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PRINCE OF PUCKS: Theodore staying put

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  • Forget about the Montreal shopping . Team president Pierre Boivin stated Theodore was not on the trade block, and his club has no intention of moving the 2002 Hart and Vezina winner. Boivin also stated that, contrary to media speculation, the received no inquiries about Theodore from other teams when reports of the arrest of members of his family for suspected loan-sharking hit the news in June. So much for those speculations of Theodore going to Colorado along with much-maligned defenseman for , and the rights to . That wins my "Snowball's Chance in Hell" award as the summer's wackiest rumor.
  • It's been a couple of months since we heard any news regarding the Philadelphia attempts to dump salary by dealing away and his hefty contract. According to the Camden Courier-Post, there's a good reason for that: There simply aren't any takers for the big guy. In this summer of fiscal belt-tightening around the NHL, most teams simply aren't interested in taking on the remaining $27 million of LeClair's salary, especially considering how much his offensive numbers have suffered in recent years. LeClair is simply no longer the offensive force he once was, thanks to his highly publicized back problems. Thus, the are stuck with his contract, which becomes more of an issue when one considers LeClair may be asked to take on a lesser role in the coming season. LeClair's a good guy and he'll work as hard as his back will allow, but it's obvious GM Bob Clarke used his heart, rather than his head, when he signed LeClair to that huge contract.
  • The latest word on comes from his agent, Don Meehan, who recently told the Boston Globe that, contrary to popular belief, his client didn't have a "preferred list" of clubs he would like to be dealt to. Meehan said "CuJo" had no "initial objection" to being dealt to the Boston . Still, the Globe correctly pointed out the , desperate for top-caliber goaltending, may not be willing to take on Joseph's huge salary, even if the Detroit pick up a chunk of the $16 million remaining on his contract. That contract could swell to $24 million if Joseph's option year is guaranteed as part of the trade. Personally, I believe the would be making a big mistake dealing for Joseph. Even with the Wings picking up part of his contract, that's a lot of money to carry over the next two to three seasons for an aging netminder whose best days may be behind him. Worse, they'd be taking on that big contract a year before a new collective bargaining agreement comes into effect, an agreement that could have caps on payroll or luxury taxes on teams that go over a cap. The surely would feel it if Joseph's salary eats up a significant portion of their league-restricted payroll. If the want to trade for a goaltender, they may wish to revisit their June attempts to land from the Phoenix . Yes, he's battled injury over the past two seasons, but when healthy, he's one of the top netminders in the league. Most important, with only one year remaining on a contract paying him $4.5 million, he'd be a cheaper acquisition than Joseph. Or perhaps they may wish to consider signing unrestricted free agent to a one-year deal It's a safe bet "The Cat" might be willing to sign a contract for less than $3 million for next season. Yes, these may be short-term fixes, and I can understand the desire of management to show their fans they are indeed trying to improve their club. But fans aren't stupid, either. They'll never forgive management for tying up a restricted payroll for two years on a goaltender potentially past his prime. 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: Bruins, Red Wings, Kings, Canadiens, Flyers, Avalanche, Coyotes, Derek Morris, Patrice Brisebois, Jose Theodore, John LeClair, Alex Tanguay, Curtis Joseph, Sean Burke

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