The trade rumors we're hearing daily appear to be a case of "let's run this up the flagpole and see who salutes" and one expects it'll continue through to the deadline. But is it something more?
A case in point: Nazem Kadri. The tsn panel discussed his availability not long ago, and that story grew legs to the point where Toronto GM Dave Nonis had to address the situation:
"Well I think it's easy to say, but Naz is having a decent year. What has happened to him is last year he was playing in the two or three hole most season, by doing that he was playing against team's second or third lines primarily. This year because of injury we put Naz in a situation that was difficult for him. He's still a young guy, there's no denying his skill-set and ability. We're not disappointed with him, he's a very skilled player and we need him to perform down the stretch.
There's a lot of interest in Nazem Kadri and would we be willing to trade him? Yes we'd be willing to trade him but there's a big difference between willing to and trying to. We're not trying to move him. I would expect the panel [on TSN] is wrong. I'm not anywhere near trading Nazem Kadri."
This kind of thing (a trade discussion that grows into a rumor) has started to cloud the gap between "making something up" and "full blown rumor" and twitter has decreased the elapsed time for one to become the other. Richard Cloutier has recently told us about rumors and how they start (here) and we can see that the "news cycle" always needs new ammo. An example from well-known twitterer "Hope Smoke" from earlier today:
This used to happen a few times a season, but with twitter it's happening a few times a day. And that brings me to your question: Is this media speculation or media digging? Is this information being fed to media to create interest? Who's Zooming Who?
I suspect the answer is "all of the above" and hope it continues. The NHL is in the entertainment business, and if they're not going to make actual trades (Craig MacTavish excluded), the least they can do is leak interesting possibilities.