With another handful of trades today teams are going to turn their attention to bigger names I am told. The name of Dallas Stars forward Brad Richards is definitely out there and I am told by two very good sources that the LA Kings are pushing hard for Richards. The heat is on Kings GM Dean Lombardi and LA has the cap space to take on a big contract. The Kings have the young players to give up and you can count on Braydon Schenn being one of the key pieces going the other way. Ownership in LA wants to not only make the playoffs but get out of the first round. Richards would be the slam dunk they need and I would bet some large money that if he is traded that ends up in LA.
Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers is a goaltender being sought after by two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. The Flyers aren’t sold on their rookie netminder and feel they need to upgrade in goal to not only win the Eastern Conference but the Stanley Cup. The Flyers have been up numerous draft picks for the 2011 draft, so its hard to figure out who would be going the other way. The Caps could get into a bidding war for Vokoun’s services. The next 72 hours should be very interesting but I really think Vokoun ends up a Flyer or Capital by Monday.
The Ottawa Senators meanwhile are looking to move defensemen Filip Kuba and the NY Rangers are becoming serious suitors. I am told the Sens would send Kuba along with recent waiver pick up Marek Svatos to the Rangers for Chris Drury. Drury is owed 5 million next season before becoming a UFA. Sens GM Bryan Murray would use Drury towards next season’s deadline to acquire another chip in the Sens rebuilding process as Drury would be another solid rental player come 2012.
If Murray is able to move Kuba expect an announcement that 13 year veteran Chris Phillips has been inked to a multi year extension. The more I talk to people around the league and folks close to Phillips, I get the feeling that he is closer to remaining a Senator for a few more years which would be fantastic news for many people in Ottawa.
Speaking of the Sens, the LA Kings might approach Murray again if they fail in acquiring Brad Richards. The word is LA would love to acquire Jason Spezza. Now, I say the chances of that happening aren’t big, but it’s still a possibility. Spezza’s name comes up alot more than most teams number centers do and even though he has a NTC, trust me when I say that Spezza would waive it in a hurry. There is still a ton of animosity between Spezza and Murray after Murray blatantly threw him under the bus this past summer. Many close to the situation say they weren’t impressed with Murray’s tactics and that it’s something that owner Eugene Melnyk still fumes about to this day about how Murray handled the whole situation after blowing the Dany Heatley debacle.
Check back for more over the weekend. Hit me up anytime with a comment or question.
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Written by Mark Jasper