The latest trade deadline rumors involving Canadian teams, including the latest on Ryan Kesler, Mike Cammalleri, Jason Spezza, Chris Phillips and more.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Vancouver Canucks are still fielding calls for Ryan Kesler. The Pittsburgh Penguins have considerable interest, while a number of clubs (including the Anaheim Ducks) are keeping tabs on the Kesler situation. The NY Rangers made inquiries but a source says Kesler won’t waive his NTC for them.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma claims the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are engaged in a bidding war for Kesler. Kuzma claims the Flyers are willing to offer up Brayden Schenn in a package offer for the Canucks center.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi claims the Penguins are willing to include top prospect Derrick Pouliot in their package offer for Kesler. The Penguins are also reportedly interested in New Jersey Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky and Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Kesler sweepstakes is down to only the Penguins and Flyers. Canucks GM Mike Gillis must play this carefully. He got a crappy return for Roberto Luongo and must get a significant one for Kesler. Bear in mind he doesn’t have to trade Kesler at the deadline, as the center still has two more years left on his contract. If Gillis doesn’t get any offers he likes today, he can wait until this summer to try again.
CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN: The trade watch is on in Calgary as Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke is “open for business” today. The focus will of course be upon winger Mike Cammalleri. The Flames list of “untouchables” is a short one, with only rookie Sean Monahan and captain Mark Giordano believed to be part of it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri’s been linked to the Kings, Penguins and Devils in the rumor mill. We’ll find out soon enough what the destination could be.
TORONTO SUN/TORONTO STAR: Nikolai Kulemin, Dave Bolland, Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, Mason Raymond, Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson and Colton Orr could be possible Maple Leafs trade candidates. Or not.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not expecting a blockbuster from the Leafs. Of those who could move, Kulemin, Raymond, Gunnarsson and Orr are the most likely. I doubt the rest are moved unless they’re part of a real sweetheart deal.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators captain Jason Spezza laughed off the recent trade rumors about him. Garrioch also reports the Senators are inching closer to a deal with defenseman Chris Phillips. They also still have interest in Buffalo’s Chris Stewart and Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky.
EDMONTON SUN: Derek Van Diest reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish hopes to ship out some of his pending UFAs for draft picks. Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner have been most mentioned in trade talks of late.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports a source confirms the San Jose Sharks have inquired about Jets forward Devin Setoguchi, who began his career with the Sharks. “James Sheppard, Adam Burish and Tyler Kennedy” could be among the possibilities coming back to the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No rumors today on the Montreal Canadiens as they made their move yesterday by landing defenseman Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers. Recent reports out of Montreal suggest this year’s deadline could be a quiet one for the Habs.