The latest from ESPN, TSN and USA Today.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports “Chicago, Toronto, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Detroit, NY Rangers and Nashville Predators” are in the market for a top-six forward. “San Jose could be in the mix for either a top-six forward or a checking-line forward. Boston and Vancouver are looking for a depth forward”, writes LeBrun. The problem for those teams at the present time is there isn’t much available in the trade market. Names rumored to be in play include Buffalo’s Derek Roy, Drew Stafford and Brad Boyes. Columbus’ Vinny Prospal, Antoine Vermette and Kristian Huselius, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu and Anaheim’s Jason Blake. LeBrun believes Detroit and Nashville are among those interested in Hemsky. He also feel the Ducks could get calls about Bobby Ryan up to the trade deadline, but believes they’ll wait for the off-season to consider possible move…With Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak under contract with the Blues, minor leaguer Ben Bishop – considered by some the best goalie not in the NHL – might garner some trade interest…LeBrun believes Ryan Suter’s camp is waiting to see what moves Predators management David Poile makes by the trade deadline before making a decision on re-signing. Poile denies he could be hard-pressed to move Suter before the trade deadline…The San Jose Sharks have demoted goalie Antero Niittymaki to their AHL affiliate on a two-week conditioning stint, which is also seen as a means of showcasing him.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger recently responded to e-mail questions from readers, suggesting the Oilers might listen to offers for Nikolai Khabibulin, though if they move him, they’ll need to get a goalie back. He doubts the Oilers and Canucks would do a deal including Cory Schneider, but suggested if the Oilers were to offer Ales Hemsky to the LA Kings in a bigger deal, perhaps Jonathan Bernier might make sense…Dreger considers the Calgary Flames could be among the teams active at the trade deadline in hopes of bolstering their playoff chances…Columbus, Montreal, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Calgary and Anaheim are among teams who could move key players…Regarding the Alexander Semin trade rumors, Dreger believes Capitals GM George McPhee “is willing to consider just about anything to improve his club.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d consider shopping Khabibulin at this point, though I agree the Oilers would need to get back a goalie, either for the rest of the season, or one who fits into their long-term plans…Unless the Capitals can get another quality scoring forward, I don’t believe they’ll move Semin, who has 15 points in his last 19 games dating back to December 7th. And no, they won’t trade him to Calgary for Jarome Iginla!
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen looks at several teams – Nashville, Buffalo, Phoenix, Minnesota, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Anaheim, Columbus and Carolina – which could be active near the trade deadline and what moves they could make.