I've gotten in trouble for this one before, but it's my opinion that the Canes front office wants a player, prospect or draft pick that has the potential to be a franchise player for O'Neill. Key word ... potential. Now that means different things to different people, but in short, O'Neill is Carolina's only proven goal scorer and his contract is not terribly unreasonable at $3 million a year ... so they can afford to keep him if they don't like what they get offered ... and that changes the math a bit.
Jeffbear, that's why I don't think he will be moved. The fGM that gives up what Rutherford wants for O will be labeled village idiot.
After reviewing some of the past few trades, one thing occured to me: they were sucktastic. It looks like GMs aren't as desperate this deadline period like years past. With the current CBA issues looming, it doesn't seem like any organization is looking to unload prospects (and depth) within their organization. Only team that was willing was Philly, but their cupboard has ran dry.
O'Neill won't be moved, and I don't forsee any blockbusters trades near the deadline. Well, unless New York decides to rebuild.
i agree, the trade market has changed in the last few weeks. i dont know if oneill is the hot commodity right now - looks like teams know he wouldnt come cheap and are looking elsewhere. i do think that if there is a cusp team that might want to do something bigger to improve their chances - its montreal. they are a playoff team, but on the edge and maybe are willing to do something big to get a guy like oneill. Montreal strikes me as a team that doesnt part with prospects lightly, especially now that they have few of them. i assume rutherford would ask about komisarek, chris higgins, markov - guys like that. i dont know about hossa or hainsey....seems like they've taken a step backwards. ive always liked zednik, but that would be a step sideways for the habs, going into the playoffs. ive never seen perezhogin play, but it sounds like he is on the upswing.
in the end i agree with everyone else that the closer we get to the deadline - the less it looks like oneill is going.....but thats right when something usually happens. i wouldnt mind him going to the habs for a good deal - i like that idea far more than i like the idea of the b's or TO. montreal played a great game against ottawa the other night.