Burke wants deals to pick up

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

Brian Burke is trying to promote movement in the National Hockey League.

Three executives told Sun Media yesterday the Anaheim Ducks president/general manager has asked NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to study a proposal that would allow teams to pick up a portion of a player's contract to help facilitate trades.

While Burke tried a similar move last year with a per-transaction cap of $2 million US and a per-team cap of $4 million, it didn't fly. It's believed he has lowered the amount this year to $500,000 per-transaction and several GMs are on board.

It would need approval from the NHL and the union to change the CBA, but it makes sense because some teams are so close to the cap they are finding it impossible to make moves.

No one is sure if Daly will bring this up at the NHL's next board of governors meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif., at the end of the month, but allowing teams to pick up a little bit of the cash to move their problems might make trades a lot easier.

ON THE HOT SEAT

John Tortorella has arrived on the NHL's hot seat. Last week, it was San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson. Before that, people were wondering about the future of Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford. The finger will be pointed at Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice soon, but many are wondering what's going to happen to Tortorella, the longtime coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the Bolts went into last night's game against the Thrashers only one game under .500 at 5-6-1, the club is 0-6 on the road. At one point, Tortorella was so upset he took the team for a bus ride around Manhattan in their equipment. But it's doubtful Tortorella is going anywhere. Many coaches believe he has the safest job in the NHL because he has the unwavering support of GM Jay Feaster and the players in the Tampa room are aware of that. Tortorella might be demanding, but the Bolts shouldn't waste much time wishing for a coaching change.

AROUND THE GLASS

The only way the Senators can keep defenceman Wade Redden is if they can move defenceman Joe Corvo and his $2.675-million salary. The club tried to do that all summer and had no luck ... Former Leafs goalie Ed Belfour had a tough start to his Swedish adventure with Leksand. He gave up a goal on Sundsvall's first shot only 70 seconds into the game, but faced only 16 shots the rest of the way. The word is Belfour didn't report in great shape, but the club feels like he has to be in the net ... Chicago Blackhawks winger Martin Havlat has resumed skating with the club as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. The Hawks hope to have Havlat back in the lineup in two weeks ... The Sharks quietly signed defenceman Sandis Ozolinsh last week. He had been on a free-agent tryout with the club.

RUMOURS DU JOUR

Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has been busy working the phones, but he has big demands. While Columbus is off to a terrific start and coach Ken Hitchcock is looking for a centre and a puck-moving defenceman, it's believed the Jackets have to talked to the Oilers because Howson has a strong relationship with GM Kevin Lowe. The Oilers wouldn't mind moving winger Raffi Torres, but the club has its own problems on the blue line and can't satisfy the Jackets' needs there ... Talks to get Buffalo defenceman Brian Campbell signed with the Sabres will resume next week. It's believed he is seeking a five-year, $25-million contract. After losing centres Daniel Briere and Chris Drury to unrestricted free agency last summer, the Sabres want to get something done ... Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero has been shopping for a goalie because of Marc-Andre Fleury's struggles. Burke isn't in any hurry to trade Ilja Bryzgalov and some GMs have complained that Shero is a tough guy to trade with. He learned some bad habits from Nashville Predators GM David Poile and can be difficult to deal with ... A GM on trying to make a trade: "It's tough to do. Unless you can make a dollar-for-dollar deal, there's not really any use trying to do anything. I spoke with about 15 teams last week and everybody is in the same situation. You don't even hear many rumours anymore." That's why Burke's proposal needs to pass.


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