft.
Ryan Miller is starting to find his game and the Buffalo Sabres are on the rise playing their best hockey of the season. They are just five points out of a playoff spot and if they beat New York tonight, there’s some talk they will hold onto Paul Gaustad who is highly sought after.
— Many have believed this coming Sunday would be the true trade deadline frenzy as 22 teams are in action today and team’s on the fence will make up their minds after tonight on either to start selling or stay put.
TIDBITS
— The Detroit News reports the Red Wings are in the market for a penalty killing forward. The paper mentions Sammy Pahlssonand Paul Gaustad as expected targets.
— Toronto is a wildcard heading into the deadline and the Toronto Star reports there is pressure on Brian Burke to make a big move. The Leafs have looked into the likes of Rick Nash, Ryan Malone and Philadelphia’s James Van Riemsdyk. On the goaltending front, Toronto is said to be considering Islanders netminder Evgeni Nabokov, Minnesota’s Josh Harding and Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin.
— The New York Rangers are widely considered the favorite to land Rick Nash by Monday’s deadline. However, New York doesn’t want to wait around until Monday. They are seeking a scoring forward and defensive help, including a power play pointmen. Sheldon Souray and Florida’s Jason Garrison are among defensemen on their radar.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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