This is the time of year for rumors, and there are new beauties everyday. It's known by everyone that the Carolina Hurricanes are in need of a defenseman or two, so of course the Canes are a big part of the ever-churning rumor mill themselves. But what is a legit rumor and what is made up?
It's difficult to tell the difference sometimes.
I saw one rumor the other day which said that the Canes were interested in Ray Emery. Obviously the author, (sir Eklund) didn't do any research when he made that one up. Why in the world would the Hurricanes be interested in Emery when they already have two goalies under contract for next season? Especially when the team has a tight budget and said goalie is under contract for over 3 million dollars in each of the next 2 years?
If Eklund would only realize that posting ridiculous crap like that only takes away from anything legitimate that might be on his site. But apparently he feels that quantity is better than quality. Regardless, I admit that his stuff is entertaining and good for a chuckle at times. It's not worth his $20 fee though.
To get back to Emery, I can understand why Ottawa is trying to trade him, but who would want to trade away an asset for him when they can probably get the goalie much cheaper as a free agent at a later date? Ottawa will have to buy out his contract if they can't trade him, so the trade attempt seems pointless. I guess crazier things have happened though.
One rumor that you see on several sites and it just doesn't seem to go away is the one which has Carolina sending Erik Cole to Edmonton for Joni Pitkanen. The deal would certainly fill a need for both teams. If Cole isn't traded, then you can replace him with the name of another Canes forward. Perhaps Tuomo Ruutu or even Justin Williams could go.
Emotionally, it would be tough for fans to see Cole go. It probably would be tough for several of his team-mates as well.
I doubt that the Canes would trade Justin Williams because of his favorable contract unless something fantastic was offered in return, but Ruutu and his over-zealous agent could certainly be on the short list.
This Montreal Canadiens writer suggests that the Habs could offer more in return for Cole than the Oilers could. I think it's merely wishful thinking on his part, because Cole has always been a Hab-killer.
Speaking of Ruutu, this rumor site has the Canes interested in and being a front runner for the services of his brother Jarko. Of course, take it for what it's worth, but it does make some sense since the team is trying to get tougher. Can you imagine the Ruutu brothers skating to and fro wildly and knocking bodies around at the RBC?
That's not a bad possible 4rth line with Jarko Ruutu, Brandon Sutter, and Darcy Hordichuk. The Hurricanes would officially no longer be considered soft.
While the Canes seem to covet Pitkanen more so than other available defensemen, I wouldn't rule out a deal regarding someone else. San Jose has been mentioned before, and a possible target could be defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.
Vancouver needs another high profile forward, so one of their defensemen could be looked at. Nashville also has a couple of defensemen on the Carolina hitlist. For instance, Shea Weber has not been signed yet, but the talented RFA could be the target of an offer sheet come July 1st.
Bottom line, it wouldn't shock me to see the Cole/Pitkanen deal go through, including a couple of other throw in players. But never rule out the unexpected.
There are several other rumors involving other teams which are extremely interesting.
Will Pittsburgh move Evgeni Malkin or Ryan Malone?
Will Florida ditch Olli Jokinen?
Will the LA Kings trade their number 2 overall pick?
Sometimes the trades and the possibility of trades can over-shadow the draft itself. We will see tonight.
So who will the Canes end up choosing with their 14th pick? I doubt anyone knows for sure, even the Carolina head-honchos. Ron Francis was quoted this morning as saying that the team will simply select the best player available at the time, regardless of their need on the blueline.
I will keep my eyes open and make a comment about any update if anything important happens. TGIF!