Forgot to mention – I updated the Band-Aid Boys. Some are off the list, some have graduated, some are on the list. It is now alphabetized for your viewing convenience…
Both the Oilers and the Flames have something big in the works. But not with each other…stay tuned.
Minor deal to report. The Canucks have sent Jesse Schultz to Atlanta for Jim Sharrow. Schultz is ranked 164 on my prospects list. By the way, Tim Brent was ranked 151, but moves up a little with his new team.
Minor deal to report. The Pens have sent Stephen Dixon to Anaheim for Tim Brent. Both are simlar two-way pivots, but Brent is two years older and thus closer to the NHL. Both are comparable to Maxime Talbot.
The Ducks have re-signed Sean O'Donnell and Kent Huskins.
Think the Blackhawks have a great future and an awesome stable of young talent? Well it just got better. They traded to get Boston's pick at 38th overall and drafted the fastest skater in the draft – Bill Sweatt. More second/later round info in the column I opened up.
Gotta love Leaf politics. One month ago: "Raycroft was really great for us, he's our man." Two weeks ago: "Raycroft was…good." Yesterday: "Raycroft needs to be pushed. We need a better tandem. Now we have one." Do you see where this is going? By camp, Toskala will be the clear-cut No.1. There will be no competition for the No.1 spot – Leafs brass are just easing Leaf fans into the fact. To say it blatantly all at once would mean to admit they made a mistake. The Leafs don't admit mistakes, they just gradually ease philosphies into the right direction over time, hoping the fans won't notice. The fans usually don't.
Bruce Garrioch is at it again. The King of the Trade Rumor is reporting that the Oilers are not only interested in Wade Redden, but they are also interested in Antoine Vermette. He is also saying that Joe Corvo could be moved the Kings, as LA wants him back. I don't see any of these three guys moving.
The LA Daily News is reporting that the Kings will buy out Alyn McCauley.
SPECTOR is reporting that the Bruins are closing in on a deal with Minnesota to land Manny Fernandez, but the Wild are playing hardball. He speculates that the Bruins are offering Murray, but the Wild want Axelsson.
The Atlanta Thrashers have acquired Chris Thorburn from Pittsburgh for a third-round pick. Not a bad return for a guy that the Pens got for free off the waiver wire last fall. A further sign that the Pens will be adding wingers via free agency. Stay tuned.
The Tennessean is reporting that the Preds have knocked their payroll down to $23 million and with the salary floor being over $32 million, the team MUST add to their payroll. Thus, Paul Kariya may, and probably will, be re-signed.
Look for Mike Comrie to either sign with Washington or Atlanta next month. Either way, it will be like striking gold. See if you can sneak him off a competitor and hope for the best. It could really (and I mean really) pay off. I don't have to tell you who he would play with.