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PRINCE OF PUCKS: Latest rumors from Spector

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At home in Prince Edward Island, Canada, he's known as Lyle Richardson. But around these parts, he's known as Spector, FOXSports.com's Prince of Pucks. Check in with Spector for the latest NHL rumors from around the league. And feel free to let him know what you think.
  • The Edmonton Sun reports a growing clamor amongst fans to dump some veterans in favor of promising youngsters. With kids like , Tony Salmelainen, Jani Rita and Alexei Semenov looking good in preseason, it's believed Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe might end up dealing away forwards like , , and to make room for the young guys. Lowe concedes the possibility of facing that scenario, but cautions against moving too soon, in case the kids fizzle out later on in the season. Spector's Take: Lowe also suggests any potential move won't be made until at least Christmas. That's a wise move, for if the kids aren't ready for a full season yet, the aforementioned vets are.
  • There's more talk of the Colorado shopping a forward to bring in blueline depth. The Boston Globe and the Denver Post recently published articles claiming the Avs might offer up for a defenseman, with the Globe suggesting the Calgary may be a potential target. Spector's Take: If struggles with his consistency again this season, GM Pierre Lacroix will have no choice but to shop one of his good young forwards to shore up his defense corps. It remains to be seen if Tanguay becomes trade bait, but a lot depends on whether or not he can bounce back from a poor 2001-02 season.
  • The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch is once again blowing his trade horn, this time suggesting backup goalie is having a fight on his hands with prospect to retain his spot. Garrioch noted the Tampa Bay , apparently seeking a backup for starter , were scouting a recent Sens preseason game. Spector's Take: Garrioch has been suggesting for the past several weeks the Sens may trade Hurme, as the club cannot protect both he and Prusek in the upcoming waiver draft. However, no team is going to trade for Hurme if there's a chance they could get him for nothing in the waiver draft. Besides, given a recent injury to Prusek, Hurme's desire to stay in Ottawa, and the latter's proven ability at the NHL level, I'm inclined to believe it'll be Prusek, not Hurme, who'll be unprotected.
  • On the topic of goaltenders, Newsday's Alan Hahn reports a training camp battle for the starting goalie role on the N.Y. between incumbent and prospect could see the loser shopped. Such a move would be financially motivated, as Hahn claims carrying the salaries of both netminders could stretch the club's finances, particularly if DiPietro reaches most of the bonus clauses in his contract. Spector's Take: I doubt the Isles will shop Ozzy, who brought much-needed stability between the pipes, nor do I believe they'll move DiPietro if he does make his bonuses. If GM Mike Milbury does decide to pare salary, he'll look elsewhere to do it.
  • Turning to the front, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported of possible discussions within the front office hierarchy over a potential pitch for the disgruntled defenseman. Spector's Take: No offense, but I don't see the having the depth of talent to offer up the kind of return GM Mike O'Connell wants in exchange for McLaren. The best the Pens could offer at this point is prospects.
  • The Montreal Gazette reports Czech forward is struggling to find a place on a bolstered roster. Bulis believes the Habs will trade him if he can not earn a regular spot. Spector's Take: Injuries have slowed the progress of this promising forward. Consequently, the may not get much of a return for Bulis, unless they package him with later on in the season.
  • Finally, both the Calgary Herald and Sun newspapers report center remains an unhappy camper. He made a much-publicized trade request last December, but withdrew it after speaking with management. It's since been revealed Savard quietly made another request to be traded at the end of last season. General Manager Craig Button is thought to be testing the market, but may not move the disgruntled center anytime soon. Spector's Take: The worst thing to have in a dressing room is a player who doesn't want to be there. Still, the have no choice right now. Savard's value is low, and they obviously want to see he can improve from his dismal performance last season. Check out Spector's hockey page and buy his book.
  • Tagged: Jani Hurme, Bruins, Flames, Red Wings, Oilers, Canadiens, Islanders, Senators, Penguins, Avalanche, Lightning, Kyle McLaren, Marc Savard, Derek Morris, Todd Marchant, Ethan Moreau, Mike Grier, Daniel Cleary, Jason Chimera, Jan Bulis, Rick DiPietro, Alex Tanguay, Martin Skoula, Nikolai Khabibulin, Martin Prusek

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