Will protected players waive power at deadline?
With the NHL's trade deadline less than two weeks away, speculation
persists over which players could be on the move once the Olympic
break ends at midnight on Feb. 28.
Several of those players whose names have been bandied about in the rumor mill have either "no-movement" or "no-trade" clauses, meaning they cannot be dealt without giving their blessing.
Here's a quick look at those who might or might not agree to be traded by March 3:
Ray Whitney, Carolina Hurricanes. He was reportedly almost traded to the Los Angeles Kings a couple of weeks ago but apparently invoked his clause when the Kings wouldn't offer up a three-year contract extension. It's rumored the Kings are still interested and there's talk of a compromise, two-year contract but that remains to be seen. It's also believed Whitney would agree to waive his clause to go to a Cup contender like Pittsburgh as a "rental player" if the right deal can be found for the Hurricanes.
Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs. He keeps insisting he won't waive his clause and Leafs GM Brian Burke keeps insisting he won't ask Kaberle to do so but the Toronto media won't let this die, believing the veteran defenseman would agree to a trade if it were to a playoff contender. If Burke does eventually decide to ship out Kaberle it'll likely be during the off-season when there's a two-month window for the Leafs GM to move the blueliner without his permission.
Sheldon Souray, Edmonton Oilers. Despite being sidelined until late March with a hand injury, Souray has submitted a list of six teams -- Los Angeles, Anaheim, Dallas in the West, Philadelphia, Washington and the NY Rangers in the East -- he'd accept a trade to, but his injury history and salary ($5.4 million per season) makes the possibility he'll be traded by the deadline a slim one.
Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers. Their recent skid in the standings leading up to the Olympic break was the last straw for the club's new ownership as it has given the green light to GM Randy Sexton to shake up the roster. Sexton suggested no player was untouchable, and Vokoun is arguably their most valuable trade chip. The goaltender recently told the Miami media he'd consider waiving his clause depending on the situation. That's sparked talk of Vokoun agreeing to be dealt to a team like Chicago, Washington or Philadelphia but his $5.7 million cap hit for this season and next makes him hard to move.
Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers. It seems every rumor of late involving the Flyers has Hartnell being packaged as part of a deal for a star player. He was rumored headed to Calgary for Dion Phaneuf and Atlanta for Ilya Kovalchuk prior to those players heading to Toronto and New Jersey, respectively. Just one teeny little problem: his no-trade clause, which he has no willingness to waive nor has management asked him to do so.
Fredrick Modin, Columbus Blue Jackets. It's believed Jackets general manager Scott Howson could ask Modin to waive his no-trade clause following the Olympic break if there's any interest in the winger. However, age and injuries have caught up with the former 30-goal scorer and Howson could find little or no interest in Modin.
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins. After winning the Vezina Trophy in 2009 as the league's top goalie, Thomas' play has declined this season -- leading to rumors from outside the Boston media claiming the Bruins are shopping him. He's in the first year of a four-year contract paying him over $5 million per season and has a "no-movement" clause for the first three seasons of the deal. The Bruins are in need of scoring depth but all reports out of Boston dismiss the notion of a Thomas trade.
Paul Kariya, St. Louis Blues. Once among the game's elite forwards, Kariya's stock has dropped considerably in recent years due in large part to injuries. This season he's on pace for a mere 39 points and the Blues aren't expected to re-sign him. Management is believed willing to listen to offers for Kariya who might waive his "no-movement" clause for a chance to go to a playoff contender seeking experienced depth at forward.
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite being in the first year of a very lengthy (11 years) and expensive ($85 million) contract, speculation persists Lecavalier could either ask for a trade or new ownership might ask him to accept one. We don't know what new owner Jeff Vinik has in store but he's not going to make such a radical move so soon. By most accounts Lecavalier loves living and working in Tampa Bay and with the expectation Vinik could bring long-overdue ownership stability to the franchise, Lecavalier would probably be even less inclined to consider a trade.