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01/19/2010

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The Sellers: Edmonton Oilers

01/11/2010
Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators

The Sellers is a weekly column presented by NHLHotStove that will discuss all the rumblings and situations surrounding the teams that will most likely miss the playoffs.  Heading into the March 3rd trade deadline, keep an eye out here for the bottom eight to ten teams in the league that will be known as “sellers”.

Recently, the Edmonton Oilers star defenseman and powerplay quarterback expressed his willingness to waive his no trade clause in his contract. Dan Barnes with the Edmonton Journal wrote Sheldon Souray would be open to waiving his no-trade clause should there be a fit. Of course, this trade would need to make sense.

At the ripe age of 33 one would assume this player more comfortable living at home, rather than shipping himself across country.

The Oilers began the season with promise he, but injuries prevailed.  The team’s two biggest names, Nikolai Khabibulin and Ales Hemsky, most likely will miss the entire season, taking its toll on the team.  Now with no playoffs in sight the club can do nothing but sell, sell, sell.

Automatically names like Souray, Shawn Horcoff, Lubomir Visnovsky and Fernando Pisani come to mind.  However, would the Oilers go as far as to trade team captain Ethan Moreau?

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Looking for a Defenseman?

12/30/2009
Carolina Hurricanes v Buffalo Sabres

As we approach the midway point of the 2009-10 season in the National Hockey League, many questions remain unanswered.

Which teams are serious about playoff contention?  Who needs a massive upgrade to make the push from a bubble team?  Which team should sell off the year and attempt a mini-rebuild?

Those are some thoughts circulating the League as we take a look at the state of all teams around the NHL.  Now, when perusing through certain rosters some names that could bring in returns which would benefit a team in need of depth.

Today, we look at the defensemen around the NHL likely to be moved by the March 3rd, 2010 trade deadline. As a side note, be sure to tune into “The Hockey Guys” on deadline day as there will be an all day live event with a live chat room for discussion on all the rumors and news as it breaks in the NHL.

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Moves Imminent on Broadway

12/29/2009
New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun recently reported that the New York Rangers are shopping wingers Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.

The Rangers brought in both players this past off-season to bolster their offense with hopes that they would fit into coach John Tortorella’s system.  GM Glen Sather hoped they would fill holes and perform at levels, but at this point both have vastly disappointed.  Now Sather looks for alternative options to “beef” up his top six in order to gain a bigger presence up front, something Kotalik should provide.

What do I mean?

The Rangers want size in front of the oppositions crease in order to create more traffic to generate more offense.

When the team they signed Marian Gaborik they had one goal in mind: the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Currently, the Rangers sit on the outside looking in, knowing some tweaking in the line up is a must.

Tortorella simply cannot work with the mix of forwards he currently has.  Outside of Gaborik, most of the team fail to put together a consistent effort. We know the personality of Mr. Tortorella, a fiery, intense coach with a limited tolerance.  The team’s current players show they cannot play his system properly.

It is time to make a change.

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Possible Scenarios with Mathieu Schneider Placed on Waivers

12/29/2009
Vancouver Canucks v Montreal Canadiens

Earlier today, the Vancouver Canucks placed veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider on waivers.  Team 1040 AM Vancouver interviewed head coach Alain Vigneault about the team’s recent play and their decision to place him on waivers.

Both the Canucks and Schneider mutually felt waivers was the best route to take.  According to reports the team attempted to trade the veteran for the past month, but there were no buyers.

In this cap constrained era of the new NHL his hefty cap hit of 2.75 million is quite the amount to absorb, so most teams should pass on a waiver claim.  Now, the speculation changes to the veteran getting put on re-entry waivers, in which a team would absorb roughly a 1.25 million cap hit. Let the rumors begin as to which GM decides to pick up the phone and contact Canucks GM Mike Gillis should he place Schneider on re-entry waivers.  As a veteran of 22 seasons and experienced powerplay quarterback, the 40-year-old could help a team in need of depth.

A brief run down as to who might go after his services should he go on re-entry waivers:

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Avalanche Looking to Move a Defenseman?

12/21/2009
Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

With Avs rumors swirling around the internet, beat writer Adrian Dater of The Denver Post puts pretty much every current rumor involving youngsters Matt Duchene or Ryan O’Reilly to shame.

So the answer to the talented twosome leaving Colorado is no.  These rumors are false. No move will be made for Ilya Kovalchuk.  No need to swap veteran underachievers with the Flyers.  Nothing.

Dater, however, does hypothesize as to what till happen once Kyle Cumiskey returns from his foot injury.  Cumiskey, a young defenseman known for his offensive prowess very well could be the odd man out.  However, a 23-year-old d-man with limited NHL experience and a lengthy injury history provides limited value in the current trade market.

That leaves two players likely on the block: Jean-Michael Liles and Ryan Wilson.  The latter an undrafted free agent who at the ripe age of 22 actually is producing at the NHL level.

Turning a free-agent signing into a need would be excellent asset management as long as the team feels the current player they see is his ceiling. His reasonable capt hit of $ 551, 667 through 2011 certainly adds remarkable value should he be shopped.

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Jaroslav Halak On The Block

12/10/2009
Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

According to the Web Staff over at Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are actively shopping Jaroslav Halak (H/T to crashthecrease.com).

The 24-year-old netminder is 6-4-0 in 11 games, including an impressive 46 save effort against the Ottawa Senators.  Earlier in the year the Czech native amassed a four game win streak, an feat when you consider how injury riddled and weak the Montreal defense has been.

A quick look around the league shows a handful of teams needing depth between the pipes.  The Flyers lost starter Ray Emery for six weeks leaving their team to the fate of Brian Boucher.  The Oilers may have to rely on Jeff Deslauriers longer than they would like while Nikolai Khabibulin sits at home with a bad back.  Pascal Leclaire remains on the sidelines as he watches Brian Elliot inconsistently block pucks.

Perhaps the most interesting rumor circulating involves Darren Helm and the Red Wings.  As earlier whispered here.  Does Halak really offer an upgrade to Jimmy Howard or the legendary Chris Osgood?

A quick look says no.

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