Dreger's Mailbag: Questions on Wings, Habs and Canucks

Darren Dreger
1/27/2012 11:51:06 AM
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Got a question on the latest news and rumours? E-mail Hockey Insider Darren Dreger and he'll answer your emails at!

What is the possibility that Brian Burke will try to 'do right' for Colton Orr and trade him to a team that needs his physical presence? This would possibly get Orr some more NHL time and make the game limit for the pension. Someone like the Canucks.
Thank you,
William Spence
A: William, Burke and the Maple Leafs gave the rest of the league an opportunity to claim Colton Orr for free via waivers...instead, he passed through and was demoted to the Toronto Marlies. Every team can use Orr's character, but the reality is few see the value in giving a pure enforcer a full time roster spot. I can assure you, Burke would like nothing more than for Colton Orr to be back in the NHL, mostly because of Burke's appreciation for the player and the difficulty of the role he's expected to play. I agree, Vancouver could use some added toughness, however, as my colleague Pierre LeBrun has reported, someone like Travis Moen seems a more likely fit. Moen plays hard, creates space for his linemates and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

In the grand scheme of things, how bad was Tim Thomas's decision not to go to the White House? I mean, it's not that he missed a practice, arrived at the arena late or slept in - anything that could have a direct impact to how the team performs on the ice. Was this a mountain out of a molehill?
Eric Credlel
A: Eric, Tim Thomas put himself and his personal views ahead of his team. The annual trip to the White House is an extension of the Stanley Cup celebration Thomas obviously didn't value. The investment Thomas made to get healthy before last season...the adjustments he made to his game in preparation for an incredible season speaks to the Tim Thomas I know, an honest hard working man. The decision he made to skip the trip to the White House wouldn't have been an easy one and based on the fact Bruins management knew several weeks ago this was his plan, Thomas is obviously strong in his convictions. However, putting personal views ahead of the team is never acceptable and now Thomas will have to do what is expected of him by his teammates... and that is, be the best goaltender in hockey.

Hi Darren,
Now that the Red Wings are rolling along, just wondering if Ken Holland would add anyone for the playoffs? I heard that possible players - maybe Selanne, Grabovski, Elias, Hemsky and Jason Blake? Hopefully they can add someone to help balance out the scoring!
Mike Gross
A: Mike, Ken Holland is among the best at identifying players he knows will help the Red Wings in the playoffs. I've heard some rumblings, like the Canucks, Detroit will, or has shown some interest in Moen. I would expect the Wings would show considerable interest in Brendan Morrow if Dallas is truly listening to teams targeting the veteran centre. Hard to imagine the Stars are willing to do the Red Wings any favours, but if the price is right, anything is possible.

I heard you mention on Buffalo's sports radio 550 last week that the Canadiens might be interested in Derek Roy. With Pierre Gauthier going across the continent last week scouting, is he actually looking for another centre/Top 6 forward? They're a long shot at best to make it, so shouldn't they be in sell mode?
David Shalon
A: Montreal, like a lot of teams need a big centre and a Top 4 defenceman. With the playoffs an unlikely goal, I'm sure Gauthier is willing to move his expiring contracts - namely Hal Gill, Chris Campoli, Travis Moen and Andei Kostitsyn. There was a suggestion a couple of weeks ago that the Habs may have interest in Roy, but it's hard to get a true read on how substantive the interest is or was. Clearly, both Montreal and Buffalo are in need of a new direction, but I don't get the sense either team is prepping for a fire sale.

Hello Darren,
With the Canucks carrying eight defencemen, it seems to me a trade is on the way! I think we're in search of a more physical presence on the blueline. What do you think - is there a deal to be made from that standpoint?

A: Steve, I would agree the Canucks could use an upgrade on their blueline. Defensively, they may not have enough depth to match up with the Bruins in the event these bitter rivals do us all a favour and meet again in the Stanley Cup final. Vancouver, as mentioned earlier is hoping to add some grit up front which is why Moen seems to be a reasonable fit. But overall, I don't see a lot of weakness on this club and believe the trade for David Booth is going to pay off in the postseason. Canucks GM Mike Gillis is very methodical and doesn't dabble in fruitless trade talks. If he sees a defined need in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 27 trade deadline, he will act decisively to address it.

Got a question on the latest news and rumours? E-mail Hockey Insider Darren Dreger and he'll answer your emails at!

Darren Dreger


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