Bits & Bites.
Phaneuf – Did he request a trade? I have absolutely no idea. BUT, his name has been in the rumour mill for sometime now, he has had some issues with the coach (or vice-versa) and the Flames are very deep on the blue-line.
To dismiss this as possible would be asinine. To dismiss it as possible because the GM said so…completely assinine.
He may or may not have, but there’s sound reason to speculate on his availability, for what it’s worth.
Souray – There has been a lot of chatter about him since he signed in EDM. Prior to his doing so the media widely reported he would sign as a UFA somewhere on the left coast, he did not.
Now that he’s admitted to being willing to waive his NMC, the speculation is, once again, that he’ll do so only for a team in and around LAX. Maybe, maybe not. The truth of the matter is his NMC evaporates July 1st, leaving him without any say in where he is traded. I would think his preference would be to remain in the west, but should it become clear those teams aren’t interested, or interested enough, he may well look to take the best available location now vs. being told where to go later.
Edmonton has made no bones about their desire for more offense, but at this time of year, getting skill for skill is hard to impossible, particularly if the contract you’re looking to move is big, has term, and the player is not on the up swing. I would think a solid pick would land Souray.
Would OTT be interested. Sure, depending on the return. In order to accomodate Souray salary, something would have to go the other way, as the cap situation could not accomodate his salary.
But, how much it can accomodate is murky, at best. To date Murray has not invoked any LTIR room. Why? Honestly, I’m not sure, this is above my pay-grade, if you will. But I believe he can do so retroactively, for any player who missed 10 or more games (Neil, Donnovan, Leclaire, Alfredsson, Spezza), for the salary amount lost due to non performance, less salary paid to those on the roster to replace them while they were out.
Considering the salaries involved, that’s a pretty big chunk of cap space at Murrays finger tips (if I’m correct) should he wish to use it. But, having the space, and having the authority to use it are two different things. Melnyk would have to ok spending this money over and above the projected salary budget, and this is a lot of money for a team already struggling at the box office.
My bet is, if the right player was available, and it was likely to be the difference between making the post season or missing, Melnyk would view the money spent as an investment in the future, believing missing the post season again would have a more negative economic impact than spending an extra million or two in salary.
Another player of note is Whitney. With an expiring contract, he is a worthwhile commodity on the trade market. I’m sure OTT is interested, but I suspect, at this point, Carolina is looking to wait until a bidding war strikes up, and it’s too early yet for that.