January 21, 2012
Selanne should Duck out, join a contender
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
Teemu Selanne has to decide whether he wants to be a lame Duck or a Stanley Cup contender.
If this is indeed his NHL swansong, the 41-year-old high-scoring winger can either finish his career out of the playoffs in Anaheim or take one more shot to win another Cup.
As much as GM Bob Murray has insisted Selanne wonít be dealt, itís going to be up to the veteran whether he stays or goes.
League sources say as many as four teams ó the Rangers, Sharks, Bruins and Wings ó have all made inquiries into Selanneís availability with the trade deadline just over a month away on Feb. 27. All are watching to see if Murray decides to make a move with his club mired near the bottom of the Western Conference.
While the Wings have plenty of experience, the Rangers, Sharks and Bruins wouldnít mind a veteran presence. Selanne can play, contribute scoring ó 15 goals, 44 points in 45 games heading into Saturdayís action ó and heíd be in a similar role to the one Mark Recchi filled in Bostonís championship run last spring.
Sources say the ball is in Selanneís court. He wonít be moved unless he gives Murray permission.
He hasnít yet, but his attitude may change before the deadline. Besides the weather, why would he stay in Anaheim?
Selanne has a chance to do the right thing for the organization and allow them to get some assets. Keep an eye on this situation.
AROUND THE BOARDS
All this talk surrounding Leafs GM Brian Burke bulking up for the playoffs is far-fetched. He first needs help to get his team to the post-season. While the Leafs have held talks with the Ducks about C Ryan Getzlaf, sources say heís off the market and wasnít ever really on it in the first place. Neither is struggling RW Corey Perry. That leaves RW Bobby Ryan as the top target. Itís going to take three pieces to get Ryan: Two top prospects and a top pick. A heavy price to pay but Burke has the assets ... The Philadelphia Flyers are looking at Carolina D Tim Gleason to replace the injured Chris Pronger. The íCanes would like to make moves and theyíve got three looming unrestricted free-agent blueliners, so GM Jim Rutherford will be busy.
OFF THE GLASS
Montreal D Hal Gill will be a hot commodity once the Habs decide to start unloading. The Flyers, Penguins, Panthers and Senators all have interest. Donít be surprised if Pittsburgh brings back Gill; the Penguins never wanted to lose him to free agency weeks after he helped them win the Cup in 2009 ... The only way Columbus LW Rick Nash gets traded: He asks to be dealt. Since he has a no-movement clause, Nash would have to decide he wants to go. Tampa is interested. Donít be surprised if Jackets C Jeff Carter is gone before the deadline. That could be the trade that ultimately gets GM Scott Howson fired.
THIS íNí THAT
All eyes are on Sabres G Ryan Miller. With two years left at a cap hit of $6.25 million, many would like to see the Buffalo netminder dealt, especially with the market so thin for goalies. But sources say expect the Sabres to move other parts to improve the play in front of Miller. Buffalo has suffered an inordinate number of injuries and the team simply isnít playing well. Trading Miller because of a bad year may not be prudent ... Why havenít there been many moves by teams out of the playoff race? ďBecause the asking prices are still really high right now,Ē said a league executive. ďYouíll see more moves as the prices become more realistic.Ē An example: The Hurricanes want top prospects or two first-round picks in exchange for Ds Jaroslav Spacek and Bryan Allen, C Tuomo Ruutu and Gleason.
THE MORNING SKATE
Tampa coach Guy Boucher may not survive the Boltsí horrible season. Not sure if the players have tuned him out, but somethingís not right. There were rumours that if the Bolts didnít beat the Bruins last Tuesday, Boucher would have been turfed ... The Rangers are going to make a move for a high-end forward before the deadline. If they donít get Selanne, GM Glen Sather might take a chance on Edmontonís Ales Hemsky.
RUMOURS DU JOUR
All those teams looking for goaltending help might want to give Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini a call. Heís not shopping G Nikolai Khabibulin and his $3.75-million cap hit, but the Oilers are certainly listening to offers on all their players in the midst of another lost season. Bolts GM Steve Yzerman has to start thinking about next season and Khabibulin did win a Cup in Tampa in 2004. Many believe Burke should go after a goalie because as time ticks away on the season, the Leafs donít have a true No. 1 ... Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, a longtime reader of this space, has been working the phones. Some of his counterparts say Gillis wants to add grit after the Bruins ran roughshod over the Canucks in the Cup final last season. Donít be surprised if he acquires Anaheim RW George Parros. By the way, donít expect to see Vancouver G Cory Schneider dealt. One team on the asking price for Schneider: ďStupid high.Ē ... The Penguins have more than a passing interest in Tampaís Dominic Moore. They arenít the only team, either.
Have a nice Sunday.