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Evaluation the name of the game for NHL GMs

Globe and Mail

With the National Hockey League idle until Friday, this is an ideal week for its 30 general managers to evaluate their individual team options between now and the Feb. 27 trading deadline.

Should they be buyers or sellers? Or deal prospects for rental players?

These will be some of the positions they'll consider when the GMs hold discussions with scouting staffs during the break in the schedule for the all-star game in Dallas on Wednesday.

It's a difficult situation for most of the contending teams as they try to balance needs for possible playoff runs alongside salary-cap issues.

There have been only a handful of trades this season as GMs monitor player salaries just as closely as the bottom line of team operations.

“Things will heat up as we get closer to the deadline and the financial end becomes more reasonable,” Steve Tambellini, vice-president and assistant GM of the Vancouver Canucks said yesterday. “It looks if you're a seller, it will be a good market, with buyers probably having to overpay.”

The most significant deal so far may have been the Ottawa Senators sending prospect Alexei Kaigorodov to the Phoenix Coyotes for centre Mike Comrie, a trade made after injuries to Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher.

Phoenix faired better in another deal when it acquired backup goaltender Mikael Tellqvist from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tellqvist has already won nine times with the Coyotes. Evaluation the name of the game for NHL GMs

The price for a good forward isn't what it used to be, if last year's trade deadline didn't show it. The Price was high for talent, and it will probably be close to the same this year.
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