Internet-borne trade rumor destroyed by Kings beat reporter it was wrongly attributed to

themoreyouknow.jpgOne of the unfortunate side effects of the summer starting to get a bit long for hockey fans is that while there’s no major news to keep us satiated, it makes many fans more open and susceptible to overreacting to any and all trade and signing rumors that appear on the Internet. With the use of Twitter becoming more prevalent amongst hockey fans (full disclosure: James and I both are on Twitter. Find James here. Find Joe here.) it can make the starting and spreading of insanely untrue rumors that much easier. Think of it like playing a game of “telephone” except the difference being that the message was wrong to start and wrong information spreads like wildfire from user to user.

Case in point, last night a wild tale about a potential trade between the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs started to make its way around, this time with a catch. The catch being that it was supposedly reported by a very reputable team reporter, in this case Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. While more Internet-savvy fans were wise enough to do a quick check on Rich’s site to see that he hadn’t reported on any such thing, some folks will take what’s said at face value and send word around faster than the Motaba virus in the movie “Outbreak.”

The fun part about life on the Internet is that you can never truly hide and people spreading false rumors that are wrongly attributed will end up being outed, scolded and buried for doing so (as Bob McKenzie and Greg Wyshynskii did). Also, the person who was wrong attributed will sound off about it on his own site.

Just had to mention that I was very heartened to come read the comments here tonight and see that not a single person fell for the online garbage that I was the “source” for some fictional trade report. Just goes to confirm what I already knew, that the readers of this blog are the best around! Thanks to Bob McKenzie and Greg Wyshynski as well for helping to set the record straight.

We know that there’s just about another month until training camp opens for NHL teams and we know that the Toronto Maple Leafs have a deadline to deal Tomas Kaberle before his no-trade clause kicks in again. We also know that the Los Angeles Kings would love to add another defensemen. All we ask is that you make sure to know who you’re hearing said rumors from, make sure it comes from a source that you trust and then go wild if it seems like it could, indeed, be true.

This PSA is probably a few months late at this point, but it never hurts to remind people in case you get swept away in thinking that somehow, someway the Kings would trade away the captain of their team for a guy with one year left on his contract and a guy who plays most of the year in the AHL because he’s only a fighter.

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    Penguins GM confident they can find third-line center with Bonino gone

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    August is nearing, and the Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t made a trade or signing to replace Nick Bonino, their outstanding (but former) third-line center.

    On the bright side, the Penguins have remarkable breathing room considering their status as repeat Stanley Cup champions. Cap Friendly places their 2017-18 room at about $10.38 million.

    That robust space likely explains why GM Jim Rutherford seemed fairly calm about the whole situation, as Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

    “I do feel confident that, by the start of the season, we’re going to have a third-line center that we’re comfortable with,” Rutherford said. “Whether it’s one of those guys on the list or one of the guys that I could go and get right today.”

    Rutherford (jokingly?) said that he had a list of “hundreds of names” as options, although it’s difficult to top Mackey’s suggestion of Phil Kessel‘s buddy, Tyler Bozak. After all, Bozak is a competent player who carries a $4.2 million cap hit that Pittsburgh could comfortably absorb (and the Toronto Maple Leafs might need to shed). It doesn’t hurt that Bozak’s contract expires after 2017-18, so the Penguins wouldn’t be on the hook if things don’t work out.

    Of course, Matt Duchene is another name worth considering. It almost feels a little strange to ponder that speedy Avalanche forward being a “third-line center,” especially if Pittsburgh would want to get the most out of him.

    MORE: Duchene might begin next season with the Colorado Avalanche

    After that, though … the pickings could be much slimmer than Rutherford indicated to Mackey.

    Shallow pool

    Take a look at this current list of forwards who are unrestricted free agents.

    There are some potential bargains here (P.A. Parenteau, Jiri Hudler, anyone?), but the situation gets significantly shakier if you’re picky enough to look only at centers. The likes of Daniel Winnik and Ryan White are reasonable roster additions, but the drop-off from Bonino could be pretty drastic.

    What about other trade possibilities?

    That’s a shaky group, too, especially if you apply Bozak-like terms as far as guys who only have one year left on their current contracts.

    Honestly, the Penguins’ best bet in looking at that list would probably come down to an in-season move with a team that realizes it’s not a contender or simply understands that a player won’t be back.

    Maybe the Calgary Flames would want to cut bait on Matt Stajan or (less realistically) Mikael Backlund? Would the Ducks move speedy, versatile sometimes-center Andrew Cogliano? There are other remote possibilities, such as the Leafs instead trading Leo Komarov (or especially unlikely moves in Paul Stastny or Tomas Plekanec).

    Even if the above list seems enticing, how many of those teams would really want to move those players now, especially the bigger difference-makers?

    If you’re the Penguins, you’re probably hoping that a Bozak deal could take place. And maybe you’re sweating this situation more than you let on.

    (Note: There’s also the slight possibility that the Penguins might identify a replacement from within, though a contending team like Pittsburgh might not be so comfortable with that approach.)

    Blues have ‘wiggle room’ after locking up Parayko

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    The St. Louis Blues didn’t break the bank to keep Colton Parayko for five more years, and that’s important since they don’t believe the NHL’s salary cap will rise significantly in the next little while.

    Parayko’s cap hit came in at a manageable $5.5 million, as the two sides narrowly avoided an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for today.

    “You like to have as much wiggle room as possible,” GM Doug Armstrong said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Now we view the cap will stay flat for the foreseeable future. We’re content with the space we have. We’ll move forward and get ready for training camp.”

    The Blues now have a number of key players locked up long term, including Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Patrik Berglund, and Jake Allen.

    For Armstrong, the next big decision could involve Paul Stastny, the 31-year-old center who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

    But a decision on Stastny doesn’t need to be made now, or even before the season starts. It’s the trade deadline that could be the real pressure point, akin to the Kevin Shattenkirk situation this past year.

    Per CapFriendly, the Blues have just over $3 million in cap space, with one roster spot left to fill.

    ‘Highly unlikely’ Suns will pursue shared arena with Coyotes

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    The Arizona Coyotes appear to be on their own in pursuit of a new arena in the Phoenix area.

    That’s because Robert Sarver, the owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, says it’s “highly unlikely” he’ll pursue a shared arena with the Coyotes.

    Instead, Sarver is focused on upgrading the Suns’ current home (and Coyotes’ old home) in downtown Phoenix, Talking Stick Resort Arena.

    From the Arizona Republic:

    Sarver said building a new arena would have “maybe made more sense” four or five years ago when the cost estimate was $450 million to $500 million. The costs now, Sarver said, are “significantly higher.” Thus his focus on upgrading Talking Stick, which soon will be the second-oldest arena in the NBA.

    “I think it’s the most economically viable alternative for the city and us,” he said. “I like downtown Phoenix. That’s my first preference. I think the NBA is more of an urban game. That’s our demographic.”

    Talking Stick Resort Arena, formerly called America West Arena when the Coyotes played there, was designed for basketball and isn’t ideal for hockey. In that way, it’s a lot like Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which hasn’t been a great fit for the Islanders.

    The Coyotes recently hired a new president and CEO, Steve Patterson, whose top priority is finding the team a new home in the Phoenix area.

    Crosby to celebrate 30th birthday with Stanley Cup in Nova Scotia

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    HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) Sidney Crosby will mark his 30th birthday by once again parading the Stanley Cup in his province.

    In tweets sent out by the Sidney Crosby Hockey School, Crosby said he would hoist the trophy in the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth as part of an annual civic parade.

    “Get ready, the Stanley cup is coming to town!” Crosby confirmed in the tweet sent late Tuesday night. “I will be taking Lord Stanley to the streets Monday August 7th in the Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day parade.”

    The parade, part of annual events that celebrate Halifax’s birthday, also happens to fall on the Pittsburgh Penguins captain’s 30th birthday.

    Natal Day chairman Greg Hayward said he expects another 25,000 people will be lining the parade route on top of the roughly 40,000 usual attendees.

    “It’s extremely exciting to think that we’re going to have Sid and the Cup in our Natal Day parade,” Hayward said Wednesday.

    Crosby has shown off the Stanley Cup twice before in his hometown of Cole Harbour, just outside Dartmouth, in 2009 and 2016.

    Last July, Crosby carried the Cup in the back of a pickup that made its way to an arena in Cole Harbour as thousands of cheering fans looked on in sweltering heat.