The top trade deadline targets at center, plus updates on Andrei Markov and Dan Girardi.
ESPN.COM: Tim Kavanagh lists Nashville’s David Legwand, Buffalo’s Steve Ott, Edmonton’s Sam Gagner, Winnipeg’s Olli Jokinen and Toronto’s Nazem Kadri as the top NHL centers rumored on the trade block heading toward the March 5 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of these Ott and Gagner appear the most likely to move. The status of Legwand and Jokinen depends upon where their respective clubs are in the standings by the trade deadline. Kavanagh notes the Kadri trade rumors have died down of late. I doubt he’ll be moved, as the Leafs want a comparable player in age and skill in return.
RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon recently wondered if the Montreal Canadiens will wait to negotiate with defenseman Andrei Markov, try to re-sign him before the trade deadline or trade him if a deal cannot be reached.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Markov’s value to the Habs defense and their efforts to clinch a playoff berth, I doubt they’ll shop him at the deadline.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports contract talks between the NY Rangers and pending UFA defenseman Dan Girardi are expected to resume next week before the club stages its first practice session.