Thanks for the flood of trade deadline-related inquiries. We’ll have one more trade-focused mailbag column Tuesday morning, so you’ve still got a few days left to submit as many questions and/or whacked-out trade proposals as you please.
I'm a huge New York Rangers fanatic and some people have been telling me Jaromir Jagr might be traded at the deadline. Do you know if this is true?
T.J. Warcholak, Franklin Square, N.Y.
There certainly has been speculation Jagr’s days in Manhattan are coming to an end. And though it makes quite a bit of sense to move the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent and, in exchange, get something for next season and beyond, I suspect Blueshirts GM Glen Sather will hold onto Jagr for the rest of the year.
Why? Well, the Rangers still are in a dogfight for a playoff spot and it’s unlikely the organization will lessen its chances of playing past early April simply to satisfy the many Jagr haters out there. And with so many UFAs to deal with this summer, Sather may just use Jagr’s allocated cap space to retain as many of them as he can.
What do you think the chances of Robert Lang being moved are? What is he worth? Does he have a touch left? Being a Canucks fan, could he pop a few playing with the Sedins if he slid over to wing?
Scott Starchuk, Richmond, B.C.
Lang is having a decent year in Chicago and he’s signed through next season at a not totally outrageous amount ($4 million), so his name has come up in swap shoptalk.
I don’t think he’d be a bad fit at all in Van City. The question, as always, is what the Canucks would be willing to part with for him. Since the Blackhawks would probably want one of Vancouver’s young prospects in return, I’m guessing Dave Nonis probably takes a pass and looks elsewhere, unless Chicago adds more to the deal.
With Brian Burke rumored to take over in Toronto when Mr. Fletcher is done, is there anything stopping him from trading Anaheim’s prospects and picks (maybe even Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry) to Toronto at the deadline, with intensions of pre-re-building his future franchise?
Chris Bettridge, Toronto
First of all, congrats on the phrase of the day; pre-re-building is a great descriptor for what Cliff Fletcher is attempting to do with the Maple Leafs right now. Wish I’d thought of it.
Unfortunately, though, that’s the best part of your question. First of all, there’s no freakin’ way Getzlaf or Perry will get traded off this team at this point. And Burke is simply too honorable a person to get involved in such skullduggery.
Besides, do you not think the ensuing stink of such a scam would, or could, be ignored by NHL officials? I don’t. Anyone’s reputation would be in ruins after the truth came out and Burke has worked too hard to throw it all away just for the chance to work in Toronto.
Does Marty Brodeur win the Vezina again or what?
Brandon Dragan, Bloomfield, N.J.
As noted, this is a trade-deadline-only mailbag column. But I had to include it, simply because I cannot resist any question that ends in “or what?”
It won’t be a runaway Vezina win for Brodeur, but there’s no doubt he’ll be among the final nominees. And unless something drastic happens in the final weeks of the regular season, he’ll get my vote.
I'm a Coyotes season ticket holder. Seriously. At the beginning of the season I, along with the other two-dozen or so die-hards, were told not to expect much from this group. So we didn't. The team got off to a decent start, especially on the road, then we got Ilya Bryzgalov. I honestly felt when it happened that we became a playoff-caliber team. December was good, January was incredible and now here we are with a legitimate shot. I am talking about the Cup. I know that sounds a bit unreasonable, but I am a fan. If the team is good enough to make the playoffs they are certainly good enough to make a legitimate run. With that being said, I am not prepared to miss the playoffs again this season. I think it would be a major step back for the organization to get to this point and not finish. The organization has made it clear they will not do anything drastic because they are "looking to the future.” Won't it damage the "kids" to get a taste and not get in? Realistically, what can be done to get this team in? Do they see the damage getting this close and failing could do to an already dormant franchise? I just don't see enough scoring to get it done, especially when you look at the schedule the last couple of months. Nabokov, Giguere, Turco, Luongo, lots of games that are going to require three or four goals. Do me a favor, go to the door and let 'em in.
Owen Gabriel, Buckeye, Ariz.
My colleague and devout Beatles fan Mike Brophy thanks you in absentia for the Paul McCartney reference. But I believe I can speak for Broph when I say you’re going to have to have a little more patience.
Sure, Wayne Gretzky, Don Maloney and the rest of the ‘Yotes would love to sneak in to claim the seventh or eighth seed in the Western Conference. But everyone saw what happened when Phoenix attempted to go veteran-heavy in the last couple years, so there’s very little chance they deal away more of their good young talent for a short-term gamble or two.
I realize you and the other Coyotes fan(s?) have been patient enough as it is. But if you really want to see them push deep into the spring, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.
What do you think the chances are that by the end of the trade deadline, Tomas Kaberle is a Shark? And in exchange for whom? As a huge Sharks and Kaberle fan, this would be a dream.
Robert Lipscomb, Morgan Hill, Calif.
I agree, Kaberle would be a great acquisition for Doug Wilson & Co. Still, I don’t see the Leafs moving him; no-trade clause aside, Kaberle is too much of a financial bargain, at $4.25 million a year for the next three years, for Toronto to move him.
If he hasn’t already, Cliff Fletcher will get some great offers for his best blueliner, though. He might even get offers similar to the ones he’ll get for Mats Sundin. But for a franchise that will have to squeeze and squirm under the cap for the next few years, Kaberle is the kind of employee the Leafs need to keep around.
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