Have you heard? Is it true? NHL deadline is nearly here…

Have you heard the rumors? Have you heard the facts? Have you heard the completely crazy? You will hear it all before April 3rd. The trade deadline is merely a few days away as the rumors, speculation and desperation picks up speed. Who will make the big moves? Who will make the small but very important move to improve their roster? Who will stand pat? Which teams will be buyers? Which teams will be sellers? Will some of your favourite players find a new home before playoffs? April 3rd will undoubtedly be the busiest day with most teams making their moves in the final hours permitted. Oh how I love and hate the trade deadline. More and more waves of trades and rumors will come to pass in the next two days as this deadline saga draws to an end.

Speaking of rumors and facts, Jarome Iginla’s fate has been decided. Well by now, everyone knows that Jarome Iginla is now a Pittsburgh Penguin and he made his debut today. The Flames did indeed trade their long time captain on Thursday. There were some misleading reports that Iginla had been traded to the Boston Bruins[met with many mixed reviews] but as we all know, those reports were false. Boston apparently was quite put out by the news as they believed that they had won the Jarome Iginla lottery, they even had a press conference to talk about it. Back to Jarome, I am happy that Iginla is getting the much deserved chance to play for a contending team, but I am slightly mystified as to the way Calgary dealt with the matter. Instead of allowing him one last chance to play for the home fans when they knew they were getting close to a deal, they made him a healthy scratch and sent him home. He was not even in the arena to hear the raucous crowd chanting IGGY and hoping for at least one glance of their captain. That is extremely unsettling considering he played in Calgary for 16 years and was a huge part of that community. The fans deserved better from team management. I understand they wanted to protect their asset prior to moving him, but they should have allowed him one last time to be part of the team. Jarome Iginla is one of the most stand up guys in the league, so it is no surprise that he was very classy in addressing the media when this roller coaster finally came to a stop. Iginla after clearing up some immigration issues[getting a working visa for the US] he officially made his debut with the Penguins on Saturday[Mar.30]. Unfortunately in Iggy’s first game as a Penguin Sid the kid broke his jaw and will out of the line-up indefinitely, so it will be at least a few games before they can test their on ice chemistry. Best of luck in your new city IGGY! The Penguins have made some great additions to their team in the last week as they are preparing for a LONG playoff run. They finished the month of March undefeated, a perfect 15-0-0 [in the NHL NO team, I repeat: NO TEAM has ever registered an entire month completely undefeated!].

All teams have questions they will address with the impending deadline ever so closely approaching. Will the Sharks move Ryane Clowe? What happens now in Buffalo, does Ryan Miller stay or go? Will Tampa and Florida become sellers or buyers to bulk up for next year? What happens in Ottawa when Craig Anderson returns, do they move Bishop or Lehner? Will Chicago bulk up on defense? With Perry and Getzlaff now locked in, do the Ducks look to fill other holes? Will the Rangers actually trade Marian Gaborik? What oh what will the struggling Philadelphia Flyers do? What happens with Columbus, now that they are in the top 8, do they make a splash to help secure playoff positioning?

As for my Canucks in regards to the trade deadline, anything could happen. Like I said earlier I both love and hate the trade deadline. I loved it when we added Higgins & Lappy two years ago BUT I HATED when we traded COHO last year! I will be absolutely 100% heart broken if Luongo does indeed get moved, but I will always cheer for him no matter what jersey he wears. I would prefer that if Luongo gets traded that it happen in the summer because as the Canucks move down this playoff drive stretch, it would be ideal to have not one but TWO great goalies for their entire playoff run. As we have seen this season when one struggles the other has stepped up and it would be an absolute shame to have no one to turn to in the playoffs if Cory struggles to find consistency. As I have also said many many times, Luongo deserves A LOT more respect than this city gives him. It seems like if he is going to be traded it should have happened before the season or at the end of the season but not this week[at least, I hope not!]. Personally I think we need BOTH, Lou & Schneids this season. We will have to wait and see what moves Mike Gillis has up his sleeve this year!

In other news the Canucks had their 6 game win streak snapped by the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and will be looking to get back in the win column when they take on the San Jose Sharks Monday evening. The Canucks are also hoping to learn good news when Ryan Kesler goes in for a CT scan, if all goes well he could be cleared to play later in the week BUT we will have to wait before getting too excited [but perhaps we could all cross our fingers? The Canucks are desperately missing #17 in the face off dot and the powerplay!]. NICKLAS JENSEN has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves and will make his NHL debut with the team in SAN JOSE!!!!!!! Keep your eye on the kid tomorrow night, hopefully he will be another honey badger like fellow Dane, Jannik Hansen!

April 3rd is right around  the corner, for some people its like Christmas, for others it is torture waiting to learn the fate of their team. Some trades will surprise us and some will be expected. Decisions will be made and there will be no turning back. All teams will hope that whatever decisions they make at the deadline will ultimately make them a better team.

We will know more once Wednesday comes and goes. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Rumors, Trades, and Facts

March Madness continues to pick speed as the April 3rd trade deadline approaches. Now that Anaheim has settled the matter of signing both Getzlaf and Perry, the rumor mills are picking up speed every day in regards to the fate of Jarome Iginla. Everyone seems to believe that he will be moved by the trade deadline, it just a matter of where. It seems Calgary management may be willing to part with their eternal Flame[admitting that it is time to rebuild] and Iginla willing to admit that the Flames are nowhere near being the contender they want to be and he deserves to play with a contender. Iginla gave the Flames the green light to wave his NTC[no trade clause] and supposedly also a list of teams he would be willing to go to. Teams rumored to be Iginla’s list are: Pittsburgh, Boston, LA, Detroit and Chicago[even Vancouver has been mentioned but that is a highly unlikely destination]. The movement of Iginla is sure to upset many fans but at this point moving Iginla and beginning their rebuild seem to be their only options. Last night may or may not have been his last game as a Flame, and only time will tell which destination becomes his next reality. Following last night’s game, Iginla refused to comment on situation not wanting to add fuel to the fire. Reports have suggested that in exchange for Jarome, Calgary would like one young promising prospect and two draft picks. The rumors will only grow louder as more and more players are thrown into this fruit basket upset that is known as the trade deadline draws ever closer.

Speaking of rumors, the whispers became fact yesterday when the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired [now former] Dallas Stars Captain Brendan Morrow in exchange for a draft pick & defensive prospect Joe Morrow. Add the the San Jose Sharks to the trade talk mix as rumor has it that they may be looking to move Ryane Clowe, Dan Boyle or Douglas Murray as the team has struggled to find that consistency they had at the start of the year. Make the SJ trade talk official as the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to push for an extensive playoff as they have acquired Douglas Murray from the Sharks in exchange for two 2nd round draft picks. The Penguins have been the most dominant team of the East with the dynamic duo of Crosby & Kunitz, as well they are currently on a 12 game win streak. Looks like the Penguins will be the ones to beat the East. The question now for San Jose is do they continue to sell in order to collect draft picks or do they make one or two BIG moves prior to the deadline in the hopes of making a playoff push?

Outside of the growing trade talk madness, this weekend also marked Tampa Bay’s Guy Boucher as the latest coach to meeting the chopping block. The firing comes following a second straight disappointing season leaving many to suggest that either veteran coach Lindy Ruff or the Tampa AHL affiliate coach Jon Cooper will be asked to take his place.

Back to my Canucks.The Canucks have returned home having completed a 3 game road trip with a perfect 3-0-0 record and are back atop the North West Division [Minnesota is only 2 points behind & have 2 games in hand, they will play tonight]. With the road trip success it brings the Canucks win streak to 4 in a row, and I must say it is much more fun to watch win streaks than losing ones! The last two victories came with the Canucks missing Alex Edler on defense as he was forced to sit both of them out due to a two game suspension[he will return to the lineup March 26th]. With Edler out of the line-up the rest of the defense had to step up and they did. Also it certainly helped that Cory Schneider seems to have found his game again and that consistency that everyone came to expect from him last year! Welcome back Schneids! It will be fun to watch both him & Lou down the stretch over the next 4 weeks as they both drive one another to play better.

In other Canucks news, they learned this week that David Booth will be out for the season following season ending surgery [small sliver of hope he could be back for playoffs], and with his absence the Canucks have had to recall Schroeder who has been EXCELLENT since his be recalled. Jordan Schroeder when combined with Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond has had great chemistry. It is extremely fun to watch those three play together! The Canucks also had to call upon defenseman Keith Ballard to play forward for a couple games as they were short-handed in the forward department. He played fairly well and had some pretty decent scoring chances.

May I also take this moment to remind you that it is nearly time for Ryan Kesler to return to the lineup as the Canucks prepare for the stretch drive. He could return as soon as within the next week but probably not until the first week of April. The Canucks could definitely use some extra depth at center, particularly in the face-off circle! Wanted: Ryan Kesler 100% healthy and beast mode ready.  #RK17

And just in case you missed this beauty of a gem last night, here it is, Alex Burrows GWG[P.S. that was the 23rd game winning goal of his career!] What a goal!! Enjoy.

Let’s hope that as the Canucks return home they are able to continue their recent success and continue to fight Minnesota for that NW Division leading spot! #GoCanucksGo

Trades, rumors and facts = March Madness indeed! Only time will tell the drama that is sure to continue to unfold as the April 3rd deadline nears and teams make moves for that elusive playoff run.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.