Dreger: Penguins may trade Gonchar's negotiating rights

Darren Dreger
6/21/2010 6:31:58 PM
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The Pittsburgh Penguins may consider trading veteran defenceman Sergei Gonchar's negotiating rights. 

Gonchar has a no-trade clause and the Pens would still like to extend his contract, but sources say there's a good chance Gonchar will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so the possibility of following a trend of trading a player's rights will likely be explored.

Pittsburgh is a cap team, but on the open market, the 36-year-old Stanley Cup champion could lure upwards of $6 million.

Over the past decade, offensively speaking, Gonchar has produced on a neck-and-neck pace with Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom as the NHL's top point-getters among NHL defencemen.

Meanwhile, firm offers for Toronto defenceman Tomas Kaberle are expected to materialize by Wednesday or Thursday. Based on the inquiries, the Leafs will likely be able to make a deal, however the Draft is a starting point, so it's possible any trade involving Kaberle may not happen until later this summer.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg and Dustin Byfuglien continue to draw interest, but sources say Chicago isn't interested in trading Patrick Sharp.

Ladd, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, is scheduled to become a restricted free agent and is believed to be among the Hawks' most shopped players.

In Florida, Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss are attracting the most interest, but Panthers GM Dale Tallon says he's receiving calls on a number of different players.

Tallon says most of the calls are from "tire kickers", other managers inquiring about the asking price of certain players. But, Tallon says, at the moment it's all just talk.

The Boston Bruins are among the teams in the hunt for Horton, although Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli says the second pick overall in Fridays draft is not in play.

Sergei Gonchar (Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)


(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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