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If we can trade him and clear the cap space I say we do it. The Leafs need to rebuild and go young. We have some decent young guys, but they will need a lot more firepower to compete with the Ottawa's of the new style NHL. Thoughts?

Belfour's no-trade clause might be waived for a price

Trading Tucker `doesn't make any sense,' says winger

Mar. 6, 2006. 06:35 AM

If the Maple Leafs are to deal Ed Belfour before Thursday's NHL trade deadline they'll need the veteran goaltender to waive his no-trade clause, and there's a good chance he would do that if the team acquiring him picks up the final year of his contract.

"I don't want to be anywhere where I'm not wanted," Belfour said when asked whether he would waive his clause. "I want to be where I'm wanted."

Amid speculation that several teams — foremost among them the Edmonton Oilers — are interested in Belfour, the situation took another interesting twist yesterday. For the first time this season, the official NHL statistics report listed Toronto Marlies goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin as a Maple Leaf goalie along with Belfour and backup Mikael Tellqvist. Aubin wasn't listed among the call-ups on the American Hockey League roster and played in last night's 4-1 Marlies win over the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Also at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday was Marlies backup Jean-Francois Racine, who hasn't played for the Marlies since being injured Feb.11. Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson did not return calls placed to him last night.

The Oilers are apparently interested in getting a goaltender and the possibilities include Belfour, Dwayne Roloson of the Minnesota Wild and Curtis Joseph of the Phoenix Coyotes. Mike Morrison and Jussi Markkanen have both been inconsistent, but Ty Conklin has started the past two Edmonton games and has won both of them.

Belfour did not say directly that he would waive his no-trade clause, but it's believed the Leafs will not pick up his $4.5 million (all figures U.S.) option next season. If that's the case, the Leafs must give Belfour a $1.5 million buyout with that figure going against next year's salary cap.

When Belfour was asked if he felt wanted by the Leafs, he had nothing but good things to say.

`I don't want to be anywhere where I'm not wanted'

Leaf goalie Ed Belfour

"I'm treated first-class by my teammates and (coach) Pat (Quinn). Pat has been unbelievable for me. He's a great person and he's really down to earth. I appreciate the opportunity that he gave me when he brought me here."

Much of what happens with the Leafs leading up to Thursday hinges on tomorrow night's game against the Montreal Canadiens. If the Canadiens can win on the road tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, they stand to go 11 points up on the Leafs for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the Atlanta Thrashers and Boston Bruins separating them.

One of the options, and there's no hard evidence Ferguson is about to do it, would be to hold a fire sale and essentially tear apart the team. Most of the players don't feel that would be prudent and the notion makes little sense to Darcy Tucker, who leads the team with 24 goals.

"It doesn't make any sense," Tucker said. "I make $1.6 million and I have a year left on my deal. What would you get for me? I'm sure there are teams that would like to have me, but it doesn't make any sense. Why would you trade a guy who is making $1.6 million who would probably take less money to stay in Toronto?"

Tucker likely would not be dealt and he is in a group of untouchables that includes Mikael Tellqvist, Kyle Wellwood, Mats Sundin, Matt Stajan, Tomas Kaberle, Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo.

Almost anyone else on the roster is tradable, including leading scorer Bryan McCabe, who seems intent on exploring free agency. If he does the Leafs run the risk of not making the playoffs, then losing him for nothing on July 1.

Complicating matters is that the deadline has been moved earlier this season.

Defenceman Ken Klee said during one of his seasons in Washington, management consulted with players they were considering trading. When asked what he would say if Ferguson consulted him, Klee said, "I'd say I want to stay because I believe we're a playoff team, but if the guy says he's going to move you ... you've kind of had the question answered for you."

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bizzat1 said:
Tucker likely would not be dealt and he is in a group of untouchables that includes Mikael Tellqvist, Kyle Wellwood, Mats Sundin, Matt Stajan, Tomas Kaberle, Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo.
I'm hearing a lot of rumors about Sundin being moved... sounds like the Leafs are shopping him around too.

Since i'm not a Sundin fan - GOOD! :)
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