Check out the latest on Ryan Kesler, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Callahan, Thomas Vanek and more.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reports the Vancouver Canucks aren’t aggressively shopping Ryan Kesler (who has a no-trade clause) but believes they’re aggressively listening to offers. He believes the Canucks would want a good young center in return, wondering if the Blue Jackets would part with Ryan Johansen or the Rangers with Derek Stepan to get Kesler. Darren Dreger claims there’s some concern around the league about Kesler’s injury history…Dreger also suggests Martin St-Louis could be moved by the trade deadline, or it could drag on into the off-season. He claims the Lightning reached out to the NY Rangers to explore a trade but there’s currently no fit there. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman won’t just give St-Louis away. McKenzie said he’d be surprised if St-Louis is moved at the deadline….McKenzie reports contract term is the issue in Andrei Markov’s contract talks with the Montreal Canadiens. He wants to stay in Montreal and the Canadiens want to keep him.
SPORTSNET.CA: TVA Sports’ Louis Jean reported last night Ryan Kesler requested a trade back at the start of the season. Kesler’s agent Kurt Overhardt denied his client sought a trade. Jean believes moving Kesler at the trade deadline would be difficult, suggesting the NHL draft in June would be a better time.
VANCOUVER SUN: Brad Ziemer reports Canucks GM Mike Gillis refuses to address the report claiming Kesler sought a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canucks were to move Kesler at the trade deadline his current hand injury could affect that effort, as well as the potential return. If Kesler wants out it probably won’t happen until the off-season, when players of his caliber and salary are easier to move. The Blue Jackets won’t part with Johansen, who’s blossoming into a star. Not sure if Kesler would accept being reunited with Alain Vigneault in New York. For now, we have to take Gillis and Overhardt at their word that Kesler didn’t request a trade.
TSN.CA: Martin St-Louis and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman are playing coy addressing recent reports claiming the Bolts captain sought a trade last month after being initially passed over for Team Canada. Darren Dreger reported the following via Twitter: “Teams may continue to call TBay on St Louis, but, as of now, Lightning are telling teams St Louis is locked on the New York Rangers.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: St-Louis and Yzerman did nothing to silence the speculation over the 38-year-old winger’s future with the Lightning. It now appears it was Yzerman who reached out to the Rangers and not the other way around, but the Bolts GM won’t accept an offer of Ryan Callahan straight up for his captain. If St-Louis does want out it appears the Rangers are the only club he’s interested in joining. I doubt we’ll see St-Louis moved by the deadline as he remains important to the Lightning’s playoff push. I also doubt this will have a negative effect on the roster’s performance. Still, unless St-Louis says he wants to stay put or Yzerman states he’s not trading his captain this will carry over into the off-season.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers GM Glen Sather remains committed to trading Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi if unable to re-sign the duo by the trade deadline. Sather offered Callahan straight up to the Lightning for Martin St-Louis but the offer fell through as he’s unwilling to add draft picks or prospects to the deal.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports St. Louis Blues winger Chris Stewart could be part of a deal with the Rangers if they pursue Callahan. Garrioch claims the Senators also have interest in Stewart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Girardi’s negotiations are going better than Callahan’s, though it still remains to be seen if an agreement can be reached. While there will certainly be interest in Callahan and Girardi on the trade market, Sather could find it difficult to get the kind of return he wants, which includes first round draft picks. The lowered salary cap for this season won’t make it easy to do deals at this time of year.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple believes the NY Islanders will wait until deadline day to move Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald in hopes of maximizing their trade value. The Islanders have no intention of trading goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien cited a report from NY Times’ Chris Botta claiming he’s heard the Isles will seek a first round pick for MacDonald. The Boston Bruins have interest in MacDonald but aren’t willing to part with their first round pick to get him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if any teams gives up a first round pick for MacDonald. He’s a good defenseman but he’s not worth that.