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Scott Cullen
2/2/2007 11:24:29 PM


Forsberg is most discussed, the Rangers are turning their attention to the Blues and the Kings have plenty more to offer beyond Craig Conroy. Hot n' Not, Farm Report, Junior Report, Varsity Report and the best in quotes, Chirping, in this week's edition of TSN.ca's Backchecking.

AROUND THE RINKS

- With Peter Forsberg's availability uncertain, the New York Post reports that the Rangers are turning their attention to St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk, though the paper notest that youngsters to Marc Staal, Brandon Dubinsky, Bobby Sanguinetti, Ryan Callahan and Petr Prucha are untouchable. Other options for the Rangers, according to the paper, include Chicago's Bryan Smolinski and Nashville's Josef Vasicek, with the mention that the Predators could have interest in defencemen Aaron Ward or Karel Rachunek.

- Tkachuk is an interesting option for the Blueshirts in that he does have a no-trade clause, but may consider waiving it if the Rangers are in contention. Just as interesting is that Tkachuk would be acquired so that he could centre the Rangers' second line with Brendan Shanahan on the wing. Back in 1994, when Tkachuk played for the Winnipeg Jets, he caught Shanahan (playing for St. Louis at the time) with a high-stick, knocking out a couple of teeth. Shanahan was bloodied, but returned to seek his retribution later in the game and Tkachuk turtled while Shanny rained blows down upon him.

- Flyers C Peter Forsberg denied, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, that there had been any contact with the Colorado Avalanche about a trade.

- The Detroit News reports that the asking price for Forsberg is a top prospect and a first-round pick.

- The Los Angeles Times reports that the Ducks are keeping tabs on Forsberg's availability and also had Ducks GM Brian Burke's angry denial of a Toronto Star rumour indicating that the Ducks were after Maple Leafs C Mats Sundin.

- According to the Philadelphia Daily News, other Flyers have heard their names in trade rumours too, including D Derian Hatcher. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that three teams remain interested in Hatcher.

- Even before the Flames acquired Craig Conroy, the Calgary Sun was lobbying for the Flames to dig into their past for Florida LW Martin Gelinas.

- Following the Conroy deal, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Kings still have several soon-to-be free agents that could be moved: C Derek Armstrong, D Aaron Miller, D Brent Sopel and G Mathieu Garon. The paper also notes that the Kings have offered C Sean Avery, looking for a first-round pick in return.

- The Vancouver Sun suggests that, for the long-term betterment of the franchise, the Canucks should consider moving D Sami Salo, who will be a free agent at season's end.

- According to the Edmonton Journal, the Canucks are looking for a replacement for injured C Ryan Kesler, and will look at veterans Mike Sillinger of the New York Islanders or Bryan Smolinski of the Chicago Blackhawks.

- The Boston Herald discusses the possibilities of the Bruins trading all three pieces they received in last year's Joe Thornton trade. D Brad Stuart and LW Marco Strum almost seem likely to move at this point, while C Wayne Primeau is a possibility for a team that needs a veteran checking centre.

- The Boston Globe had the rumour that the Bruins would deal Stuart and Sturm to Edmonton for defencemen Jason Smith and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

- According to the Buffalo News, Sabres C Tim Connolly is making progress in his attempt to return from concussion.

- The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the Carolina Hurricanes are set to deal one of their surplus defenceman, David Tanabe or Andrew Hutchinson, to the Chicago Blackhawks.

- The Arlington Heights Daily Herald Times reports that the Blackhawks are getting ready to deal and have a plethora of forwards available, including Mikael Holmqvist, Radim Vrbata, Bryan Smolinski, Tony Salmelainen and possibly Martin Lapointe. The paper suggested that Montreal could have interest in a player with Smolinski's skill set.

- According to the Globe and Mail, Phoenix LW Ladislav Nagy and Columbus RW Anson Carter are available, while Los Angeles D Aaron Miller, and Blackhawks blueliners Adrian Aucoin and Jassen Cullimore can all be had via trade.

- TSN's Darren Dreger reports that both the Oilers and Flames have interest in Maple Leafs LW Darcy Tucker. Reports out of Toronto seem to go back-and-forth on whether Tucker is actually going to be moved.

- The Washington Post suggests that Capitals RW Richard Zednik could attract interest from teams approaching the deadline.

- Various reports indicate that Canadiens LW Sergei Samsonov expects to be traded before the deadline.

- Reports out of Chicago suggest that Blackhawks G Nikolai Khabibulin could be moved, though it's not easy to find a team that can take on the two years and $13.5-million remaining on his contract after this season.

- According to the Detroit Free Press, the only under-25 Red Wing that is untouchable heading towards the deadline is Valtteri Filppula. The paper also notes that if Shane Doan can't sign long-term in Phoenix, the Wings would have interest in the power forward.

- Coyotes D Ed Jovanovski, speaking at the All-Star Game in Dallas, seems to think that former Canucks teammate Todd Bertuzzi could be a likely free agent signing by the Coyotes in the offseason.

- The St. Petersbug Times reports that the Lightning are prepared to welcome LW Evgeni Artyukhin back into the fold next season. Artyukhin leads the Russian Super League with 159 penalty minutes, while scoring 12 points, in 39 games.

HOT

Johan Holmqvist, G, Tampa Bay (3-1, 1.45 GAA, .948 SVPCT in last four games)
Ian White, D, Toronto (0-5-5, plus-8 in last five games)
Ryan Whitney, D, Pittsburgh (2-6-8, even in last five games)
Jozef Stumpel, C, Florida (4-3-7, plus-4 in last four games)
Trent Hunter, RW, New York Islanders (3-3-6, plus-2 in last five games)
Tuomo Ruutu, C, Chicago (0-6-6, plus-5 in last six games)

NOT

Rick DiPietro, G, New York Islanders (2-1-1, 3.87 GAA, .872 SVPCT in last five games)
Brad Stuart, D, Boston (0-0-0, minus-8 in last four games)
Shaone Morrisonn, D, Washington (0-0-0, minus-7 in last five games)
Ladislav Nagy, LW, Phoenix (0-1-1, minus-4 in last four games)
Cory Stillman, LW, Carolina (1-0-1, minus-7 in last six games)
Radim Vrbata, RW, Chicago (0-1-1, minus-6 in last five games)

FARM REPORT

FULL STORY
 

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I guarantee Tkachuk will not waive his NTC.
 

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- The St. Petersbug Times reports that the Lightning are prepared to welcome LW Evgeni Artyukhin back into the fold next season. Artyukhin leads the Russian Super League with 159 penalty minutes, while scoring 12 points, in 39 games.
He left because he wanted more money, unless he has grown up a bit and knows hes not worth the money he wants...yet, I would be more then happy to see him back in the line up.
Please Feaster don't waste the tiny bit of cap space there is left.
 
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