As the NHL Draft inches closer, so does the reality of Hawks Panthers General manager Dale Tallon making some trades to improve the roster and create a new culture in the dressing room. A much needed culture change I might add. No one is safe, except for David Booth, Dmitry Kulikov and Jacob Markstrom according to Tallon.
There are reports/rumors from a few places that Tallon has been making lots of calls and has generated some interest of some players on the roster. What I’ve uncovered so far is as follows:
According to TSN’s Hockey Insider Darren Drager, Panthers forwards Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss are among the Florida players that are available for trade. Whoooo hooooo! First my Hawks win the Cup, and now Little Stevie might get traded? Wonderful summer for me.
The Panthers are also believed to be listening to offers for overpriced right wing Rostislav Olesz and defenseman Keith Ballard, who also has a price that’s just too much for what we’re getting. Both Olesz and Ballard are coming off poor and inconsistent seasons respectively, and moving them now would be a step in the right direction. I like Ballard, but his play was below average, and his mind blowing baseball swing to the head of goaltender Tomas Vokoun was a complete showing of poor judgement. As well as lack of focus. Two things that this roster of grunts has showed on a nightly basis.
Chicago has some parts that they will need to get rid of, and one player that Tallon could be interested in is forward Kris Versteeg who the Hawks may have to deal because of salary cap problems. Of the players we’ve mentioned none of them can go to the Hawks as the salary’s are too high, unless something else is part of the deal. Could Versteeg be had for a draft pick and prospect? I like Versteeg as he’s quite talented and was a runner up for the Calder Trophy in 2008-2009, and was one of Tallon’s better acquisitions for the Hawks. However at times he lacks hockey sense. Oh, great, he’ll fit right in!
Stay tuned. If something else somes up with any susbstance I’ll do my best to report it.
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