Dreger's Mailbag: JVR, the surging Senators and Hemsky

Darren Dreger
1/13/2012 1:23:19 PM
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We've heard lots of hearsay about James van Riemsdyk and maybe Matt Carle on the block (Leafs?) for the Flyers . I was hoping you could give me the down low if there is any I know they are going for a defenseman - are there any possible choices to fill the gap? Thanks!

Josh Ayers

A:  As has been reported, there have been discussions both past and present between the Flyers and Maple Leafs and Toronto remains keenly interested in James van Riemsdyk. JVR is the big body forward the leafs so desperately want and as opposed to Ryan Getzlaf, JVR is considered to be more attainable by comparison. The rumour of week plots Luke Schenn included in a package for van Riemsdyk.  The facts tell us, while those discussions are believed to have taken place, there have been no solid offers made by either team and Schenn most definitely hasn't been offered. Now, if the Flyers exhaust their search for premier defenceman and learn the likes of Ryan Suter or Shea Weber aren't available, it's likely Paul Holmgren will more seriously engage in trade talks with Brian Burke. Toronto, without question would include Schenn in a trade if JVR is the return.  As for the we discussed Thursday on Insider Trading, Suter, Schenn and Tim Gleason will be on the list of defenseman Philadelphia is considering.

Hi Darren,

You mentioned on the radio today that the Sabres are obviously in a struggle. What are the chances that Derek Roy is moved - or even Ryan Miller?


A: Tony, this time of year it's hard to separate fact from fiction with the daily flurry of trade rumours, and because of Buffalo's poor season there is no shortage of speculation. I believe there is a reasonable chance Derek Roy will get moved, or at least be the focus of a number of legit trade discussions in the coming days and weeks. Roy's name is certainly "out there," as we in the insider business like to say. Trading Ryan Miller is a much larger organizational decision and I'm certain Sabres owner Terry Pegula will have input. It's hard to imagine a deal of this magnitude will go down in-season and more likely if it's genuinely being considered, it would happen during the offseason. If the Sabres miss the playoffs, Pegula may want to make front-office changes and shift the heavy lifting and team changing decisions over to new management. One way or another, if there isn't drastic improvement in Buffalo, I expect the Sabres will look different on and off the ice next season.



At this point, it looks like the Senators are making a solid run for the postseason. Are they going to be buyers or are they going to stay the course and assess what they have because it's a 'rebuilding year?' What will they be looking for?

Mike Chapman,

A: Hi Mike. The Ottawa Senators intend on staying the course and won't alter their long-term plan of building through development and the impressive crop of young players already in the organization. That said, if Ottawa keeps on winning, Sens GM Bryan Murray will do what he can to give his team a boost for a playoff run. Generally, the Senators are pleased with their stable of defencemen, but if the right forward is made available, Murray will make the move. It's hard to pinpoint the type of forward Murray will be in the market for, but it will likely be a player who can comfortably play among Ottawa's Top 9. For me, Ottawa is by far the surprise team of the season.  Paul MacLean will be a strong candidate for the Jack Adams if Ottawa finishes the year strong.



Did you hear that collective groan when the NHLPA said it wasn't giving its consent for re-alignment? How worried is everyone about what this could mean for CBA talks?

Tom - Regina
A: Tom, blocking realignment for next season dramatically impacts the owners and the teams most affected by the existing divisional and conference structure and therefore these teams and owners will be in no mood to play nice in the CBA sandbox when negotiations begin early next month.  Undoubtedly, the NHLPA will use realignment as a bargaining chip or concession when talks heat up, which is understandable.  In the meantime, the National Hockey League is contemplating filing a grievance against the Players Association and may also seek damages for those teams most impacted by player another full season status quo.  Optimism of next season starting on time is beginning to fade.

Hey Darren, big Oilers fan here!

I think Edmonton got a steal last year for Dustin Penner getting Colton Teubert and a first-round and second-round pick from L.A.! If that was the going rate for Penner, what would Ales Hemsky command on the market?


A: Derek, the going rate for Ales Hemsky will depend on how well he plays between now and the deadline. Hemsky is still viewed as strong offensive talent and there are many teams, Detroit included that would love to add him to their attack for the postseason. Oilers GM Steve Tambellini isn't publicly declaring Hemsky's availability and says he's still open to the possibility of re-signing him. There have been contract discussions as Edmonton will have weigh Hemsky's term and money expectations versus what he might fetch at or near the trade deadline. The Oilers will want a young player in return to fit into their core and depending on the quality of that player, a higher draft pick may be required as well. 

Darren Dreger


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