Reporting trade rumours is the crack cocaine of hockey writers. It's sure to bring in traffic, so it's highly addictive, but it doesn't always do much for the credibility of the rumour-monger, as Darren Dreger has just been told in no uncertain terms by an angry but clever L.A. Kings blogger.
Me, I wouldn't be so hard on Dreger. There is a reason they are called "trade rumours," as opposed to "trade facts."
Unless the rumour comes from a beat writer very close to the team, I don't pay them much attention. They are no big deal, just some fluff, some fizz, some froth, part of the fun of following the NHL. I never read the sites that specialize in these rumours, but I can't see how they do any harm.
P.S. For what it's worth, I heard from an NHL insider that Vince Lecavalier was going to be moved to the L.A. Kings last winter, but it didn't happen then. Will it happen now? It's certainly fun to speculate. But that's all it is, speculation.
I didn't mean to be angry. However, I don't think reporting of rumors is really reporting, by definition. It's just gossip.