With Sergei Zubov signing in the KHL it ends speculation that he would soon be in Jacket-land. In reality it would be difficult to add his salary without subtracting from the current payroll. Thus the rumors.
It is obvious that we still need a puck moving defender and Eric Smith the CBJ blogger at Hockeybuzz has a couple rumors on the blog.
First, we were rumored to be talking to Montreal for Roman Hamrlik. On the out would be Klesla and Modin. While I'm sure this was considered, it doesn't seem to make us markedly better and this is probably why nothing has materialized. Hamrlik is a good defender, in fact a better version of Klesla. He's 35 years old, do we see him here in the long term? Hamrlik is also signed for this year AND next year at 5.5 million. Way too much in my opinion. There are much better fixes. I do see Modin as being a part of a possible package, but the value does not seem to be there in this deal. Bad deal in my eyes.
Second is perhaps the juicier, which is our supposed interest in Tomas Kaberle. Even though, Brian Burke has said that he will not trade Kaberle he has about 13 NHL defenders and one of the worst top six forward groups in the league. If you had Kaberle, Brassard, Vermette to this team all year, we could be a Cup Contender with a bit of luck. I'm not joking. I believe Kaberle will be moved. The question is, for what?
The player that would jump to me as being interesting is Umberger. However with Umberger's holdout on Burke, he's not high on his list. He also didn't include him among the best 16 American forwards. He's a Burke style player, but I can't see him being the fit here. I'm kind of glad to, because I love RJ and his guts.
That leaves me puzzled honestly about who could be interesting. If Burke wanted Huselius, he could just sign Tanguay. Voracek will likely not be on the table. I can imagine that Burke might have interest in Boll. He loves big forwards and some may believe he still has offensive upside, but Boll in no way can be the centerpiece. Filatov would probably be the only tradeable centerpiece. If we could package Modin's salary with Filatov, that might be the only thing I can imagine working, however that might be short sighted. I don't see us being a great fit with Toronto.
We are still in the market for a puck mover. I think it's fair to say that we are not into Babchuk because we could have made that deal.... What do you think? Fire Away