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Trades, Ovechkin and so much more

by Phil Coffey

Atlanta Thrashers coach/GM Don Waddell has said that moving all-star forward Marian Hossa is contingent upon his team still being in contention for the Southeast Division title.
Thrashers vs. Canucks highlights 
Trade talk -- as opposed to trade rumors, there is a difference – is heating up around the NHL, so let’s kick it off this week with the top quotes on the possibilities that some players will change addresses prior to the Feb. 26 deadline.


“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a tough decision for us. The next eight to 10 games will help us decide if we look at moving him for assets or look at keeping him because winning the division is within our grasp and is something that is very important to us.”

-- Thrashers GM-coach Don Waddell on determining whether to trade or keep potential unrestricted free agent Marian Hossa.


“I’m not thinking about it too much. I want to stay a Sabre and that’s all I know. I want to get this team in the playoffs. ... I’m still believing my career is going to be here, start here and end here and I’m happy with that. Right now there’s so much hockey left that I have to stay focused on that.”

-- Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell is trying to ignore trade talk with his name attached.


“Until Feb. 26 we’re going to put our nose to the grindstone every day to improve. If it makes us better, we’ll do it. If it doesn’t, then we’ll move on and let our kids develop.”

-- Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon


Phil Coffey
Phil Coffey is's editorial director. He has covered the NHL since 1981.
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“If you get caught up in that game, that’s when you make a mistake. We have a good team, I really think we do. We know what we want, but you have to be patient and you have to be able to make that deal. I think knowing what you want is a big key, because otherwise you’re just kicking tires and you don’t really have any direction.”

-- Dallas Stars co-GM Les Jackson will have a definitive plan in mind when it comes to making a deal.


“The team hasn’t been playing well. Who else are you going to bring up on our team? (Tomas) Vokoun has a no-trade clause, most of the guys have no-trade clauses. I don’t have a no-trade clause. ... I don’t think if we were in first place, my name would be out there. I'm pretty much used to it. It doesn’t really bother me.”

-- Panthers captain Olli Jokien, who has been grist in the rumor mill in recent weeks.


“The price and the return for top players will be higher than it’s ever been. First off, there likely have never been this many teams packed so closely in the standings, many of whom feel one top guy can put them over the top. Secondly, there simply aren’t that many top players who will be available, so the bidding for those who are should just keep going up.”

-- Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford


“Yeah, I got that clause, but no one’s ever spoken to me about doing anything about it so I’m not too worried about it. I signed here to play here. I want to be here.”

-- Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe on whether he has been asked to waive his no-trade clause.


Well Said

"Every year you want to be the team left standing. It’s interesting to me how, whether it be in football, whether it be in baseball, whether it be in any walk of life, how sometimes the team that does the best all year long and doesn’t win at the end is perceived like it might be better to crawl in and then be good. Is that how you do your life? That doesn’t make any sense to me. The reality is, I’m a big believer in, you do good things and good things happen."

-- Red Wings coach Mike Babcock

“You’re always talking to other GMs about trying to improve your hockey club, but right now, the problem is there are not many sellers. When you look at our conference, there is not one club that has stated it is going to be willing to sell. Two or three weeks from now, it could be different. It’s difficult to make trades when you have buyers, but you don’t have any sellers.”

-- Panthers GM-coach Jacques Martin


“I think for the most part we all know the players. It’s just seeing where they’re at today and what they’re going to do for your team. If a guy is older and has injuries, you’re probably not going to touch him unless you’re not giving up much to get him. I think the main thing that each scout wants to know is which way the player is going: up or down.”

-- Bruins scout Adam Creighton


On to talk of the regular season, including the scoring exploits of the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin.


“His shot is so deadly. I’ve been here 32 games and it amazes me every day.”

-- Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau


“With his talent and the way he can score, he’s still a very, very physical player and I think that helps him a lot. Guys know that he can not only score, but he’s going to run you over if he can. He’s got so many attributes that it’s hard to narrow down one.”

-- Predators captain Jason Arnott on Ovechkin.


“If you look at the standings, I wouldn’t ask who’s the best team.”

-- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire on the Red Wings.


“Well, when we won the Stanley Cup, I was so empty. I’d been waiting 15 years for that dream to come true. I thought; ‘I’m done. This is a great ending.’ And it would be, too. But I knew the only chance I would come back would be if I really wanted to play again. That is what happened.”

Well Said II

"I think every team needs a kick in the butt every once in a while. People feel we need a kick in the butt too often and I agree. We need our chains rattled to play well and that’s not a good reputation to get. It’s happened way too often."

-- Devils center John Madden

-- Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne on his reason for coming back.


“You know, as you get older, you play for the day; play more for the moment. You appreciate being in the NHL a lot more; appreciate every day, what a privilege it is to play in the NHL. You always did, but not in the same way, because you’ve got 10 or 12 years ahead of you.”

-- Curtis Joseph on returning to the NHL.


“We had that big lead in the standings and we’ve let it slip away. I think it’s time now that we turn it around and get ourselves playing harder, playing for each other and playing a team game. You see all these teams that are winning, battling and playing hard every night. That’s what it takes, especially this time of year. It’s only going to get tougher.”

-- Senators defenseman Wade Redden


"He's the best player on our team and he is never going to dive. He's always going to play the game straight up to the best of his ability. Whereas those that oppose him - that stop him - in my mind, play outside the rules of the game at times. And for whatever reasons, it seems to go unnoticed because he doesn't fall down; he doesn't embellish; he's strong; he uses his size well; he's a puck-possession guy. And yet, protect the integrity of the game and allow the player to play.”

-- Rangers coach Tom Renney on Jaromir Jagr.


"I've had some discussions with Kenny (Holland) over the years even before I've signed contracts and one of the things I've always asked him is; Are we going to be competitive? He's always told me they're going to do whatever they can to win here, and that's the main reason why I've wanted to stay. Maybe I could have gone somewhere else and made more money, but this is where I want to play and this is where I have a chance to win."

-- Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom on the Red Wings’ operating philosophy.


“We’ve got to find a way to pull away from the pack right now. It just seems like we’re going winning, losing, winning, losing, and that's not good enough ... but I think everybody in this room wants to be in first place, and we’re not going to settle for ties.”

-- Carolina’s Eric Staal

Well Said III

"Everyone who wore the sweater tonight should be ashamed ... of the effort we put on in front of our fans."

-- Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin after an 8-0 loss to the Panthers on Tuesday.


“We believe in the group we have. I believe they’re going to be focused, ready to play hard, that they’re going to battle, that they recognize what a great hockey opportunity we have in St. Louis. There’s great hockey fans here, and they want to watch some playoff hockey.”

-- Blues coach Andy Murray


“You’re not going to get me to talk about next year.”

-- Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella


“It’s tough to call. Every day, I’m getting better and better. I could be day to day or a couple of days, but I don’t want to predict anything. I don’t want to push any buttons or hurt myself more.”

-- Colorado’s Paul Stastny on his recovery from an emergency appendectomy.


“I don’t get wrapped up in a bunch of self-pity. I don’t pity our situation. We just have to go out there and suck it up and rally around and win a hockey game.”

-- Oilers coach Craig MacTavish after losing Shawn Horcoff for the rest of the season.


“Part of it is there are no other options – patience on our part is forced. But I look at it as a two-way street: There’s been patience on our part that has paid off for them, but they’ve also paid off the organization with good play.”

-- Stars coach Dave Tippett on young defensemen Mark Fistric, 21, Nicklas Grossman, 23, and Matt Niskanen, 21.


“We’re going to fight and scratch and claw to the bitter end. We’re going to get Jonathan (Toews) and (Jason) Williams and (Dave) Bolland and maybe (Kevyn) Adams back (from injuries), and we’re going to keep fighting.”

-- Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon

Material from personal interviews, wire services, newspaper, and league and team sources was used in this report.



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