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Daily Rumour Analysis

Daily Rumour Analysis: Vinny on the Move?; Flyers Looking to Deal?

A look at what the Rangers, Flyers and Stars might do before the Christmas trade freeze.

With the Christmas trade freeze just days away (4 days, to be exact) there is finally some actual trade talk to sink our teeth into. The first item concerns the possibility of Vincent Lecavalier finding a new address. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal suggests that the struggling NY Rangers could take a run at him, but notes the money isn’t likely to work. He further notes that the LA Kings have much more room and are playing well enough to pick up additional pieces.

My guess is that if Lecavalier is going anywhere (I believe he has stated several times he wants to stay in Tampa) it would be LA. The money works out a lot easier with this deal, and the Kings have several young players and prospects they could offer, in addition to Alex Frolov (should the Lightning want to roll the dice on him).

Though the Tortorella-Lecavalier connection makes for an interesting article, the fact remains that the Rangers have little to offer in return, and I doubt Lecavalier wants to waive a NTC to be thrown into the fire in New York. LA offers similar anonymity to Tampa, and he would be a piece of the puzzle in LA rather than the entire (most?) of the puzzle in New York.

As mentioned in Spector’s notes, Lecavalier’s term might be another sticking point in any potential deal. Signed for several more years (through 2013-14) at $10 million per ($7.27 cap hit), LA would have to be willing to commit to him long-term and to adjust their building plans accordingly. With Anze Kopitar signed to a similar deal and term, they would have to be comfortable making the two players their one-two punch going forward. Seeing as how Tampa have been somewhat hamstrung by the St. Louis-Lecavalier (Malone?) deals, Dean Lombardi might be reluctant to pull the trigger, especially with so many good young players needing to be signed in the coming years.

Spector’s site also notes the the Philadelphia Flyers as a team possibly looking for a shakeup move. (Though information listed on Illegal Curve this morning suggests otherwise). The Flyers have not played well of late and are missing Ray Emery between the pipes. Another team limited by their remaining cap space, the Flyers likely don’t want to part with any important pieces, seeing as how they were built for a Cup run.

Anytime a team is struggling, there is no shortage of fellow GM’s looking to kick their struggling counterpart while he is down. I would imagine the Flyers are fielding lots of calls, all of which are attempting to get something for nothing.

I would guess that the Flyers are unable to make any significant moves (unless someone offers them a goalie) before the deadline, when the dollars at risk are much lower and the GM knows a little better what he is dealing with. Also, there will be several teams out of the playoff picture by then, and potential targets will be easier to spot.

Finally, Illegal Curve’s On the Beat column has a story mentioning that the Stars might be looking to deal Marty Turco (also tied to the Philadelphia Flyers).

Given that the Stars are in 8th place in the West as of press time, I can’t see them moving Turco. Though Alex Auld is a capable backup, dealing Turco now would put their playoff hopes in jeopardy, especially with several teams out West coming on strong.

As mentioned in a previous Daily Rumour Analyis, I would like to see the Stars acquire another veteran depth defender to calm down the current crop of blueliners. The young bunch (aside from Robidas) is prone to getting rattled and making mental errors. Having a Jason Strudwick-type (a guy that can slot in when needed but isn’t hurt by press box time) might be just what the Stars need to solidify their playoff spot. Aaron Ward was recently placed on waivers, and the Stars could easily afford his cap hit. Keep you eyes on the wire to see if they bite.

Once again, please leave your thoughts in the comments.