Mailbag: Bryan McCabe trade is likely 

February, 24, 2011

The clock is ticking down to Monday's trade deadline. I figure we're going to see several deals between now and then (3 p.m. ET Feb. 28).

It will be particularly interesting to see if the Dallas Stars move potential unrestricted free-agent center Brad Richards, who's currently sidelined by concussion problems. I think Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk will trade him rather than risk losing him to free agency in the offseason. Richards' health issues, of course, likely will determine whether or not he'll be moved. Stay tuned.

For now, I'll take my weekly Thursday dip into the mailbag.

Do you think Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon will deal defenseman Bryan McCabe before the trade deadline? -- Kerry, Jacksonville, Fla.

Yes, I see that happening. Of course, McCabe will control his destiny through his no-move clause. The 35-year-old defender isn't going anywhere he doesn't want to. There have been published reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets have an interest in adding McCabe. If so, I'll be curious to see if he will accept being traded to Columbus.

I suspect Tallon has been (already) and will be (in the coming days) working the phones hard to move McCabe and several other Panthers as he continues to craft his rebuilding project in South Florida.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.