Trade talk rundown

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Any rumour that has the Detroit Red Wings dealing for a goaltender is nothing more than a so-called pipe dream, according to general manager Ken Holland.

While scuttlebutt involving marquee names like Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Pronger and Keith Tkachuk continues to mushroom around the league heading into Wednesday's trade deadline, the general manager of the Red Wings is happy just to do some roster tweaking, if anything.

And that does not include trading for a puck stopper, even with the recent struggles of Chris Osgood.

"Absolutely not. Is that clear enough?" Holland said when asked about potentially dealing for a goalie.

"I believe Ozzie is going to play the way he can down the stretch. I like our one-two punch (of Osgood and current starter Ty Conklin) in goal. If we play good team defence, our goaltending is every bit as good as we need it to be."

Holland is in an enviable position. With the off-season addition of Marian Hossa, the Wings, arguably, are stronger now than during their Stanley Cup season of a year ago.

Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, the team believed to be the biggest threat to the Wings' crown, once again was an opportunity for the Wings to flex their collective muscles.

"Are we looking to do something at (the deadline)? Not really," Holland said.

Perhaps a depth guy, like a Gary Roberts. Otherwise, Holland seems to be satisfied if he stands pat.

That's a claim 29 other envious GMs can't make.

In fact, there is plenty of buzz around the league leading up to the March 4 deadline. With that in mind, Sun Media, with the help of sources and correspondents who either cover or are close to the various teams, offers up the following summary of the trade talk going on in the two conferences.

Western Conference

After the Anaheim Ducks acquired puck-moving defenceman Ryan Whitney Thursday, the prospect of dealing Pronger, who has one season remaining at $6 million, or Scott Niedermayer, a pending unrestricted free agent, seems imminent. Niedermayer's looming decision concerning retirement will play a role ... The St. Louis Blues were making it difficult on themselves when it comes to Tkachuk. After defeating the Dallas Stars 3-1 Thursday, the Blues were three points back of a playoff spot and might want to keep Tkachuk for post-season run ... Blues would like to deal defenceman Jay McKee, but his $4 million US salary makes that difficult ... The Minnesota Wild is in negotiations with Nik Backstrom's agent, Don Baizley, on an extension. If one is not completed by March 4, GM Doug Risebrough might be inclined to keep Backstrom for a potential playoff run ... Wild forward Marian Gaborik has a test on his healing left hip on Tuesday. If he passes, he might be moved ... The Colorado Avalanche will be sellers, with goaltending help and draft picks on the wish list in return. Forward Ryan Smyth's name has been linked to teams like the Sabres but he has a no-trade ... The Edmonton Oilers covet a top-six forward. Among the potential rental players the Oil might look at: Alexei Kovalev and Buffalo's Tim Connolly ... The Vancouver Canucks have about $3 million of cap space but do not have a large cache of prospects to deal ... Matthew Lombardi is an obvious trade chip in a potential deal involving the Calgary Flames ... Olli Jokinen could be on his way out of Phoenix.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Pending UFA Jay Bouwmeester is the talk of the league.

Reports of GM Jacques Martin being in Philadelphia this week had tongues wagging about a potential deal with the Flyers, but Philly has cap problems. Martin MUST make the playoffs and might have to hold on to the big defenceman, even at the risk of losing him without any return this summer. The two sides have discussed a contract extension ... Having sent Dan Boyle to San Jose last summer for minimal return, the Tampa Bay Lightning need blue line help. Because they likely won't move Vincent Lecavalier or Martin St. Louis, picks probably are the most realistic return in any trade. Still, veterans Roberts, Mark Recchi, Marek Malik and Vinny Prospal could be available ... By dealing Steve Begin to the Dallas Stars for defenceman Doug Janek, the Montreal Canadiens set the table for a potential deal for an expierienced centre to replace the injured Robert Lang. The plan was for Janik to be sent to AHL Hamilton once he cleared waivers. Then, after dealing Mathieu Dandenault ($1.8 million salary this season), the Canadiens can go after a rental. Because Janek can step in if the Habs need to call up a blue liner with NHL experience, Dandenault is considered expendable ... Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque wants out, but teams might shy away from a fighter who is very picky about when to scrap ... Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray is expected to try to move defenceman Filip Kuba and right winger Chris Neil ... Veterans Doug Weight (injured) and Bill Guerin will be available from the Islanders, who are seeking picks.

MIKE.ZEISBERGER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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