Over the last 24 hours, numerous goalies became available throughout the league. We already discussed the availability of Jaroslav Halak here, but there are a few interesting options popping up.
John Fontana with Raw Charge wonders if the Lightning are shopping goalie Mike Smith. With solid depth in the minors and a significant amount of money owed to Smith this season and next (2.4 million cap hit) it may make sense to move the talented netminder. With the 27-year-old playing six of the last nine Lightning games, it certainly makes sense that the team would be shopping him.
Likewise, the Florida Panthers listed goalie Tomas Vokoun as available according to Chris Botta of Fanhouse. Botta points out that top prospect Jacob Markstrom seems poised to join the club after this season leaving them with what they would consider two top goaltenders. Markstrom is certainly the future of the organization, but if he needs more time to develop the Panthers may have another lost year on their hands.
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Busy day in the rumor market, lets take out our magnifying glasses and take a closer look to the Hot Stove:
Larry Brooks of The New York Post discusses the shortcomings on the current Rangers roster. The controversial reporter notes that the pieces that may have value are the same that the team wants to keep.
Most importantly he discusses a trade proposal supposedly between GM Glen Sather and former assistant and current Coyotes GM Don Maloney. Sather would send AHL defenseman and promising defensive prospect Bobby Sanguinetti for struggling forward Peter Mueller.
Although the former 8th overall pick managed a measly six points in his first 26 games it will take more to land him. Still young at 21 years of age, Mueller averaged 48 points through his first two seasons. Regardless of his slump he remains a vital part of a young Coyotes core and probably would not be moved until the trade deadline if at all.
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A few things going around the league. Nothing huge on the trade front as can be anticipated. Most rumors or big deals will not materialize until at least February when we have clear cut buyers and sellers.
Bob MacKenzie reports, via Twitter, both of these players have been placed on waivers.
According to Chip Alexander’s Canes Now starter Cam Ward is expected to play Wednesday making the Leighton expendable to the team. In parts of three seasons with Carolina the 28-year-old held a line of 8-12-0-2 averaging a GAA of over three. With other established backups such as Joey MacDonald and Steve Valiquette passing through waivers earlier in the year I would expect there to be few takers on the veteran.
In other news the New York Islanders also placed 30-year-old Jeremy Reich on waivers. The Craik, Saskatchewan native did not play a game for the Isles and has six points over 99 career NHL games with the Bruins and Blue Jackets. He was originally drafted in the 2nd round by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
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The New York Rangers claimed center Erik Christensen off waivers while putting backup goalie Steve Valiquette on, says Newsday’s Steve Zipay. Christensen found himself on waivers earlier in the year and went unclaimed, probably due to his meager showing of zero points with a minus three rating in nine games. Clearly Ducks management felt Chipchura was a better alternative down the middle.
Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record spoke with John Tortorella on the issue, and found out adding Christensen is a result of an undisclosed injury to Donald Brashear. However, Torts also said the move should motivate Brian Boyle to step up his game when the team is healthy. Boyle may find himself on the block if his play does not improve in the coach’s eyes.
No stranger to the Atlantic Division, Christensen played parts of three season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before getting shipped to Atlanta as part of the Marian Hossa deal. In the 2006-2007 season, the 25-year-old posted career highs in practically every category finishing the year with 18 goals and 33 points.
The larger question could be, why do the Rangers need a better backup goalie? Vally sports a 2-3-0 record with one shutout, a 3.74 GAA and .852 SV% in six games, below average marks in every category. The necessity for a better backup could have something to do with star goaltender not remotely playing as well as his career marks. For now Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson fills in for the journeyman as he tries to regain his form in Hartford.
Do you think Lundqvist should be traded?
I certainly do not and with his value lower than usual I cannot see GM Glen Sather getting adequate compensation for the Swede.