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PRINCE OF PUCKS: More 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.
  • Speculation is brewing in Montreal that the may soon pull the trigger on a deal. La Presse reported the Habs may soon ship goaltender and grinding forward out of town, and there's talk of forward being moved to make room for promising youngster , who's soon to return from a preseason injury. Speaking of Audette, the Montreal Gazette reported he's been benched for poor performance. Head coach Michel Therrien is apparently wary of bringing the winger back into the lineup and upsetting team chemistry. The New York Post's Larry Brooks claimed the N.Y. might have interest in , another Hab forward who was off to a slow start. Brooks didn't know what the would want in return from the Blueshirts, but suggested they simply wanted to dump Czerkawski's contract. Spector's Take: Hackett told the Gazette he'd retire if he didn't end up with a playoff contender after this season, which limits the number of teams to which GM Andre Savard could deal him. Audette's poor play and selfish attitude has upset his teammates, coaching staff and management this season. Barring a radical change, he could well be on his way out of Montreal. As for Czerkawski, the jury's still out, but a recent upsurge in his offense makes it unlikely the will move him.
  • With the N.Y. struggling early this season, it's believed GM Mike Milbury might shake up his roster with a trade. Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reported Milbury could be interested in either Boston defenseman or Atlanta forward . Newsday's Alan Hahn, meanwhile, reported Milbury wasn't pleased with the recent efforts of forwards , , , , and . He hinted changes could happen if the club failed to snap out of its slump. There were scouts from 14 different teams checking out a recent -Calgary game, further stoking the rumor fires. Spector's Take: Look out, Isles fans! The vultures are circling! It must be noted that, except for the absence of team captain to injury, this is practically the same team that made the playoffs with 96 points last season. Rather than blaming the players, perhaps the problem lies with the coaching staff?
  • Things are getting ugly in Toronto, where the are off to their worst start in years. Fans are demanding GM Pat Quinn do something to improve his roster, but he told the Toronto media quick-fix trades weren't the answer to his club's woes. If Quinn does decide to deal, rule out forward being part of it. He told the Toronto Star he'd invoke the "no-trade" clause in his contract if the Leafs attempted to move him. Spector's Take: I rarely agree with Quinn, but this time he's right. It's too early in the season for the Leafs to get trade-happy. However, if they're still struggling by December, Quinn may have no choice but to start calling his peers around the league.
  • And now, it's time for "stupid trade rumors of the week." This week's winner is Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, who offered up the following doozies:
  • The Atlanta might deal forward Slava Kozlov to the N.Y. for blueline prospect .
  • The L.A. might consider making an offer for Edmonton forward to fill the void left by injured center . Spector's Take: I realize the defensive game, in a word, sucks, but why the hell would they trade one of their top forwards for a kid who's yet to prove he can perform well at the NHL level? I also understand GM Kevin Lowe's concern over his club's slow start to this season, but I find it unlikely he'll trade Carter, who happens to be Edmonton's leading scorer. Check out Spector's hockey page and buy his book.
  • Tagged: Bruins, Flames, Oilers, Kings, Canadiens, Islanders, Rangers, Maple Leafs, Jets, Kyle McLaren, Dave Scatchard, Brad Isbister, Shawn McEachern, Jason Wiemer, Michael Peca, Tomas Kloucek, Mike Ribeiro, Jason Blake

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