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McKenzie: Sifting through the rumour mill

Bob McKenzie
6/19/2008 8:58:58 PM
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There are a lot of wild stories and rumours regarding potential trades going into Friday's NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa, with the biggest one suggesting Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin could go to the Los Angeles Kings for a package that includes the second overall pick.

I don't think there's anything to this whatsoever.

Now I'm not suggesting that some point in time - in the future - the Penguins won't be faced with the issue of perhaps trading Malkin. But to suggest that it's going to happen this weekend, that it's going to happen with the Kings and that it would involve the second pick is a flight of fancy.

Now the Penguins might get a few calls asking about Malkin, but I don't think general manager Ray Shero has made the determination yet on shopping him. He still has to sit down at some point with Malkin, along with forward Jordan Staal. Remember, these two players do not have expiring deals - they're under contract for one more year. Going forward, they have to determine how many minutes they're going to get in games, what roles they're going to play, the positions they'll play and where they'll fit with Sidney Crosby.

If Shero ends up with a problem, he may have to move one of them down the road. But it doesn't have to happen now and they haven't even started talking dollars yet. That being said, all the trade talk is way too premature.

What the Leafs could do

There's a lot of talk that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to move up a spot or two in the draft order with the goal of getting one of this year's prized defencemen. They could be looking at Alex Pietrangelo or Luke Schenn.

In order to do that, interim general manager Cliff Fletcher may have to throw something towards the No. 5 Islanders like a draft pick and hope that New York gets the player they wanted fifth overall at the No. 7 spot. It could be forward Nikita Filatov or someone else. Those are the types of deals that are more likely to happen than the blockbusters.

Spezza?

Where the host Ottawa Senators are concerned, GM Bryan Murray addressed the Jason Spezza trade rumours on Thursday and said there's been talk with teams that called him and asked.

But he's not actively trying to shop Spezza and I'd be surprised if the team's top centre is traded.

So who could be traded?

There are plenty of other names in the nation's capital that have a legitimate chance of being moved - whether it be this weekend or in the weeks that follow.

In Calgary, I think Alex Tanguay would welcome a change of scenery. I think Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes has the potential to be moved, while defenceman Joni Pitkanen of the Edmonton Oilers could be going along with forward Jarret Stoll.

The Florida Panthers would like to make a move involving captain Olli Jokinen. In Toronto, Maple Leafs defenceman Pavel Kubina - who was almost dealt to San Jose at the trade deadline but vetoed the deal with his no trade clause - has a window beginning Friday that enables him to be traded. And it wouldn't surprise me if the other team was the San Jose Sharks again.

Bob McKenzie

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