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января 2004 года.
Zhamnov soon to be ex-Hawk - Daily Herald
By Tim Sassone Daily Herald Sports Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Blackhawks captain Alex Zhamnov is as good as gone.
General manager Bob Pulford on Tuesday confirmed the Hawks are going to deal Zhamnov before the March 9 trade deadline after discussions regarding a possible contract extension stalled.
"I had talks with Alex and I had talks with his agent (Jay Grossman) and we were unable to come to a conclusion on a contract, therefore we are going to try and move him," Pulford said. "Alex is a heck of a guy and I personally like him a great deal, but that's part of the business. I wish we could have come to a conclusion."
According to a Hawks source, the club wanted Zhamnov to sign a new multiyear contract for less than the $4.5 million he presently earns. The 33-year-old Zhamnov, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, wasn't interested.
"I expect to be traded," Zhamnov said prior to Tuesday's game against the Canucks at General Motors Place. "It's hard to come to the rink."
Pulford and assistant GM Dale Tallon have spoken to a number of teams about Zhamnov, including the Canucks.
It's also believed that Detroit, Colorado, San Jose, Ottawa, New Jersey and possibly Atlanta are interested in the center.
"There's a lot of interest," Pulford said. "Alex is a real pro and he could help a lot of teams."
Pulford said the Hawks want to get a deal done as soon as possible instead of waiting for the March 9 deadline. It's possible a trade could happen either during the all-star break, which for the Hawks extends from Feb. 4-10, or during the general managers meeting in Las Vegas soon after.
"If I could do it tomorrow, I'd do it tomorrow for Alex's sake and the team's sake," Pulford said. "We'd like to get it done right away. We're going to try to do the best we can."
It's thought the Hawks want at least one player in return who can play right away, possibly packaged with either a prospect or a high draft pick.
A radio report out of Toronto on Tuesday claimed the Canucks were willing to offer 19-year-old center Ryan Kesler and 22-year-old right wing Jason King for Zhamnov, but the rumor was news to Vancouver sources and officials.
However, that is the kind of young talent it's believed the Hawks would welcome in return for Zhamnov. Another name that has been floated in regard to a possible deal with Detroit for Zhamnov is 23-year-old Red Wings center Jason Williams.
The Canucks make a lot of sense as a trade partner for the Hawks since GM Brian Burke recently told his media that the club needed to add another center to go with Brendan Morrison, Henrik Sedin, Trevor Linden and Artem Chubarov.
Tallon and Burke chatted briefly here Monday morning when both teams practiced.
The Red Wings have Steve Yzerman, Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper as their first three centers with Boyd Devereaux and Williams. But Yzerman's troublesome knee could concern the Wings for the playoffs.
The Hawks may have to compete with Washington for trade partners. The Capitals hope to move center Robert Lang, who is believed to interest the Red Wings. But Lang has three years and $15 million left on his contract after this season, while Zhamnov would be more of a rental.
29 января 2004 года.
EDMONTON, Alberta - Now that the Blackhawks have gone public with plans to trade Alex Zhamnov, the pressure rests with general manager Bob Pulford and assistant Dale Tallon to get something in return that makes sense.
If you believe the talk around the NHL, Pulford has been asking too much for the 33-year-old Zhamnov, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. One Canadian television report claimed the Hawks were seeking a top-three defenseman in exchange for their captain.
"We'd like a guy who could play, or a sure-fire prospect," Tallon said. "We're just looking to see what's around and who will make the best offer."
The Hawks don't have the greatest track record when it comes to trading marketable veterans near the deadline.
Pulford was in a similar spot with Ed Belfour in 1997, forced to trade the all-star goalie or risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent because of a contract dispute. On Jan. 25, 1997, well before the trade deadline, Pulford sent Belfour to San Jose for goalie Chris Terreri, defenseman Michal Sykora and winger Ulf Dahlen in one of the most forgettable deals in club history.
Then, in March 2000, former GM Mike Smith dealt Doug Gilmour and promising prospect J.P. Dumont to Buffalo for winger Michal Grosek, who was a 14-game bust with the Hawks before they traded him.
Zhamnov, of course, would prefer to go to a Stanley Cup contender.
"It's not up to me to ask about the team, but for sure I'd like to go with a team that can win the Stanley Cup," Zhamnov said Wednesday. "Maybe they'll do a favor for me.
"I've been here a long time, eight years, and I respect the team, but it's time to leave."
It's believed Zhamnov would prefer to be traded to Detroit, but there might be as many as a half-dozen teams interested in him, including Vancouver, Ottawa, San Jose, Colorado and New Jersey.
Although Pulford only went public on Tuesday with the club's trade plans, Zhamnov knew about it for more than a week after brief negotiations on a contract extension broke off. Zhamnov said the Hawks never made him a formal offer, though several sources contend the team wanted him to take a multiyear deal for less than the $4.5 million he now makes.
"Maybe for the first couple days I was disappointed, but I had some good conversations with Pully and I understand the situation that we're far from fighting for a playoff spot," Zhamnov said. "I understand that it's part of the business."
Zhamnov was acquired by the Hawks from Phoenix in 1996 for Jeremy Roenick, and it's not going to be easy for him to leave a city he likes.
The Hawks held an optional practice here at Rexall Centre on Wednesday, and Zhamnov was one of the few players who skated, partly to keep his mind off everything that is happening.
"It's hard to come to the rink because you never know when a trade will happen," he said. "I have a lot on my mind and every day it's the same questions. I stand in the middle of nowhere."
Pulford called Zhamnov a "real pro" for coming to play hard every night amid the distractions of a pending trade. Pulford said he hoped to get a deal done quickly for Zhamnov's sake and for the sake of the team.
"I don't think it's going to happen so quick," Zhamnov said. "I hope it's soon, but you never know. Maybe it will be the last day before the (March 9) deadline."
29 января 2004 года.
BY JENNIFER JONES
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Perhaps looking for a reprieve from the thoughts swirling around his head, Blackhawks center Alex Zhamnov joined seven of his teammates for an optional skate Wednesday at Rexall Place. He joked with the other players, telling defenseman Lasse Kukkonen he had to buy lunch if he did not score a goal during a drill. And he gave his legs another workout as the Hawks prepared for their game against the Oilers tonight.
But afterward, Zhamnov admitted his situation has become increasingly difficult to handle. For a few weeks now, he has been waiting to be traded. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Hawks are trying to deal him to a team looking to bolster its roster for the playoffs.
"I understand it's part of the business, but it's difficult to come to the rink and practice and play games,'' Zhamnov said. "You never know if it's going to happen today, tomorrow or the next day. I can't control it. My job is to go and play. It's not easy, but that's the situation.''
Zhamnov is growing tired of hearing the same questions. What do you think? How do you feel?
"I don't feel any different three weeks ago to now,'' he said. "But it is getting harder and harder.''
At the same time, he is looking forward to the opportunity to play for a team with a chance of postseason success. Since joining the Hawks in August 1996, Zhamnov has played in just five playoff games.
"I'd like to go to a team contending for a Stanley Cup,'' said Zhamnov, who has heard rumors about various teams' interest but did not want to discuss them Wednesday in case they were not true. "There's no question about it. It seems to me the teams that are interested are all fighting for the Stanley Cup.''
The Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers all fall into that category, and they had scouts scheduled to watch the Hawks during their 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
Zhamnov said his agent and the Hawks never got as far as exchanging figures when it came to discussing a contract extension. Asked if he thought the team was ever serious about negotiating a new contract with him, Zhamnov said: "Maybe the first couple of days. I had a good conversation with [general manager Bob Pulford], and basically I told him I understand the situation we are in now. We're far from a playoff spot. Maybe they're trying to do a favor for me and move me to a team that's contending for the Stanley Cup.''
That conversation took place a couple of weeks ago. But Zhamnov seems to think he might remain a Hawk at least until the All-Star break. The Feb. 8 All-Star Game is followed by general managers meetings in Las Vegas, where trade talks should heat up even further.
"I don't think this is going to happen so quick,'' Zhamnov said. "It's not easy. There are a lot of things going through my head. I hope it's over soon, but you never know. Maybe it's the last day before the [March 9] deadline.''
Zhamnov's teammates just want the best for him.
"We don't really talk about it all that much,'' winger Ryan VandenBussche said. "He's getting older in his career, and he wants to go to a contender. I don't blame him.''
Center Igor Korolev sympathizes with Zhamnov.
"It's probably frustrating,'' Korolev said. "It's no fun just sitting and knowing you'll be gone sometime in the next month. You have to concentrate and try to do your job.''
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