Why the Next Few Days Will be the Busiest of the Summer in the NHL

On Thursday, in just a mere few hours, it became one of the busiest days in NHL rumors throughout the summer. From Comrie signing with the Oilers to Heatley headed to San Jose, to a Kessel contract RFA offer and Sundin to Vancouver, all of a sudden, we have plenty to talk about.

Here is what to expect over the next few days:


Despite the rumors, the Heatley trade is still 50/50 at best. It looks like the front runner in a deal is what is now being rumored as a three-way between Ottawa, LA and San Jose, but there are many problems or hurdles if you will, that if this rumor is true need to be addressed. Marleau would need to waive his no trade to go to LA (possible but he hasn't waived yet if even asked to which has been denied by Wilson at every turn). Secondly Ottawa would need to feel good about Frolov and Stoll knowing Frolov is a rental. Finally, all three GM's would need to stop saying things like the following...

"It's simply not true," Murray told ESPN.com Thursday night . "I've had conversations with teams today but still I'm not close to a deal [involving Heatley]."

Lombardi told ESPN.com via text message: "It is complete bull."

"It is an absolute fabrication," Wilson told ESPN.com via text message Thursday night.

Doesn't sound much to me like this trade is happening. I still expect a rocky road back to Ottawa for Heatley.


Kessel will be moved from Boston --it's only a matter of time. He's stopped negotiating with the Bruins and Toronto is miles ahead of other teams in having the tools to maneuver here now that Burke has picked up his extra bargaining chip in the form of a 2nd round draft pick next year. Don't expect an offer sheet, but do expect that Burke will squeeze every inch out of his bluffing hand. He'll poker face his way through Boston's cap space issues and make Chiarelli pay for not giving him a viable trade option for Kessel that is better than what he'd give up by extending an RFA offer for a player at around $4 million. There are a few interested teams in Kessel which is the only real bargaining chip Boston has, but if I had to guess, Kessel will be in Toronto by the start of October.
He's officially an Oiler, which means some of the current Oilers will officially be on there way out. Players like Nilsson, Pouliot, Brule and even to a lesser extent Cogliano have only weeks of the training camp to show they are going to rebound from last years mess, or they'll all be considered trade bait or moveable. Players like Schremp can start packing his bags as he'll be moved quickly if an even remotely acceptable offer from the Flyers comes to Tambellini and players like Eberle, (even though he's played exceptionally thus far) are in tighter to make the team.
Expect Tambellini to look around the league for opportunities to make a 2 or 3 for 1 type trade for some bottom six toughness. We've been wanting it, but now it looks as though it has to happen.
He's been officially reinstated by the NHL and looking for an invitation to an NHL camp. Expect a team with much needed help in publicity to be the one to invite Fleury if anyone does. These teams include Nashville, Phoenix, Tampa, Atlanta or the Islanders. The Oilers will not be one of those teams.
Look for Sundin to be a Canuck by early October. The deal is proposed at around $2 million so that Gillis has less work to do to move the additional salary needed to get the Canucks back under the cap. Expect a few players on the blueline namely Kevin Bieksa or Willie Mitchell to be shopped in order to make room. Rumors out of left field are that Minnesota might have interest, but to Sundin likely not much of an option as he's looking at Vancouver at not much else.
Anton Babchuk
Should be moved by Monday and likely to Columbus, who've been trying to land a puck moving defenceman all summer.
I have a feeling this might be just the beginning as we're starting to get too close to the season to let many questions go unanswered .


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