As the Montreal Canadiens continue to struggle, no one is safe from trade rumours. The Lightning are in a similar position and, of course, the Penguins can start moving veterans whenever they're ready to do so. Hot n' Not, Farm Report, Junior Report, Varsity Report and the best in quotes, Chirping, in this week's edition of TSN.ca's Backchecking.
AROUND THE RINKS- According to the Ottawa Sun, if the Canadiens are considering dealing G Jose Theodore, the Vancouver Canucks might be interestd, and the Habs would likely want Todd Bertuzzi in exchange. With Cristobal Huet getting back-to-back starts recently, Theodore's name becomes only more active on the trade front.
- The Ottawa Sun salso ays the Canadiens' current state of disarray has GM Bob Gainey willing to trade just about anybody, including C Mike Ribiero, D Craig Rivet, D Sheldon Souray and D Mike Komisarek. The paper reports that the Capitals are interested in Ribiero as a setup man for super rookie Alexander Ovechkin.
- The St. Petersburg Times suggests that the Lightning could be ready to make a major move, possibly sending D Pavel Kubina to Buffalo for G Martin Biron, while also mentioning that LW Fredrik Modin could go to Minnesota for G Manny Fernandez.
- Penguins RW Mark Recchi is on the block, according to the Delaware County Times, with the Flyers interested in bringing Recchi back into the fold, though the paper notes that Philly won't be making any major moves until they know what will happen with C Keith Primeau, who has missed most of the season due to a concussion.
- The Arizona Republic speculates that healthy scratch C Petr Nedved could be on the move for defensive help.
- Penguins C Ryan Malone, according to multiple reports, is on the block, with the Penguins apparently gauging interest around the league in the second-year forward.
- The Ottawa Sun has the Senators keeping an eye on Blues C Doug Weight and Panthers C Olli Jokinen, in addition to blue-collar Blackhawks Matthew Barnaby, Martin Lapointe and Jassen Cullimore.
- With injuries and inexperience taking hold on the blueline, the Toronto Sun reports that the Leafs could be in the market for some veteran defence help.
- Some speculation in Boston has the Bruins interested in Alexander Mogilny, but only if they can get him on re-entry waivers from the Devils, but the Bergen Record reports that no teams have expressed interest in actually trading for Mogilny.
- The Dallas Stars have apparently offered D Martin Skoula to the Thrashers for LW Vyacheslav Kozlov, according to the Ottawa Sun.
- According to the Belleville News-Democrat, recently-signed RW Vladimir Orszagh is still dealing with immigration issues in his native Slovakia, but the Blues expect that he'll be able to play on Sunday.
TRADING POSTSykora to the Rangers - In acquiring RW Petr Sykora from the Ducks, in exchange for defence prospect Maxim Kondratiev, the Rangers have bolstered their top two lines with a proven veteran scorer. Sykora seems like an ideal fit in the Rangers' Czech-dominated dressing room and he has already played on a line with Steve Rucchin and Petr Prucha as well as with the first power play unit. With four points in two games, Sykora's paid immediate dividends. In addition to improved cap flexibility, the Ducks get a 22 year-old defenceman in Kondratiev that GM Brian Burke says has top-four potential. In 29 games with the Rangers this year, Kondratiev had three points and a minus-2 rating.
Niinimaa to the Stars - In the final move before the Islanders' re-organization, they shipped out disappointing 30 year-old Janne Niinimaa and a fifth-round pick in 2007 to the Dallas Stars for John Erskine and a second-round pick. Since Erskine's really a seventh defenceman who can drop the gloves, the Stars are clearly getting the better player in the deal, with Niinimaa most likely able to play a top-four role. The second-round pick and salary relief will be the most valuable parts of the trade for the Isles.