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PRINCE OF PUCKS: Still on the block

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  • The Toronto Star's Web site recently listed several big-name players still believed on the trade block. While acknowledging the Washington have been unsuccessful in their attempts to move , it noted management's determination to move Jagr's big contract and "his underachieving attitude". The Star also noted the Philadelphia still haven't found a taker for and his aching back and fat wallet. But it suggested GM Bob Clarke might be willing to take the equivalent of a bag of pucks in return, since that's essentially what it took to part with goaltending goat a few months ago. Finally, the site reported the New York could try to move forwards or . While the latter had better stats last season, Lindros is still a "name", even though he's now injury-prone and had one of his worst performances ever last season. Like the used car sales business, making trades in the NHL is all about selling points. If you're a general manager trying to move a player, you want to find a sucker ... er, another general manager whom you can con ... er, convince into believing said player could suit their needs. With teams tightening payrolls over uncertainty of the next round of collective bargaining, these players can be yours for the low, low price of an inexpensive young player, a pick in one of the first three rounds and a prospect. Based on the Star's information, what are the major selling points of Jagr, LeClair and Lindros? All three carry expensive contracts. All three have persistent injury problems (Jagr with his groin, LeClair with his back, and Lindros with concussions). None of them are producing the way they did years ago, thus can now be considered past their "best before" dates. Is it any wonder their respective general managers cannot find anyone to take them off their hands? At least the can be rid of Lindros by season's end, for that's when his contract expires. As for Jagr and LeClair, don't be surprised if their fat contracts and injury woes are still with their respective teams by season's end.
  • Speaking of Jagr, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested the ' inability to move him and fellow former Penguin could be a bad sign for the Pens, who are looking to dump another high-salaried forward. The Pens apparently want to ship out , but his $4.35 million salary could dampen interest. This may be true, but don't rule out the possibility of Straka attracting interest by the trade deadline, especially if he makes a full recovery from his injury woes of the past year. By deadline day, he'll be in line to make $4.7 million the following season. Even with the possibility of salary or payroll restrictions in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, that total could be workable for someone.
  • Remember that wild rumor a couple of weeks back that had the Montreal shipping to Colorado for a package that would include the rights to ? The Montreal Gazette reported there had been inquiries made about Theodore by the and a few unnamed teams following the publication of a five-year-old photograph in Le Journal de Montreal showing Theodore supposedly hanging out with several members of the Hell's Angels. However, the are sticking by their embattled goaltender, just as they did when the news that Theodore's father, uncle and step-brothers were arrested on loan-sharking charges. He is not under investigation by the Montreal police, and the Habs have no plans to trade him. As for Roy, the Gazette noted that if he really wanted to come out of retirement to play for one more season, it certainly wouldn't be with the struggling Habs. If the signings of and by the Avs weren't enough to entice Roy to change his mind, nothing is. 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 buy his book.
  • Tagged: Kings, Canadiens, Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, Avalanche, Capitals, Jose Theodore, Petr Nedved, John LeClair, Robert Lang, Martin Straka, Jaromir Jagr, Paul Kariya

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