SUN Hockey Pool

Rumblings Roberts could return to Calgary

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

Could Gary Roberts return to the Calgary Flames?

It's a rumour making the rounds, in part because of the veteran forward's relatively small salary, plus the fact it's his swan-song season on a Tampa Bay Lightning club that won't make the playoffs and Calgary is the city where his career all began.

Some sources say there's "no chance" yet others say it's a possibility.

We aren't sure Roberts would be able to add much to the Flames playoff run other than a veteran depth player who's been through a few trips to the Stanley Cup finals, including last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Roberts hoisted the Cup with the Flames in 1989.

CUE DEADLINE DRAMA

The 2008 trade deadline day saw 25 deals made.

Just like the year before and the year before that.

Which means there will be plenty of excitement next Wednesday for hockey fans and all those who have hours to fill on TV.

Better yet, we will witness some big names move prior to Wednesday's deadline.

And, thankfully, they won't all be Toronto Maple Leafs.

Remember a few weeks ago, when it appeared the only players who could ready their bags were from the T-Dot?

It seemed we were headed for hours of watching the Nik Antropov sweepstakes.

Don't kid yourself, there will be plenty of intrigue over the next few days.

Will the Florida Panthers kill their season and deal away Jay Bouwmeester?

Will Anaheim do the same with Chris Pronger and/or Scott Niedermayer?

Who will land Bill Guerin? Mark Recchi? Derek Morris? Chris Neil? Ian Laperriere? Jordan Loepold?

Ok, so they're not all big names, but at least deals will be done.

Just as much fun is seeing who didn't land the big fish.

Rumours abound both Washington and Boston want to get their hands on Pronger, so it would make for a fun bidding war to follow.

The economy and salary cap has taken a bite out of trade deadline day's intrigue, but at least it will be a good time.

Oh yeah, sure makes you wonder what will happen to Antropov?

FLAMING C-NOTES

Wonder if the Flames would move 2004 first-round draft choice Kris Chucko for somebody? Calgary has summoned five players from the minors this season but not Quad City's No.-2 goal scorer ... Dion Phaneuf has taken his share of shots from this corner in recent weeks, but it's getting absurd for the Anaheim Ducks to keep piping up the Flames defenceman deserved a suspension for that open-ice hit on Andrew Ebbett. It wasn't an elbow. The only reason Ebbett's nose was broken was because he's 5-foot-9. The hit Buffalo's Paul Gaustad laid on Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, the former Calgary Hitmen star, didn't merit a suspension, either.

HOCKEY TALKY

Knowing what they know now, you can't help but figure the Los Angeles Kings would have grabbed goalie Nikolai Khabibulin when he was available at the start of the season. Certainly, he would have been worth a half-dozen more points by now and a real shot to make the playoffs ... The NHL Network doesn't receive much attention in Canada with our wall-to-wall coverage from TSN and Sportsnet, but in the U.S., the ratings are great because nobody else pays enough -- if any -- attention to hockey. Somebody deserves credit for seeing a need and filling it ... At what point does GM Glen Sather walk the plank for the disaster that's become the New York Rangers? ... Here's a stat to consider after the Blueshirts axed head coach Tom Renney: Markus Naslund has 19 goals this season and none are game-winners ... Being a fan of small-market teams, it's sad to think the Buffalo Sabres will likely miss the playoffs because of Ryan Miller's ankle injury ... People in Calgary should have had a flashback after seeing the hit Brendan Witt of the Islanders laid on Toronto's Niklas Hagman. It was exactly like the one then-Red Wings defenceman Derian Hatcher put on Matthew Lombardi in the 2004 playoffs and knocked Lombardi out of action for nearly a year. In short, five games for that infraction, which Witt received, isn't enough ... Speaking of insufficient justice, how does Cam Janssen of the Blues only receive a fine ($2,500) for his hit on Zbynek Michalek of the Coyotes? It was exactly the same hit Steve Downie laid on former Flames Dean McAmmond and Downie received 20 games ... Did you know Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason tied Ken Dryden's 37-year-old NHL record for shutouts by a rookie with his eighth against the Oilers on Thursday in Edmonton? Mason is a front-runner for the Calder Trophy.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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