Selanne and Lidstrom

Selanne sidesteps Red Wings trade rumors

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Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press caught up with Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne prior to tonight’s Ducks-Red Wings game to discuss, among other things, speculation of him moving to a contender prior to the NHL trade deadline.

One of the contenders that’s come up in speculation?

The Detroit Red Wings!

There are a few reasons Detroit has emerged as a potential destination for the 41-year-old:

— Red Wings forward and fellow Finn Valtteri Filppula is a good friend (okay, Selanne is kind of his idol.) The two were Olympic teammates in Vancouver and with Filppula in the midst of a career year, the pair could potentially play on a line together.

“I’m not surprised about Val, because I know how good a player he is and can be,” Selanne said. “I think it’s great. I’ve been waiting a long time to see him play like this.”

So, would Selanne like to have Filppula as a linemate?

“We have good chemistry, let’s put it that way,” Selanne said, smiling. “But I try to avoid that question, because the only main focus is on here.”

— Detroit has often been a landing pad for veteran players: Mike Modano, Ruslan Salei, Brad May, Dominik Hasek and Dallas Drake were just a few of the over-35 set that caught on with the Wings at the tail end of their careers. (Drake and Hasek both won Stanley Cups in Detroit.)

— GM Ken Holland has a history of swinging big at the deadline, acquiring the likes of Todd Bertuzzi, Mathieu Schneider, Brad Stuart, Robert Lang and Chris Chelios.

All that said, Selanne swears his focus is solely on the task at hand — getting Anaheim into the playoffs.

“We don’t go that far,” he said. “[This trip] is so important for everybody right now and we know the urgency, what we have to do. But that’s the only focus we have right now. Everything else is stuff to put aside and forget from now on.”

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.