Risebrough might find there's limited appeal for star Gaborik; Smolinski staying in shape; Burish gets caught up in some cat fights

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

The Minnesota Wild has had enough and wants to move star winger Marian Gaborik.

Actually trading the injury-prone Gaborik might prove to be a difficult task for Wild GM Doug Risebrough, an NHL executive told Sun Media.

"These are the kinds of trades, with the salary cap in place, that you're going to have a tough time making because there are only so many teams that can afford to take on a player who is going to demand a salary in the $8-to-$10-million (all terms US) range," said the executive.

"It used to be that when your team had problems, you would just spend more money. Well, you can't do that anymore. There is a very limited market for a guy like Gaborik. It's easy to sit there and say you're going to trade the guy. It's a lot harder to make the actual move. This is going to present a problem for (Risebrough) all year."

Risebrough, who doesn't have a great history in the trade-making department, is believed to have spoken with Montreal and Vancouver about Gaborik.

"This is going to be interesting to watch because we're not talking about a guy a team can build itself around. (Gaborik) gets hurt a lot," said the executive.

OFF THE GLASS

If the NHL expands or moves a franchise, it's doubtful the first stop would be Toronto. A league executive told Sun Media that Las Vegas and Kansas City remain at the top of every list. The NHL would like to put another team in Canada, but Winnipeg and Quebec City both have issues. In Winnipeg, the MTS Centre isn't big enough with only 15,015 seats and in Quebec, the government isn't willing to spend the money to build a new arena. That's why there's been rumours of another team landing in Toronto ... If anybody is looking for veteran help, the perfect solution could be skating near his home in Detroit: UFA C Bryan Smolinski. After finishing last season with the Habs, Smolinski, 37, is staying in shape, working out and hoping to catch on with an NHL team. Seems like he'd make sense for a team like the Panthers that wants to make a push for the playoffs.

AROUND THE BOARDS

GM Steve Yzerman indicated there will be six or seven candidates to be Team Canada's No. 1 goalie at the 2010 Winter Olympics. But it will come down to three or four: Martin Brodeur (New Jersey), Roberto Luongo (Vancouver), Carey Price (Montreal) and Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh) ... So, what do NHLers do in their spare time? In the case of Chicago W Adam Burish, he spent Tuesday as a guest security guard on the Jerry Springer Show, which is taped in the Windy City. "I did gain some respect for the refs in our games and how hard it is to break up fights. The hardest fights to break up were not the guys, but the girls," he wrote on his blog on the Chicago Sun-Times website ... Keep an eye on Chicago W Martin Havlat. The oft-injured Czech can become a UFA at the end of the season and the whisper campaign has already started that he'll be moved. But if the Blackhawks are in the playoff picture it's going to be tough for the club to justify ... Don't be surprised if the Leafs try to move C Alex Steen, C Matt Stajan and D Tomas Kaberle before the end of the season. Toronto won't, however, be able to move W Jason Blake, who has four years left on his contract.

RUMOURS DU JOUR

Talk among NHL GMs is that Atlanta might be willing to make a huge deal before the trade deadline. W Ilya Kovalchuk, 25, is a year away from unrestricted free agency and has another season left on his contract at $7.5 million, but the whisper among executives is he might become available. It would be a tough pill for Atlanta to swallow, but Kovalchuk certainly wouldn't be the first franchise player to be dealt. Hello, Joe Thornton? ... Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren is just about ready to go into full panic mode over the state of his shoddy goaltending. Sources say he has major concerns about Gs Martin Biron and Antero Nittymaki, which has the club quietly shopping for a netminder. The name of Chicago G Nikolai Khabibulin is bound to surface, but the Flyers can't afford the $6.75 million salary. Two options: Atlanta prospect G Ondrej Pavelec and Montreal G Jaroslav Halak. Many in Chicago believe that Khabibulin shouldn't go anywhere, but sources say his stock has never been higher and 'Hawks GM Dale Tallon might want to strike while the iron is hot ... A bunch of teams shopping for blueliners: Philadelphia, Ottawa, Florida, Boston and St. Louis. The No. target appears to Vancouver D Mattias Ohlund ... New Jersey C John Madden can become a UFA on July 1, but look for the Devils to lock him up long before then.

Have a nice Sunday.


Videos

Photos