Latest on Ryan Callahan plus updates on the Senators, Maple Leafs, Wild and Lightning.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports teams interested in Ryan Callahan could prefer to wait until he becomes an unrestricted free agent to try to acquire him, rather than do so via trade this season. Brooks claims the Buffalo Sabres are willing to meet Callahan’s seven-year, $42 million asking price but aren’t involved in current trade talks.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl recently reported the Sabres have not inquired about Callahan. “At least not yet”, wrote Vogl.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen denies the rumors he’s among the suitors for Callahan. “It’s rumors,” Kekalainen said yesterday. “Sometimes I laugh when I see rumors. Sometimes I scratch my head. I don’t ever comment.”
STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon reports on the Blues reported interest in Callahan, noting the pros and cons of a possible swap of Chris Stewart for the Rangers’ captain. Among the cons is Callahan wouldn’t make sense for the Blues on an out-sized contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rival general managers aren’t going to admit if they’re pursuing Callahan even if they have permission to speak with his agent. They don’t want to tip their hand and drive up the potential asking price from the Blueshirts. As Brooks suggests, those clubs with interest in Callahan might prefer to wait until he hits this summer’s UFA market, when they don’t have to give up assets (players, prospects, draft picks) to land him. If that’s the case, Callahan could be forced to lower his asking price if he wants to remain a Ranger.
OTTAWA SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: Don Brennan reports Senators GM Bryan Murray continues to seek a top-six forward. Buffalo’s Matt Moulson is believed of interest to the Senators but he’s sidelined until after the Olympic break with an arm injury. Wayne Scanlan reports Murray said he was close to a minor deal which would’ve added a forward but the deal was pulled by the rival GM.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray could add a winger before Friday’s Olympic roster freeze but I’m guessing he’ll wait until after the Olympics to make his move.
TORONTO STAR: With the improvement of Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri combined with the imminent return of Dave Bolland, Mark Zwolinski wonders how the Leafs will approach the March trade deadline. When Bolland returns the Leafs must move two players to get under the 23-man roster limit. Given the Leafs recent improvement, Zwolinski suggests they could stand pat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs need to improve their blueline but if they continue playing well GM Dave Nonis could be reluctant to risk messing with team chemistry.
STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: Mike Russo reports the Minnesota Wild recently made clear the recent rumor tying them to Buffalo’s Ryan Miller was hogwash. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher says he’ll remain patient and see if goalie Josh Harding, who’s battling multiple sclerosis symptoms, can return following the Olympic break. He’s currently comfortable with the tandem of Darcy Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom. Fletcher would like to add another scorer or defenseman but said prices are currently inflated.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “Miller to Minnesota” rumors started because Fletcher made a bold move at last year’s trade deadline parting with some young players and prospects to land Jason Pominville from Buffalo. This time Fletcher is unwilling to part with his young players, plus Miller is a UFA at season’s end while Pominville still had a year remaining on his contract when the Wild acquired him.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Damian Cristodero reports the Lightning have about $3 million in cap space owing to defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Brian Lee going on LTIR. That’ll allow GM Steve Yzerman to focus on landing a defenseman or perhaps another scoring forward before the trade deadline. Cristodero lists the Islanders’ Andrew MacDonald and Detroit’s Kyle Quincey as “intriguing options” for the Lightning. Yzerman is reluctant to move his young players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wings fans would love it if Yzerman took Quincey off their hands. A better option for the Wings would be MacDonald but a number of clubs could pursue him near the trade deadline.