NHL Rumours

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

DEAD DUCKS?

A shakeup in Anaheim could be coming soon. While nobody expected the Ducks to be world beaters this season, they're expected to challenge for a playoff spot and since they aren't, GM Bob Murray is desperate to make moves. Sure, he'd love to get G J.S. Giguere's $6-million cap hit for the next two seasons off the books, but Murray isn't having a lot of luck. According to league executives, Murray has decided to aim a little lower by offering up underachieving RW Joffrey Lupul, who has a $4.25-million cap hit through 2013, around the league. At that price, it's going to be difficult for Murray to find a trading partner. The heat has been turned up on coach Randy Carlyle, but the belief is coaching is the least of the club's worries and Murray had better make some moves.

ILYA COULD STAY

Look for LW Ilya Kovalchuk to remain with the Atlanta Thrashers on a deal that could be in excess of 10 years with an average of more than $9 million per season. League sources say while Kovalchuk and agent Jay Grossman have held off on agreeing to a deal, discussions with Thrashers GM Don Waddell have been "favourable." The belief is Kovalchuk doesn't want the pressure of playing in the scrutiny of a market where he's going to face questions. Not only have the Thrashers tried to put together a playoff contender this season, Kovalchuk had input on some of the roster decisions that were made.

EYES ON BURKE

All eyes are on Toronto GM Brian Burke. While Leafs Nation is waiting for Burke to stick LW Jason Blake on waivers, league sources say that's not a move that makes sense. "Normally a team where they're sitting at this point of the season would just sit still and go for the No. 1 pick. They don't have that option, so he's got to get out of last place. There are not a lot of teams that want to help him," said a league executive.


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