Ryan O'Reilly, Matt Moulson, Tuomo Ruutu, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Callahan- So many attractive rental players could be available when the league reconvenes in March, and a few Dallas Stars might at least make the discussion.
Case in point, last night TSN posted their latest edition of insider trading, including a couple of guys currently in victory green.
Said Bob McKenzie:
Two names that you might hear out there are a couple of veterans from the Dallas Stars and maybe those players are actually hoping to hear their names in trade rumours: We're talking about veteran forward Ray Whitney and defenceman Sergei Gonchar.
Neither of these two players, you could say, are thriving under Lindy Ruff in Dallas right now. It's not a great situation for either one of them. Now, if the Stars decide to move them, Whitney would be a pure rental and would be a lot easier to move, since somebody could pick him up for just the balance of the season. Gonchar has two more years left at $5 million per year on one of those over-35 contracts. That will be a tough one to move.
Interesting names to throw out, as there are some close to the Stars who believe that Vernon Fiddler could be the name that fetches the biggest price in March, should Jim Nill be looking to sell.
We'll excuse the venerable McKenzie for not having encyclopedic knowledge of all 700~ contracts in the NHL- Gonchar has just one season remaining after this one, not two, but the point is well taken. Given his performance this season defensively and lackluster offensive numbers it's difficult to see someone needing the help with that much risk associated.
Forget not, however, that NHL teams are able to retain salary in trades now.
Whitney is an easier one, as he might instantly look a lot better in a high quality group that's ready to compete right now. He can be kept away from defensive situations, and his contract is expiring, so there's not much financial risk there. The return, accordingly, wouldn't be much. A fourth-round pick?
"Actually hoping to hear their names in trade rumors," he says. That's not very nice.
Here's hoping the Stars rip off a couple of unexpected good weeks here leading up to the break.
So we don't have to talk about this.
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