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Daily Rumour Analysis

Daily Rumour Analysis: Souray to Dallas?; Halak Wants Out; Montreal Also After Giroux; Reader Jay Gets His Question Answered

A discussion of a Souray rumour, a Canadiens rumour and an answer to a reader’s question. All after the jump.

We go from very little talk 24 hours ago to a near-plethora of rumours today, this on the heels of the Gary Bettman announcement that the salary cap may increase slightly next season. Perhaps this announcement has spurred the mini-flurry of news, to wit:

A commenter on the Oilers’ blog Lowetide mentioned that he heard a columnist call into an Edmonton radio show and mention that Dallas had an interest in Sheldon Souray, but that talks fell apart when Oiler GM Steve Tambellini asked for Mike Ribeiro in return. Even though this story sounds like one of those “my sister’s best friend’s boyfriend’s aunt knows a guy who worked on so and so’s car” type stories, but perhaps it has a modicum of truth.

Denis Grebeshkov recently returned to the Oilers’ lineup, leaving them with a defensive core heavy on the puck moving side of the ledger. If they can deal from this area of strength, they may be able to pick up some help up front. Why Tambellini would ask for Ribeiro is a bit of a mystery, seeing as how he has the same skill set as a few other Oiler forwards, Mike Comrie in particular. A good face-off man or a big winger is really more in line with what the Oilers need, so take this one with a grain of salt. This is not to say the clubs won’t deal (cap space would work out, etc), but remember Souray would have to waive his NTC and the Oilers would have to re-evaluate what they want back for any defender they might move.

Looking East, Richard has a link in the Morning Papers regarding a Montreal Gazette story suggesting a MontrealPhiladelphia swap involving Jaroslav Halak and Claude Giroux. The deal, as explained in the article, certainly makes some sense on paper. Montreal would get a young Francophone with plenty of talent and Philadelphia could shore up their goaltending mess. Halak likely isn’t content to be play second fiddle to Carey Price, and could step into the #1 role in Philadelphia.

That said, Bob Gainey is no fool and should rightly be holding Philly over a barrel right now. Halak is a decent goalie with upside and still only 24. There are likely other suitors for Halak (Edmonton if Khabibulin is done) and teams may be willing to part with picks and players to get him. Montreal’s asking price is high in this buyer’s market, so any deal may take some time to get done. Further complicating matters is the fact that the Habs cannot take on a lot of salary, with Tomas Plekanec to sign in the off-season. Most top-six forwards would present a financial burden that would hamstring the Habs. If Gainey insists on a top forward, he might have to sweeten the deal a little and/or target a young player near RFA status that is still able to contribute to the first or second line.

Finally, reader Jay asked in yesterday’s DRA comments who the Bruins should target for scoring help. His suggestions were Ilya Kovalchuk, Marek Svatos or Andy MacDonald in St. Louis. I really think Kovalchuk stays in Atlanta, otherwise its an admission that the franchise is done in Georgia. Svatos is a possibility if the Bruins send something back that makes it worth while to the Avs. I really don’t see it happening unless the Avs think they will not be able to re-sign him. He certainly does make financial sense for the Bruins, however.

My previous suggestions were Keith Tkachuk or Ray Whitney. Jay feels Whitney is not a “Chiarelli” type player, and I see his point. Two further suggestions would be Taylor Pyatt out of Phoenix or Alex Tanguay out of Tampa. Pyatt has struggled the last couple of years after the unfortunate death of this fiancee. He does have offensive talent though, putting up 23 goals for the Canucks in 2006-07. The Bruins could likely get him for minimal return, and he is a pending UFA. Tanguay is another player who is struggling to find a role in Tampa. This pending UFA makes financial sense for the Bruins, and despite his being a healthy scratch recently, he still has offensive talent. If the Bruins can re-motivate him and perhaps slot him in with Marc Savard, they might be willing to take the risk. I doubt it would take much to pry him out of Tampa.