OTTAWA -- From conversations I’ve had with teams over the weekend, there’s a chance the trade season will get going for real after the All-Star break.
One name that could move as early as this week is Tuomo Ruutu, the Carolina Hurricanes forward who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Canes have taken lots of calls on him and may finally be ready to move him.
One player that won’t be on the move is Ryane Clowe. The San Jose Sharks winger was mentioned in a published rumor this past week, but Sharks GM Doug Wilson vehemently denied it, telling ESPN.com there was no way Clowe was going anywhere. It would not make sense at all to move him, in my mind. Clowe is a glue guy on that roster, an important blend of sand paper and skill, and the perfect compliment to center Logan Couture.
Speaking of grit, Habs winger Travis Moen is garnering some interest around the league. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and would be a decent rental pickup for a contender looking for a bit more of a physical presence on their third line. Vancouver and Detroit are among several teams that have an eye on him, although one NHL source told ESPN.com that Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier is telling teams he’s not ready to sell yet. The Canadiens play eight of their next 12 games at home and the word is Gauthier wants to see if his team can make a run before pulling the plug.
Meanwhile in Columbus, GM Scott Howson is expecting he'll be a very busy man in the next four weeks. Aside from the obvious rental players (players who will be UFAs on July 1) he’ll attempt to move, keep an eye on center Jeff Carter. Howson, we’re told, is willing to move Carter less than a year after acquiring him from the Flyers, in part because the player doesn’t want to be in Columbus. But can Howson find a taker for Carter’s contract? He’s in the first season of an 11-year, $58-million contract (cap hit $5.27 million).