August 20 2008 10:21PM
Apparently Jim Matheson has too much time on his hands—he’s started responding to some of the crazier rumours that bounce around the message boards. Now, not all of the message board stuff is junk, but the posted rumour (here’s the link, if you like) was obviously junk:
EDM: Ales Hemsky, Denis Grebeshkov MTL: Chris Higgins, P. K. Subban, unnamed player
Now, depending on the unnamed player, I suppose the value could be theoretically close, but trading Hemsky would never happen unless the other team was overpaying, something Kevin Prendergast confirmed for Matheson:
"I don't think you'd consider anybody an untouchable these days but the deal would have to blow our socks off to get him out of here. I'd be in shock (if Hemsky was ever moved). We have talked to Montreal about other things, but it was not about moving any of our players. Who are we supposed to be getting for Hemmer, anyway?"
It’s the second crazy rumour about a top Oilers player this week. Earlier a few days ago, noted charlatan Eklund claimed that the Canadiens and the Oilers were discussing a trade that would send Shawn Horcoff to Montreal. Given that the Oilers just signed Horcoff to a six-year contract extension, and are already desperately short of veteran centres, it would be an act of insanity to trade him for anything other than a different first-line centre.
Here’s the thing about most of these anonymous types who offer trade rumours as their stock in trade—every so often, they’ll get one right, due to sheer volume, but outside of that, they’re worthless. Eklund is probably better than most, because after starting his site he’s made some legitimate media contacts, but he still laces his site with the “Patrick Marleau to MTL (e3)” kind of rumour that is a) total nonsense and b) something he’s been flogging since he started writing.
The unfortunate thing is that guys like these (and certain, unnamed, print reporters) tar their respective media with a reputation that the majority of them haven’t earned. Guys like Spector, and innumerable quality local media types, do a good job reporting legitimate trade talk, and it isn’t fair to label them the same way. For that matter, certain bloggers/message board commenters deserve respect for their consistently sanity and respectability. The important thing is to consider the individual source, not the medium.