4:03 p.m.: Well, folks, we’re closing up shop here in rumor land. As stated earlier, a Kaberle deal seems inevitable, but it still appears a ways away.
For the latest, check NESN.com’s NHL page all night, and follow along the Bruins live blog as the B’s take on the Islanders.
We’ll be back Friday morning for another day of hockey rumors.
3:55 p.m.: Ian Mendes is having a little fun with trade season in the NHL, compiling a list of trades he’d like to see for comedic reasons.
Mendes gets an A for creativity, at least.
3:44 p.m.: The day is almost over in the East, and you have to imagine that we’ll have at least one more day of Tomas Kaberle rumors. You didn’t think this would actually get done quickly, did you?
Kaberle’s been involved in trade rumors for what seems like decades now, but it’s more like two or three years. The prospect of him finally getting dealt is exciting, if only because we can all stop following the Kaberle trail.
But, like I said, don’t expect anything Thursday afternoon or night.
3:15 p.m.: While most folks were impressed with the Flyers for adding Kris Versteeg to their already-potent offense, TSN’s Scott Cullen isn’t very impressed with the return that the Leafs got back.
“It feels like one step back and maybe, possibly, some day, a step forward,” Cullen wrote. “So, the order remains the same, a good Flyers team gets better and a weak Maple Leafs team gets weaker.”
3:03 p.m.: The Bruins will have to wait a day before Chris Kelly makes his debut, as he has not yet been cleared to work in the United States. The team just made the announcement and said he’d be ready to play Friday night in Ottawa.
2:25 p.m.: Brian Burke, the busiest man in North America, is denying Darren Dreger’s report that a deal is pretty much done. Sort of.
You see, Dreger never reported it as done, he just said it was as good as done, with maybe a day or two of work to finish before making the trade.
Still, Burke said the following, according to the Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley:
“It’s not true that the [Kaberle] deal is done with Boston. … If we are to do anything else [in terms of trades], we intend to do it in the next little bit. I can almost promise it from our team.”
2:08 p.m.: The Blues sit nine points out of a playoff spot, which isn’t an impossible mountain to climb. Without Jaroslav Halak, though, it just might be.
The netminder was placed on injured reserve due to a right hand injury, and he’ll take his 2.63 GAA and .907 save percentage with him.
Might that make defenseman Eric Brewer or forward Matt D’Agostini available via trade? Brewer will be a UFA while D’Agostini will be an RFA come season’s end, and Brewer represents the second-highest salary on the entire Blues roster.
One way or another, it’s safe to assume the Blues will be involved in a trade or two before Feb. 28.
1:57 p.m.: The Canucks’ blue line took yet another hit, as Kevin Bieksa was diagnosed with a fractured left foot. He’ll be out for as long as three weeks, according to The Globe and Mail.
As we mentioned earlier, the Canucks are the best team in the NHL, but they’ll be without Andrew Alberts for the bulk of the remaining regular season. It seems a near-necessity now that Vancouver will need to add a piece on the blue line to maintain its standing atop the highly competitive Western Conference.
1:44 p.m.: Here’s a rumor that I can confirm: Jack Edwards doesn’t want the government interfering in hockey business.
You should be.
Check out the video here to see Jack’s plea for Chris Kelly to be allowed to join his teammates in the United States of America.
(As background, the B’s most recent trade acquisition hasn’t joined the B’s yet due to visa issues.)
1:15 p.m.: NESN.com’s Doug Flynn compiled the top 10 Bruins trade targets, including Kaberle, Dustin Penner, Brad Richards, Bryan McCabe, Jason Arnott, Joni Pitkanen.
Check it out by clicking here.
12:59 p.m.: As recently as last week, the Stars were thought to be buyers. Now, after three straight losses and gaining just five points in 11 games, they might be ready to sell Brad Richards.
Pierre LeBrun thinks so.
“The Stars’ collapse has put Richards right back in play, in my opinion,” LeBrun wrote on ESPN.com.
LeBrun listed the Bruins and Kings as the prime players involved in going after the 30-year-old.
12:08 p.m.: Bob McKenzie doesn’t see the Leafs getting their first-round pick back, should Kaberle head to Boston in a trade.
The B’s have plenty of picks to offer, but the first-round pick they have in this year’s draft (which they received for Kessel last year) won’t be sacrificed.
11:53 a.m.: Canucks GM Mike Gillis says the Ian White rumors are rubbish.
“Where does this stuff come from?” he said, according to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.
Well, all right then.
11:18 a.m.: Here’s news that will get few people outside of P.A. Parenteau’s immediate family excited: The winger has agreed to a one-year deal with the Islanders.
Bob McKenzie reports it’s worth $1.25 million.
The 27-year-old is having a breakout season, with 35 points in 56 games.
11:03 a.m.: Darren Dreger says that a a Kaberle-to-Boston deal is inevitable, barring a “complete meltdown.”
“It’s unlikely the deal gets done [Thursday], but sources say it’s close and say the deal doesn’t hinge on Kaberle signing an extension with the Bruins,” Dreger reported.
10:57 a.m.: Dreger adds that “the Leafs will be sellers now and buyers on Feb. 28.”
Brian Burke, it’s safe to say, loves the month of February.
10:53 a.m.: TSN’s Darren Dreger just promised an update on Tomas Kaberle.
“Kaberle closer to becoming a Bruin? Update at the top of the clock in The Dreger Report,” Dreger reported via Twitter. As always, stay tuned.
10:07 a.m.: The New Jersey Devils began the season about as atrociously as possible. They were 12-29-3 on Jan. 15. But now, a month later, if you type “New Jersey Devils” into Google, you see headlines that include the words “playoff” and “chances.”
It’s pretty insane when you think about it, but it is possible for the Devils to go on a run and make up the 12-point differential that currently separates them from a playoff spot. Stranger things have happened.
It makes you wonder how Lou Lamoriello will operate over the next 11 days. Jason Arnott will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, while Zach Parise will be a restricted free agent. Both players could net the Devils some serious talent and/or picks, and with Martin Brodeur’s age perhaps finally catching up to him, New Jersey may have to start looking into a goaltender (for the first time in about 20 years).
The Devils could stand pat and try to make an unlikely run at the Cup, or they could start thinking long-term and add pieces to surround Ilya Kovalchuk for years to come.
9:44 a.m.: Sure, the Canucks are the best team in the NHL, but Andrew Alberts is out for the next six to eight weeks. I’m no math whiz, but that has out until the last couple of weeks of the season.
The Boston College product and former Bruins, Flyer and Hurricane has an even rating this season for the Canucks, who boast the best goal differential at plus-59. The Canucks are going to have to fill that void in the ridiculously competitive Western Conference, so you can bet Mike Gillis is working the phonelines in Vancouver.
9:11 a.m.: It’s just a simple tweet, but you know, it’s early and the rumors aren’t flying yet. CBC’s Jeff Marek said on Twitter that he expects the Bruins to acquire Tomas Kaberle.
Considering Brian Burke is staring so intensely in this live blog’s photo, we can only hope we get some action out of Toronto.
8:45 a.m.: The Ottawa Senators are bad. Really bad. But Chris Phillips, who has a no-trade clause, wants to stay.
“I do [want to stay] and I know people will call me crazy for saying that, but I think you need some veteran guys that have been around to help and guide the young guys coming in,” the coveted D-man told the Ottawa Sun. “I’m OK and would take on that responsibility.”
The funny part is that it’s exactly that attitude that makes the 32-year-old so valuable come the trade deadline. Many teams are missing that locker room leader that can put them over the top, and Phillips is sure to be contacted a few times by Sens GM Bryan Murray over the next week and a half. An opportunity to win a Stanley Cup could be enough to convince Phillips, who’s been a Senator since 1997, to make a move.
8:33 a.m.: Wednesday morning, Paul Maurice hinted he expected a trade involving defenseman Ian White to be taken care of within 24 hours. We’re nearing that mark, so a move could be coming shortly.
Newsobserver.com speculated that the Canucks might be interested in White after losing Andrew Alberts to a wrist injury.
8:30 a.m.: NESN’s Kathryn Tappen notes that with the Bruins on a six-game trip, they could have a very different look the next time they take the ice in Boston.
8:05 a.m.: Well, we’re kicking off the day not with a rumor but with a bona fide trade. Paul Mara is heading back to Montreal.
The veteran D-man spent last season with the Canadiens, but his campaign was cut short due to injury. The Habs will send a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft to Anaheim in exchange for Mara.
8 a.m.: It’s a busy time in the NHL, and it’s hard to keep track off. Enter the live blog.
Though the NHL’s trading deadline isn’t until Feb. 28, there have already been a handful of trades made. Kris Versteeg got sent from Toronto to Philly, Mike Fisher went from Ottawa to Nashville, Chris Kelly was sent from Ottawa to Boston and Francois Beauchemin got the party started with his Anaheim reunion last week.
With so many trades already done, the rumors are heating up. Check back here throughout the day for the latest in the world of NHL rumors.