The latest from ESPN.com, the Ottawa Sun and Calgary Sun.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the LA Kings and NY Rangers remain interested in Dallas’ Brad Richards though there’s a number of factors, including his current injury, which could affect any possible trade.LeBrun cites a source claiming if a trade of Richards occurs it’ll happen on deadline day, if at all…The Vancouver Canucks had a brief conversation recently about Chris Phillips with the Ottawa Senators, who remain in talks with Phillips regarding a possible new contract. Nothing really serious at this point between the Canucks and Sens regarding Phillips…The Maple Leafs still covet Colorado’s John-Michael Liles but the Avs aren’t totally sure if they want ot move him. The Leafs have also fielded calls about winger Clarke MacArthur but they’re still hoping to re-sign him…The Blackhawks remain resolute to acquire a defenseman…The Phoenix Coyotes are also seeking defensive depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect the Richards trade talk to carry over into deadline day though it remains to be seen if he’s traded…I doubt the Canucks are seriously interested in Phillips…I would’ve expected the Avs acquisition of Erik Johnson might’ve made Liles expendable. Apparently not…I expect the Blackhawks and Coyotes will find some affordable defensive help soon.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Buffalo Sabres might do something surprising at the trade deadline now that they’ve got new ownership willing to spend, suggesting they could make a play for Dallas’ Brad Richards or Colorado’s Paul Stastny, the latter Garrioch claims is available despite denials out of Colorado along with pretty much every player on their roster…The heat is on LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi to make a big move to help his team. He’s had talks with the Oilers but they want Brayden Schenn as part of the deal…The Hurricanes toyed with moving defenseman Joni Pitkanen but now that they’re in the playoff chase they’re likely to keep him. Garrioch also heard rumors the Hurricanes might move winger Erik Cole…Colorado’s John-Michael Liles will likely be asked to waive his NMC…There’s been talk the Red Wings might take a run at Florida’s Tomas Vokoun but they lack the cap space to make that move…The Panthers could deal defenseman Bryan Allen by Monday…The Blue Jackets have received interest in Derrick Brassard and Jakub Voracek but they want to retain them, and despite denials they are shopping goalie Steve Mason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite their new ownership it would be very surprising if they made a pitch for Richards or Stastny, the latter reportedly isn’t being shopped (see below)…I’ve been saying for weeks Pitkanen and Cole won’t be dealt because the Hurricanes are in the playoff race. That’s not gonna change now…Liles could be asked to waive his NMC but of course it remains to be seen if the Avs really wish to move him….I have my doubts the Panthers can find a potential destination for Vokoun…Can’t see the Jackets moving Brassard, Voracek or Mason now given their significant improvement in recent weeks. They’re buyers, not sellers.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi remains insistent he won’t shop prospect Brayden Schenn… A member of the Colorado Avalanche claimed the club isn’t shopping Paul Stastny or Adam Foote. The latter wants to retire as a member of the Avalanche. Milan Hejduk will also stay put…Canucks GM Mike Gillis confirmed he’s not trading Cory Schneider or Cody Hodgson. Minnesota’s John Madden isn’t a fit there because of his salary…The Edmonton Oilers continue to hang high price tags on Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner. Blueliners Ladislav Smid and Jim Vandermeer are the most likely to be dealt…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis’ report counters Garrioch’s report claiming the Avs could shop Stastny…Gillis doesn’t want to add significant salary or part with a quality player merely for a fourth line center. He’ll stand pat if he can’t find what he wants….At this point it seems Smid and/or Vandermeer are more likely to move than Hemsky and/or Penner at the deadline.