With the trade deadline approaching and the Ducks on the brink of being irrelevant in the playoff race, the vultures are circling and the one guy a lot of playoff teams want to pick off is Teemu Selanne.
According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register however, Selanne isn’t thinking about getting moved out of town any time soon even when he’s asked nicely about it.
“I have tried to avoid that question,” Selanne said. “We still have (hope). Everybody in this room believes that we can make the playoffs and I think that would be almost wrong to even think about any other options. That’s not in my mind right now. Let’s see what happens.”
Selanne admitted that the road trip the team is on will likely determine how serious they are to make a run at the postseason. As it is the Ducks are just one game into it, a loss in the shootout to Detroit. With seven more games to go before they get home just a few days before the deadline, watching the Ducks comes with a lot of interest for teams like Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Jose, the Rangers, and Pittsburgh when it comes to wanting to acquire Selanne.
Any chance of Evgeni Nabokov’s hot play slipping under the radar probably dissolved on Tuesday night.
The New York Islanders goalie was already producing some excellent work, but another masterful performance against the Philadelphia Flyers should raise his trade value to an even higher level. Nabokov stopped 45 shots as the Isles eked out a 1-0 shootout win against the Flyers. (In fact, Philly couldn’t even top Nabokov in the skills competition as he stopped Daniel Briere and Wayne Simmonds.)
Nabokov’s work against Philadelphia’s top line was impressive alone. Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr combined for a staggering 16 shots but couldn’t beat the red-hot Russian a single time.
Nabby’s outstanding run
Nabokov’s strong 2011-12 season has been undermined by playing for the struggling Islanders, but his most recent work is making him extremely difficult to ignore. He’s now 6-1-0 in his last seven games while allowing just eight goals. Nabokov has turned aside 212 out of 220 shots in that span, which translates to a .964 save percentage.
Such amazing play might make some wonder if GM Garth Snow should keep him around, but the context screams trade. He’s already 36 years old and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, so Nabokov simply makes too much sense as a rental.
It just so happens that his price tag seems to climb with each passing game.
Ryan Suter might be the hottest commodity around the NHL world thanks to him becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer. Suter saying he wasn’t going to negotiate a new deal before the trade deadline only stoked the fires that trade rumors are created from.
With teams oozing cap room and in need of a cornerstone defenseman, Suter being dealt at the deadline could create a feeding frenzy for the Predators.
Courtesy of Frank Seravalli of the Philly Daily News, he hears from an inside source that the Predators won’t be putting Suter on the market any time soon.
“The consensus among us is that Nashville will be hanging onto him, even if they know the odds are not in their favor of re-signing him,” one Eastern Conference GM told the Daily News on condition of anonymity. “If he does decide to trade him, [David] Poile has the market cornered. There are very few defensemen of Suter’s caliber in the league and Nashville has two of them.
“You have to wonder whether the Predators can continue to trade away their top players for prospects because they can’t afford to pay them.”
It could be a great place for the Predators to be in to have command of the trade market and have teams like the Red Wings and Flyers at their beck and call. Giving up a top defenseman to do that, however, makes it a really awkward position to be in.
As for now, the Predators will hope they can get Suter signed before July 1 lest they lose him for nothing to those same teams.