Boy. Lots of trades and trade talk going on, and not just in the NHL. In the NBA, talk of Kobe and KG on the move is reaching a fever pitch, and as far as Detroit is concerned, rumour (or maybe just wishful thinking) has it that Joe Dumars is trying to deal Rasheed Wallace for the likes of Shawn Marion.
In the NHL, with the Draft tonight, GMs are getting ready to sign pending free agents, deal for cap space, and work out their draft choices. The biggest deal of the summer yet just went down, with Toronto grabbing Vesa Toskala in exchange for first, second, and fourth round draft picks, and also taking on Mark Bell's 2M salary. This should solve their goaltending issues and perhaps will set off a chain reaction as far as goalie deals. With JS Giguere off the market, there are now no high-quality goalies ready to become UFAs, and the names of Ilya Bryzgalov and Manny Fernandez will get tossed around at about Mach 5 tonight.
And hell, even the Tigers are getting in on it. After dealing Fredo to the Braves, the Tigers have now also dumped Mike Maroth. I'm really hoping we got something serious in return (there's no word as of now on what the Cardinals sent back). Anyway, it looks like the Tigers may go with a rotation of Bondo-Rogers-Verlander-Robertson-Miller, with Durbin and de la Cruz hopefully bolstering the bullpen.
But back to hockey, Wings fans should watch the draft tonight (or, if you don't have Versus like me, constantly refresh TSN.ca) to see whether the Wings do anything. Most likely if they pull a deal it will be like last year when the moved back to pick up more selections. It worked out last time, as the Wings got Cory Emmerton, now #5 on RWC's prospect rankings, and Shawn Matthias, who was #11 before getting dealt to the Panthers for Bert.
Speaking of Bert, tonight also might be the night the Wings finally sign some UFAs. After yesterday's incredibly surprising news that Robert Lang would not reutrn, the Wings are focusing on Bert, Schneids, and Danny Markov. As I've said, before, Schneider's value is approaching 6M, and now Ansar Khan believes that if Scott Niedermayer retires, his value may increase. (Personally, I think Scott Niedermayer retiring is a no-win situation. If he leaves, he will not only drive up the price on Schneids, but who will Val Filppula tear up in the playoffs next year?)
Things are looking worse and worse for the Wings bringing back Schneids. I've been warning about him since the end of the season, but now it's really starting to look like he may go elsewhere. Still hoping he takes a sweetheart deal and the Wings can keep him, though.
(In random news, does anyone else watch as much ESPN/ESPNEWS as I do? I like to keep it on as background noise, but every once and a while there's something that annoys the shit out of me every time it comes around. Today it's been the Vince Young interview where he talks about Pac-Man Jones. In the interview he uses the phrase "at the same time" at least 5 times, meaning I've heard him utter it circa 100 times in the past 24 hours.)