NHL

McKenzie: Trade winds blowing in the West?

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Bob McKenzie
2/1/2011 7:56:06 PM
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The Vancouver Canucks would love to make a blockbuster two-for-two trade to upgrade their top six forwards. They would happily trade this year's version of Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson, with just 18 goals between them so far, for last year's versions, which ended up with 55.

The key for Vancouver is to get Raymond and Samuelsson scoring. Failing that, one of them could be potential trade bait but GM Mike Gillis is leery of making too many changes on a team that has played so well.

Outside of that, the primary need is a fourth-line centre with lots of playoff experience.

The Calgary Flames' outlook for the deadline will depend entirely on how they perform between now and then. If they continue their surge and are playoff bound or still contending; only spare parts Steve Staios or Anton Babchuk will be shopped.

But if it looks like they're falling out of the picture, interim GM Jay Feaster may re-stock a bare draft pick cupboard by moving rentals Alex Tanguay, Brendan Morrison and Curtis Glencross.

Feaster has been adamant on not moving core players Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano and Robyn Regehr, but if the Flames fall out of the race, we won't be surprised if they consider dealing Regehr as there is interest in him, even with another two years at $4 million per year on his contract.

Oiler GM Steve Tambellini will be all ears leading up to the deadline but whatever moves he considers, they all have to fit with the rebuilding theme in Edmonton. If teams are calling for younger restricted free agents such as Andrew Cogliano or Ladislav Smid, the Oilers will want young players back.

If the Oilers are to consider parting with veterans Dustin Penner and/or Ales Hemsky, and they are likely to field offers on both players, the return has to fit the Oiler master plan on youth.

As for Sheldon Souray, the Oilers are hoping he'll play well enough in the AHL to generate interest. There's an outside chance he could be put on re-entry waivers if an NHL team expresses interest - in which case the Oil would lose half his remaining salary and cap hit - but the more likely scenario is trying to divest 100 per cent of Souray and his contract in an off-season move.

Mikael Samuelsson (Photo: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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