There is some compelling logic behind the possible move - of the Anaheim Ducks' Chris Pronger moving to the Los Angeles Kings for Jack Johnson plus a No. 1 draft choice, speculation that was making the rounds Friday prior to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final. After all, the Ducks may ultimately need to trade Pronger to get to the $46-million (U.S.) budget that they'll operate with next year. If they can coax Scott Niedermayer back to play again and can't trade J.S. Giguere's contract, it may be an option they have to look at.
But for now, the official word from Ducks' GM Bob Murray, in a short but pointed e-mail note, is that it did not happen. In fact, Murray texted back a NO (caps his), when asked if there was any truth to the report.
Certainly, there can be no official deal anyway between teams until the Stanley Cup is won tonight. The roster freeze that goes into effect at the NHL trade deadline remains in place until the season is over - for purposes of fairness, more than anything else. If Detroit and Pittsburgh can't do deals, no one else can either. Teams can talk; they can frame the parameters of deals; but they can't do anything official until the commish hands the Cup to either Nicklas Lidstrom or Sidney Crosby.
It may well be that at some point, the Ducks do move Pronger for the reasons cited above; and it may be that the Kings also shop the first pick in this draft (because they've got lots of prospects in the system), along with Johnson (who hasn't panned out the way they'd hoped) to upgrade for next year's playoff push ( a possibility touched on in an earlier post this week on Dany Heatley's availability). But for now, it's just the beginning of the silly season - the juicy gossip that'll heat up the airwaves and cyberspace between now and the draft. Isn't it great?