This will really ramp up when the Final is over, but the hockey Silly Season is starting to stretch its legs and scratch itself. There are plenty of stories out there about what might happen. We should take a look at a couple.
-When you're talking rumors, a great place to start is the New York tabloids. They're the best at it, after all. Anyway, yesterday, angriest man in the world Larry Brooks reported that the Rangers may chase after Patrick Sharp. I'm sure a lot of Hawks fans' hearts, especially the female ones, skipped a beat there. But you shouldn't worry. First, the Hawks have little to no interest in moving Sharp. Though he's in the last year of his deal and he may get pricey indeed, he seems too ingrained in the Hawks organization for them to move him. Generally, when Stan Bowman says someone is going to be kept, they have been (Antti Niemi excluded). Secondly, there just isn't much that the Rangers can part with that would hold any interest for the Hawks. They have Dan Girardi and Marc Staal on the blue line, but there's little chance they would part with either of the pair they consider their top one for years to come. Up front, Brandon Dubinsky is a restricted free agent, but he's not Patrick Sharp, though younger. But that would almost be a lateral move for the Rangers. And most of all, the Rangers require a true #1 center, which The Shooter isn't. He's not a dish-first playmaker, which is what New York is really crying out for in order to maximize their investment in sniping-winger Marian Gaborik.
-Over at The 4th Period, always a bastion of every conceivable rumor, they have a story from the Edmonton Journal espousing that the Hawks may be looking to move Niklas Hjalmarsson and go after Ladislav Smid. This one has more legs than the previous. As we've said, Hammer took a definite step back this year, and his heavy price tag is an obvious target to be alleviated. The Hawks can probably get what Hammer does at a cheaper rate from someone else. Smid is someone that they did chase at the trade deadline. However, Smid is a restricted free-agent, and to get him the Hawks would have to either acquire his rights before July 1, or extend an offer sheet to him that would eventually cost them draft picks. Either scenario would mean the Oilers don't think they can sign Smid, meaning he's demanding a pretty high bounty, which would mean he's asking for Hammer money, and that pretty much leaves you where you already are.