At 2:30 today, Brian Burke and Ron Wilson will hold a press conference announcing the Team USA captains and I will be broadcasting it live on a special edition of the HockeyBuzzcast. According to sources in NJ, one possibility is Jamie Langenbrunner. A great choice.
The Buzzcast will start at 2pm leading up to the PC. I will be taking 25 minutes of your calls and questions regarding the recent trade rumors, etc.
To call in simply dial 724 444 7444 and enter Talkcast ID 49244 anytime after 1:55. I will take as many callers and questions as I can. You can enter your questions into the chatroom or @reply me on twitter.
Then at 2:30pm ET I will have you join me in the team USA Press Conference where the captains will be announced and will also be joining Burke and Wilson to take questions.
I look forward to talking to you all at 2pm. You can listen below.
In the rumor mill....
I am hearing a ton of Kovalchuk stuff today. Some real rumors, some completely speculative...
A Philly source did fill me in a bit on what the Flyers would have to do to make the deal for Kovalchuk happen.
Likely a deal of Carter and another roster player (I have heard JvR, Giroux, or Hartnell) since the Flyers don't have a #1 pick to offer up....It sounds like the Thrashers would make that deal if they could.
The Flyers challenge would be trying to fit the $11 million into their cap next season. That is the number that Kovalchuk reportedly wants. It is a mighty big number.
Do I believe the Flyers would move Carter? I didn't used to, but Kovalchuk is definitely a special player in his prime and from what I can tell the Flyers have "days when they would" and "days when they wouldn't."
You can be certain the Flyers are in no way shopping Jeff Carter. It just may have to come down to him in the deal and it is a big game of cat and mouse right now. Gut check time is still a bit off, and I have learned to take what teams say they will or won't do with caution. It is early.
Right now the Flyers are back on track and Emery is set to return. This is not the usual time to make a big deal, and yet just over two weeks ago the wheels were coming off and I was told that "There aren't any untouchables."
The Thrashers need a bona fide star in return who can help them win now, and make the playoffs now and the Flyers may have the most to do just that.
To be clear, my gut is still telling me that Kovalchuk and the Thrashers will come to terms. They weren't that far off not too long ago, but there does appear to be a breaking point. I will say this much. I respectfully but completely disagree with some other rumor pundits out there who say Kovalchuk's immediate future is tied to whether or not the Thrashers are in the playoff hunt.
I have been assured that Ilya Kovalchuk will be moved if he can't be signed and the standings are not even a slight factor here. The future of the franchise is not as dependent on making the playoffs as it is on how this situation is handled. The owners know that. Waddell knows that....and also, remember Hossa.
Petr Sykora has really not worked out well in Minnesota....Meanwhile there are rumblings that some of the star players in Pittsburgh would love to see him back...I think a winger is headed to Pitt at some point here. Be it Whitney, Selanne, or Sykora. Possibly even Dustin Brown.
On Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson...
Sources are telling me that if Kovalchuk were to end up in LA, Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson could be part of a deal. Even if they aren't in that deal I would put the chances that either/or is still a King on March 4th at only 30%. I am not saying I agree with moving either, but rather going on sources.
From a source: "The Habs have a few very strong options now, but are willing to wait it out. they are in a great spot." One of those options is Washington. Others are LA, and yes for the first time (that I am willing to say it) one is actually Philadelphia.