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Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie
2/8/2007 4:57:16 PM

The market for goaltending, Peter Forsberg, and the struggling Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers are up for discussion with Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie in the 'Trade Deadline Edition' of Insider Trading.

Hi Bob,

I think the Red Wings are finally starting to look like Mike Babcock's team with their much improved team defence and return to the forechecking. It's a style more similar to how they played in the 1990's with Scotty more so than how they've looked for the past four years or so.

However, even Ken Holland has admitted that they need to add a physically imposing forward that can be productive on the score sheet so Datsyuk and Zetterberg aren't the only forwards that teams worry about 5 on 5.

Is there anything brewing out there that can make us Detroit fans a little more comfortable about the Wings chances in the playoffs this year? How about Todd Bertuzzi or Gary Roberts, which are two other names I've heard thrown around?

Jay Croft
Southgate, MI

BM: Jay, either of Bertuzzi and Roberts would be good fits for Detroit.

Roberts has a no-trade clause and may waive it depending upon where he's going and if the new team is prepared to give him an additional year on his contract. Florida would prefer to keep Roberts and re-sign him because he is the type of character player and leader, on and off the ice, that is perfect to help develop the many good young players on the Panthers. But it seems doubtful he'll return their next year, so the Panthers may choose to get something for him at the deadline. For now, Florida is putting on the brave face and saying they are trying to make the playoffs and don't intend to be sellers. But they have a double-digit point deficit to get into the playoffs and many teams to climb over. They will be sellers, but Roberts gets to call his shot if he's going anywhere and there will be huge interest in him from all over the league.

As for Bertuzzi, interesting situation. Florida has not talked contract with Bertuzzi yet and he's an unrestricted free agent at season's end. It looks like, barring any setbacks, that he will return from back surgery by the middle or end of next week, giving him a short window to demonstrate to any potential suitors that he's rested, not rusted. There is no question in my mind Detroit has some level of interest in Bertuzzi. The question is whether Florida's asking price will be unreasonably high, given his health concerns this season to say nothing of prior underachieving. If Florida doesn't try to hit a home run on the return, because he was the centerpiece of the Luongo trade, then he will get some interest as a rental. A team like Phoenix might be interested in Bertuzzi – they most certainly were when he was on the trade market last year – but their interest is more long term than short term and they could just wait until the off-season to sign him as a free agent.

In any case, it looks to me like you nailed what Detroit is looking for and where they would like to slot the addition – right alongside Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

Hey Darren,

Despite all the newspaper rumours, do you think that the Maple Leafs will try to trade Darcy Tucker or Mats Sundin at or before the trade deadline?

Brian Chantler
Burnaby, B.C.

DD: Brian, the future of these two men is sure to remain a hot topic until contracts have been established to keep Tucker and Sundin in Toronto.

Plain and simple, the reason the Maple Leafs have not extended Sundin's contract is because of the cap hit the team would absorb this season. The Leafs captain understands that, and I suspect an extension will be offered within days, if not hours following the conclusion of Toronto's season.

It is the intent of the current management to ultimately see Sundin retire as a Maple Leaf.

As for Darcy Tucker, the hard negotiation is about to hit full stride. Toronto is faced with handing out another multi-year contract, likely to include a “no movement” clause, based on the past deals agreed to by some of Tucker's teammates.

Tucker is said to be progressing well in his quest to return to the Leafs lineup from an injured foot, but his injury absence might encourage a slight discount. In the end it's all about the dollars. Maple Leafs management remains confident an agreement will be reached, but concedes a gap still exists.

So, in answer to your question, yes it is possible Tucker could be moved if that gap can't be narrowed by the 27th.


As I long time Kings fan, I am completely in favour for the youth movement the team is taking with developing talent like Kopitar, Frolov, Brown, Cammalleri etc. With that said, do you think Dean Lombardi will be able to get any tangible assets for the likes of veterans such as Brent Sopel, Aaron Miller or Mattias Norstrom at the deadline?

Michael J. Kovacic
Hamilton, ON

BM: Michael, I thought Lombardi did a nice job of parlaying a player with little or no market value last year (Avery) into a solid prospect like Marc-Andre Cliché.

Cliché isn't an A+ plus prospect but the consensus seems to be that he will play in the NHL as a quality third-line centre who can be a good faceoff guy and penalty killer. Since Avery wasn't a rental, he likely fetched more on the open market than rentals like Sopel and Miller. I don't believe the Kings will move Norstrom or Visnovsky, they are the foundation for next year's defence. It will be interesting to see if anyone might bite on Rob Blake and his $6 million next season – probably not – and maybe Blake, at this stage, isn't interested in leaving his southern California home. But you never know. Hey, maybe he'll agree to go to the Ducks.


I haven't heard as many names and rumours about goaltenders this year. Last year there were deals involving Jose Theodore and Dwayne Roloson. Which names in net are names we are going to hear about this year and is there a chance Jose Theodore may be getting dealt at the deadline for a second straight year?

James Edwards
Deloraine, Manitoba

DD: James Edwards, from the infamous Edwards clan, please say hello to Duane and all of the fine folks in Deloraine. (Duane Edwards represented the province of Manitoba at the Brier in 1990.)

For my money, Martin Biron remains the target with honorable mention going to the pairings in Anaheim and in San Jose. However, all three teams seem committed to the needs of having a quality backup going into the playoffs.

In Biron, I see a similar market to the one established last season in Martin Gerber. While Cam Ward emerged as the Conn Smythe winner in leading the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup Championship, Gerber became a hot commodity as an unrestricted free agent based on his play in helping Carolina evolved into a contending team.

While it hasn't panned out the way John Muckler, the Ottawa Senators, or Martin Gerber had hoped, the belief is Muckler made a sound decision in signing Gerber. What the veteran general manager underestimated was the development of Ray Emery who has clearly taken control of the position.

Jose Theodore has been a large disappointment and based on the reality his contract demands a 6 million dollar salary next season, he's what is referred to in golf as an immovable object.


Last year the Blues were able to rent out Weight for a 1st rounder and a prospect, then bring him back in July. With all of the veterans (Thachuk, Guerin, Brewer, Rucinsky, Legace, and Dvorak) set to become UFAs this summer, how much of this talent does JD rent out, what do you think the Blues can get in return, and who, if anyone, does he bring back in July?

Colin Xander
Smithfield, Virginia

BM: Colin, now that the Blues have come back to earth a bit and are having to deal with the reality of another non-playoff year, I think you will see John Davidson be quite active in moving out his rentals.

I know the Blues are negotiating with defenceman Eric Brewer to try to take him out of free agency, but if that doesn't go well, I can see him being dealt. I think you will see Tkachuk and Guerin moved before the deadline. Again, it depends upon the wishes of the player. Tkachuk has a no-trade clause so he isn't going anywhere he doesn't want to. Guerin doesn't have a no-trade clause per se, but apparently has an understanding that if they are going to move him, he will have say in where he's going. But any impedning UFA in St. Louis will be potential trade bait because if the Blues can stockpile draft picks or young prospects to supplement the kids they have coming – Erik Johnson and T. J. Oshie – they will most certainly do it.


Nashville plays good offence on most nights, but at times they seem to be playing rather loose in their defensive zone. Do the Nashville Predators need to trade for a veteran stay-at-home defenceman or should they stand pat and let their young defensive core continue to develop and mature, using the upcoming playoffs to add to their long-term development? Anything else they are looking to add?

Steve Rainey
Clarksville, Tennessee

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