Carey Price on the Chopping block? A rant on trade rumor mongering

I wasn't going to post a blog today but after ''stumbling'' upon what I'm about to talk about, I felt it necessary to address the issue at hand.

I've tried to stay away from rumors, only posting the Oilers/Habs rumor that I felt might have some credibility, since it was mentioned by a source that I trust in Brian Wilde. It turns out there wasn't much behind it, as explained by Pierre McGuire on Montreal radio a few days ago. While he did admit he did see a couple of players in Edmonton that would be a good fit in Montreal, including speedy forward Andre Cogliano, he said he hadn't really heard anything and that it's normal for scouts to base themselves out of a single city while working a certian area.

For all we know, Oilers scout Kevin Prendergast, who was the center of the reported rumor and does a lot of amateur scouting on top of professional scouting, could have been working the eastern corridor, and between a few Junior games or even games for other eastern conference NHL teams such as Ottawa, he could have been staying in Montreal, which has always been very accomodating to tourists. In fact, Prendergast is actually from Montreal, which gives the rumor even less stability.

Still, the rumor wasn't outwardly denies, but let's just say it lost steam.

Beyond that, rumors are for hit-mongering sensationalists who aren't confident enough in their own opinions to run a site, so they suck you in with made up crap and by pulling names out of a hat. And, wouldn't you know, that seems to describe a certain anonymous hockey blogger, almost to a tee...

Now I'm not here to bash Eklund, at least not outwardly, as I do visit his site, enjoy some of his bloggers and truly enjoy his forums, but when he needs to be called out, he needs to be called out, especially now that the HockeyBuzz Hogwash probably got sick of having to read his BS on a daily basis in order to come to the conclusion that Eklund was as likely to get a rumor right as likely it is for you to guess a name you pulled out of a hat (litterally! check it out on their site!).

I understand that what he claims he does is simply report things people tell him. Whether that's true, and his sources are just messing with him to get a laugh, or it isn't and he's making it all up, one thing is certainly clear: he'd certainly rather report a rumor involving the star player on a team that gives him the most hits versus a rumor involving a nobody on a team no one cares about.

And, well, guess what folks? Eklund's taken his mongering to a brand new level! Yesterday, he ''reported'' the following:

I received word this morning that I "shouldn't be ignoring these rumors this time, and that what people don't realize is that the Canadiens aren't doing this to make Halak the starter. The Habs aren't selling when it comes to Price...they are buying. If the deal I heard does go down, the fans in Montreal will have another goalie that they will love."

I pressed, but I could not get any more info...yet.

Right. Hilariously, this was posted 14 HOURS AFTER THIS THREAD was posted on his OWN forum. Either Eklund's sources are some guys on the radio throwing ideas around, or some guy on a hockey forum making a thread about said radio guys.

Naturally most sane people who read this will shrug it off as exactly what it is, rumor mongering.

But Eklund comes back today with this gem:

On Price...

No they are not moving him to Chicago for Huet. I just heard this rumor and no that is not the goalie and/or team I am discussing.

Here's what else I can tell you about yesterday's rumor I posted that said the Habs were considering a trade that would bring another star goalie back in return:

#1. The goalie "Potentially" coming back is as big of a shocker leaving his team as Price is leaving Montreal. Maybe even bigger.

#2. The goalie "Potentially" coming back is a success and is playing this season as a starter (so rule out Giggy)

#3. The team making the trade with Montreal would love to expand the deal to include Plekanec, but I am told that was more a wish than reality. If Plekanec were to be involved, of course the other team would be also trading more.

#4. The team LOVES Price, and while I am not certain of what to believe in the Montreal speculation mill, I am not 100% convinced that Price loves Montreal, and if he does not like Montreal you can assume that the Habs will try to move him before this becomes an issue.

#5. I was contacted by two other prominent NHL reporters yesterday after publishing my report that agreed with it entirely.

Will it happen? As is the case with every rumor the answer is doubtful. Most discussions don't pan out, but my job is to inform you of discussions at all levels. This caught me by surprise and even if it can't be pulled off, remember these clues...

Would it be huge in Montreal if Price was traded and a good, experienced goalie came back in return? Yes.

Does this rumor make any sense or have any chance of happening? NO.

Eklund is trying to generate hits. And while I would bow down to him if he's traded any time over the next two years, I don't see how Price could be traded. Gainey used a 5th OVERALL pick on price to acquire him over people this team could have used in 2005 and even now, guys like Marc Staal and Anze Kopitar. He's fired coaches over how they've handled the goaltending, and he's stuck with Price throughout his entire team here no matter the distractions or the issues surrounding him.

While the team may have been riding Halak over a five game span, I think everyone knows Price is still the number one goalie here and that he hasn't lost his job, no matter what goaltending controversies people want to create.

He's the franchise player. The name you see on the marquees all over town. The guy who's supposed to lead this team into the future. And while it may or may not make sense to move him for a more balanced line-up, I just don't see how it could happen, or how Gainey could get the value he probably deserves in return for Price.

Some of the points Eklund brings up make sense. But they're assumptions that anyone can figure out on their own, and you don't need sources to put that crap up.

I'm willing to say, as I sit here right now on October 29th, 2009, that Carey Price will be a Montreal Canadien for a very long time, and good on Eklund if he finally get a big one right, but I'd have to sincerely doubt it.

Don't believe everything people who don't show you their faces tell you.

End rant.



George Prax


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