There have been rumors flying about the Sabres looking to acquire Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu from the Anaheim Ducks. I’ve heard it from a lot of different people now, so it’s probably worth addressing.
Personally, I’d love both of those guys in Buffalo. I’ve said before that I think Selanne would be the perfect Deadline Day acquisition — and adding those two would triple the team’s Finnish Quotient. That’s not a bad thing.
If I end up doing a “Wants and Needs” post for Anaheim, they’d both most certainly be on the target list. They’re character players that could really help Buffalo get deep into the playoffs.
Do they have to come as a package? That’s something for the general managers to sort out (Koivu did sign with the Ducks so he could play with Selanne) and it’s not a detail I’m going to fret over. But a big issue is whether or not a trade would work under the salary cap.
Selanne and Koivu would come in with a combined full-season cap hit of $5.875 million ($2.625 and $3.25 million, respectively). Capgeek.com says the Sabres can take on a $5.49 million full-season cap hit without giving up anything on the current roster. So to add both players, bodies would have to be moved out, in addition to any prospects or draft picks.
(Side note, mess around with Capgeek’s Trade Machine if you have an hour or three to kill. It’s a lot of fun.)
But a few things keep me from putting any real stock in the rumors.
The first is (what appears to be) the original source of the report. Who is this guy? Where are his sources from? Why haven’t I heard these rumblings before from someone in the MSM? Why is this guy writing for The Bleacher Report if he’s more connected than any of the mainstream reporters I usually read? Why do I feel like I answered my own questions with questions?
For all we know, the sources he cited could have been Eklund and his cronies at hockeylies.com. The fact that they back the claim that the Sabres are looking into Selanne and Koivu is the other major red flag for me (no way I’m linking to them, sorry).
Those guys are never right about anything unless they’re reporting on something that’s already happened and has been confirmed by at least five credible outlets. They’re never first nor are they ever initially right (and sometimes they’re not even right on their second or third tries). TMZ, they ain’t.
My favorite trade rumor from them came from Deadline Day in 2006 when a Martin Biron-for-Martin St. Louis trade was rated an E-11 or something ridiculous like that. As we all know, that trade never happened. All the Sabres did that day was send Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second round pick. I’ve checked their site maybe twice since.
For all we know, they could be citing that Bleacher Report article as their source, creating a cyclical loop of rumors and speculation more confusing than the plot of “Lost” (speaking of “Lost,” I think Christian Shephard is really Christian Shephard and he’s not dead).
So as far as Selanne and Koivu go (let’s forget about Ray Whitney and Biron for a moment), I’ll file the rumors under “Believe It When I See It.”
On top of that, the Ducks are three points out of a playoff spot and are in no real position to sell and give up on this season. If they’re looking to make a push, why trade your most dynamic scorer and one of your best faceoff men?
They each had a goal against the Kings last night. If the Ducks are able to sneak into the playoffs, they’re going to want these guys on the roster. With Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Scott Niedermayer and Jonas Hiller, Anaheim is still a very dangerous team that knows how to win in the postseason. I have a tough time seeing either of the Finnish Flashes get moved unless the Ducks really fall off the map this week.
Remember, rosters freeze at 3 p.m. on Friday and nothing can happen again until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28. With the deadline at 3 p.m. on March 3, teams need to decide this week if they’re buyers or sellers. And the Ducks are too close to eighth place to throw it all away.
As Nick Mendola tweeted when he read about the Selanne-Koivu whispers, “That’s why folks don’t believe rumours.” So true. And so Canadian.
We’re going to be seeing more and more of these rumors as we inch closer to Deadline Day. My advice: Stick with the professional sources. Even though you probably won’t know about the deals until after they’re done, you’ll at least be able to trust that the information is accurate the first time around.
In the end, that’s all that matters.