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Wind of Change - Time for an Enforcer?

Luke DeCock is reporting that Carolina Trade Winds are swirling. That's a coincidence, because I was going to post an article tonight about some of the crazy trade rumors being bantered about the internet. Before we look at the ridiculous and explain why it is ridiculous, let's examine Luke's teaser first.

The beat reporter mentions that the Hurricanes are close to obtaining a "depth forward" in exchange for a draft pick or the like. Last week, Jim Rutherford admitted that the team needed toughening up and they might be considering adding a toughguy/enforcer. If we add up 1 plus 1, will it equal 2? There are a couple of enforcers who might be on the market at this time.

One is Aaron Downey, currently on the Detroit Red Wings. Caniacs will remember Downey as the pugilist who took out Jesse Boulerice with one punch a few years ago when the Canes played at Dallas and Jesse made the mistake of leading with his chin. Downey is expendable because Tomas Holmstrom is getting healthy and the Wings need to make room for him on the roster.

Another possibility is Brian McGratton from Ottawa. Interestingly enough, it was recently reported that McGratton got into a fight with team-mate Ray Emery at practice today. Ottawa could afford to lose the heavyweight because they already have another on-ice policeman in Chris Neil. McGratton has been healthy scratched almost as often as he hasn't been this season and should be had for cheap.

The Hurricanes could go in a completely different direction and obtain another depth forward along the lines of Trevor Letowski, Craig Adams, Jeff Hamilton, or Chad LaRose. But then again, they already have plenty of those types of players. It would seem most likely that they will try to fill in what is missing, some bonafide heavy duty muscle.

I would give McGratton the edge here, but keep in mind none of these guys are known as scorers in this league. Hopefully, Rutherford doesn't go through the trouble and expense of bringing one of them here, and they end up finding themselves on the bench for 59 minutes a game, or worse yet in the pressbox.

In some funny news, it's been thrown around on the HockeyBuzz site that Eric Staal might be traded to Edmonton. That's about as silly as when Eklund mentioned that Eddie Belfour might be going to the Canes earlier in the year. There was absolutely nothing that made sense regarding that rumor, and the Staal rumor makes even less sense.

Let's start out by asking this question. Who on the Oilers has ever scored 100 points in a season? Who on the Oilers has the realistic potential to score 100 points? Who on the Oilers has ever graced the cover of a worldwide video game? I could go on and on, but you get the idea. No offense to Oilers fans, but in my opinion there is not any combination of players on the Oilers that comes close in value to Eric Staal, end of discussion. Staal will not be traded anytime soon, to anyone. (Unless Rutherford trades him to Toronto the day before he quits his current job to take over for John Ferguson Jr.)

Eklund is also throwing out Mike Commodore's name as trade bait. Again, I find this one hard to believe. While Mike is the valuable commodity which could be required to lure away a puck moving defenseman that JR has been drooling over for the past year, the Hurricanes desperately need his physical play and grit. If you trade Commie to get another puck-mover, who is going to clear the crease? Who is going to lay out forwards at the blueline?

This is what a reputable reporter, Lyle Richardson recently had to say about Commodore. "Spector" was reviewing the availability of certain unrestricted free agents in this article when he says.... Carolina Hurricanes: Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore. GM Jim Rutherford is shopping for blueline depth, but he’s not about to part with these two. I agree Lyle!

Who will the Canes acquire and how tough will he be? My bet is on McGratton, but time will tell. Wouldn't it be fun to watch McGratton and Emery go at it for real the next time the Sens play the Canes?

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