While the Montreal Canadiens were preparing to play host to the San Jose Sharks last night at the Bell Centre, a game which the Habs won, 3-2, the hockey world was abuzz with word that Bill Guerin of the New York Islanders would not be in uniform in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Translation: Guerin was on his way out of the Big Apple, to parts unknown. The move to keep Guerin out of the Islanders lineup last night came after he took part in the warmup skate. One minute, he was a New York Islander. The next minute, well, no one quite knew what the next minute, or minutes, or hours, or even days, would bring. Or will bring.
But the trade winds were no longer blowing, they howling, after reports that the veteran right winger had agreed to a trade to an Eastern-Conference contender. Among the teams rumored to be in the mix: the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals…
Heck, by late this evening, just about every Eastern Conference contender was said to be in the mix.
As for the Islanders, this morning they did nothing to dispel the reports or the conjecture. In fact, a member of the Islander organization further fueled the fire by saying that, yes, there would be an announcement from the team today; although the Islanders, themselves, were struggling to determine just exactly when that announcement would take place.
More gasoline was thrown on the fire when Guerin was held out of an Islander practice over the noon hour today. It became clear that The Bill Guerin show was closing after a two-year run on Broadway. But where would he end up?
Well, some 12 hours later, we still don’t appear to be much closer to knowing the answer to that question. Speculation? Oh, there’s plenty of that. Guerin is said to know which team has won the bidding for his services, although the deal has yet to be officially consummated.
You want more speculation? The Washington Capitals are said to be Guerin’s destination. But right now it’s just that.
Guerin a Hab? Well, let’s just say he’s no Marian Hossa. Then again, he wouldn’t be nearly as expensive.
Guerin is a slow-footed 38-year-old right winger with size and attitude. Yes, he’s a big body, at 6-2, 220 pounds, with 16 goals under his belt so far this season. He’s also a name that is perennially bandied about at trade deadline time. And with this year’s trade deadline just days away, there’s the name, Bill Guerin, once again: front and centre. The prototypical rental player with some marquee value.
However, with all that has transpired over the last 24 hours or so, it would certainly appear that the native of Wilbraham, MA, is indeed on the move.
Stay tuned. With the Islanders back in action Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche, there is bound to be more, ahem, “news” from the Islanders organization between now and then.