The NHL trade freeze goes into effect at midnight tonight. Here’s the latest on the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Blues and Senators.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis has been “trolling the league” for deals. Nonis admits he’s received offers for James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, but the proposed returns won’t help the Leafs. Nonis claimed he’s not shopping Gardiner but Dreger reports rival management sources say Gardiner’s name has been brought up as the Leafs GM searches for a top-six forward…Dreger also reported the NY Rangers are shopping Michael Del Zotto and the Leafs may be interested but the Rangers’ asking price of a top-four defenseman is too steep. The Rangers could be targeting Cody Franson as they’re in need of a right-handed shot on their blueline. The Senators are also thought in the mix for Del Zotto but their interest may have cooled with the emergence of Cody Ceci. Dreger claims the Senators are willing to move either Eric Gryba, Joe Corvo or Patrick Wiercioch to teams seeking a defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those Leafs mentioned in Dreger’s piece, Gardiner and Reimer seem the only ones Nonis could be willing to move provided he gets a quality return. Right now, that’s not going to happen. The Rangers will have to lower that asking price for Del Zotto if they hope to move him.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen examines the pros and cons of the Rangers trading or re-signing Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi, who are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Allen believes each player could land a veteran player plus a draft pick or prospect, but the Rangers would immediately miss either player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe the Rangers intend to re-sign the pair and will be very surprised if either guy is moved by the March 5 trade deadline.
TVA SPORTS: Jean-Francois Chaumont reports St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak hasn’t spoken yet with Blues management about a new contract and doesn’t expect to negotiate during this season. Halak said he’s like to remain with the Blues but the final choice is up to management.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch has been shopping for a top-six forward and a defenseman but so far no luck. Garrioch doesn’t expect Murray to make a move before the upcoming Christmas trade freeze.