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We hear rumors ... some might even be true

February 28, 2009 |  1:41 pm

Stuart_300With the clock ticking down toward the NHL's trade deadline of noon Pacific time on Wednesday -- there's an actual countdown clock at the league's website -- the intensity of trade rumors is picking up.

Most are the product of fertile imaginations and throwing mud at the wall, but some have a nugget of logic behind them.

Here's one we've heard and believe:

The Ducks will send defenseman Chris Pronger and left wing Travis Moen to the Boston Bruins for defenseman Mark Stuart, 6-foot-5 center Joe Colborne (currently at Denver University) and a first-round draft pick.

Why this makes sense:

The Ducks must rebuild their defense. Pronger, new acquisition Ryan Whitney and Sheldon Brookbank are the only defensemen signed past this season, and Pronger is aging rapidly and will bring a hefty $6.25-million salary cap hit. He's probably not worth that anymore. 

Former Ducks General Manager Brian Burke might want to bring Pronger to Toronto, but he'd have to give up rookie Luke Schenn, and Burke won't do that. Stuart is having a decent season and has good size (6-1, 219 pounds).

The Ducks are also thin up the middle. Ryan Getzlaf is the only quality center signed beyond this season (Samuel Pahlsson, Brendan Morrison and Todd Marchant can become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and Ryan Carter isn't a first- or second-line center).  Colborne would address that.

Moen is about to become an unrestricted free agent. He has been valuable to the Ducks, especially in the 2007 Stanley Cup run, but he's not having a good season. He could bring the Bruins a bruising presence that could help take them far. And picture the 6-6 Pronger on the blue line with 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara. Scary.

Stay tuned for more as we get closer to deadline day.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart knocks Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Ovechkin to the ice during the third period of Boston's 3-2 overtime victory on Jan. 27. Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press

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