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PRINCE OF PUCKS: Some rumors still linger

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The trade deadline was over a week ago, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from buzzing over trades that didn't go down, and what clues they may hold to potential deals in the off-season. The much-anticipated firesale in San Jose never materialized. Yes, the dealt off , and , but two major names expected to move on the deadline, forwards and , remained with the club beyond the deadline. The Colorado , Philadelphia , New Jersey and Vancouver were all believed interested in one or the other. Both players, however, invoked their no-trades clauses. Selanne stated he didn't see any deals that made sense to him, while Damphousse refused to restructure his contract as a condition to waiving his no-trade clause. While they remain , speculation is growing they may both be playing elsewhere by next season. With the recent firing of general manager Dean Lombardi, the trade status of Damphousse and Selanne will remain a hot topic through the off-season. Turning to the Los Angeles , forward was not moved at the deadline, but he wasn't thrilled by management's decision to dump veterans and . The remain hopeful of re-signing Palffy, but the winger said the trading of Schneider and Smolinski will be taken into consideration on any decision he makes to stay with the club. I'm not so sure, however, that this isn't merely posturing on Palffy's part. He knew well in advance of deadline day the would move one or both of his aforementioned teammates to free up money, which the club would need to re-sign him. The also own a club option on Palffy for next season, so it's not as though they'll be under pressure to re-sign him prior to the 2003-04 campaign, although that is what they prefer. Expect the Palffy contract talks to be watched closely by the rumor mill this summer. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, much was made of forward and defenseman being healthy scratches from a game, mere hours after the deadline. This led to speculation both players would be part of a late trade that had yet to be announced, but that was not the case. Gomez and head coach Pat Burns reportedly clashed this season, although both have downplayed this to the press. It was later reported in the Arizona Republic that Gomez and Tverdovsky were part of a supposed package to the for Temmu Selanne, , and . Neither club would comment on the deal, but it does raise questions as to the long-term future with the of both players. Look for "Gomez and Tverdovsky on the block" stories to pop up once this season is finished. In Buffalo, where billionaire Tom Golisano is poised to purchase the , speculation turned toward the status of winger , who was the topic of trade rumors for most of the season. While Satan never publicly demanded a trade, the Buffalo News reported he would've preferred a trade to a playoff club. Apparently, Satan grew weary of the last two losing seasons and the prospect of facing another one next year. When asked if he'd seek a trade in the off-season, Satan stated it was a possibility he'd consider. The supposedly want to build their young club around Satan, but that could change if he wants to leave. He's a Group II free agent this summer, but with arbitration rights, meaning if he gets the raise he's looking for (which could be between $4.5 - $5.5 mil per season, up from the $3.3 mil he's made this season), it may be too expensive for the to swallow. That is bound to start the rumor mill churning over the possibility of the shopping Satan to those big-market teams who miss out on landing a talented scoring forward in the UFA market. Another surprise at the deadline was the Pittsburgh deciding to retain forward . It was widely speculated the cash-strapped club would move Straka or goaltender , but they remain with the Pens ... for now. Given GM Craig Patrick's ominous talk about his club's inability to compete any longer, don't expect the Straka trade rumors to go away in the off-season. Finally, there's the case of Montreal defenseman , who apparently was nearly dealt to the New Jersey on deadline day. Reports claims Brisebois refused to waive his no-trade clause because the wanted him to restructure his contract. However, his agent, Don Meehan, denied this, as well as the report his client was to be dealt to New Jersey. Neither Brisebois nor the would comment on this, but rest assured, this does nothing to keep "Breezy's" name out of the rumor mill in the off-season. At home in Prince Edward , 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 buy his book.
Tagged: Bruins, Sabres, Red Wings, Kings, Canadiens, Devils, Senators, Penguins, Sharks, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Miroslav Satan, Bryan Smolinski, Patrice Brisebois, Martin Straka, Mike Ricci, Scott Gomez

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