Are Ryan Kesler, Jason Spezza and Martin St. Louis on the verge of being dealt by deadline day? Read on to find out.

Trade speculation growing about Ryan Kesler.

Trade speculation growing about Ryan Kesler.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reports the Canucks’ asking price for Ryan Kesler is the highest in this year’s trade market: a first-round pick, a 20-25 year old established NHL center and a top prospect. If they don’t get close to that, McKenzie doubts they’ll move Kesler at the deadline. Darren Dreger claims the Maple Leafs are among the clubs interested in Kesler. He speculates if a deal is reached it would cost the Leafs Nazem Kadri, their first-round pick and either Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly. Kesler must also agree to waive his no-trade clause to go to another Canadian team…Pierre LeBrun reports NY Rangers captain Ryan Callahan has softened his salary request (Note, this was covered yesterday in my evening rumor roundup)…Dreger reports the Ottawa Senators aren’t shopping captain Jason Spezza but claims a couple of teams “have recognized that Spezza’s name was brought up in a general sense, in a bigger dialogue.” He considers it “very, very unlikely” Spezza is traded on deadline day.  McKenzie reports the Senators want to re-sign defenseman Chris Phillips to a one-year deal while Phillips would prefer two years. Regarding speculation the Sabres could flip Chris Stewart to the Senators, McKenzie claims talks between the two teams are “very cool” right now…LeBrun also touched on the possibility of the Sabres flipping Jaroslav Halak and  the Wild’s possible interest in Halak or Martin Brodeur. He also doubts the LA Kings pursue Mike Cammalleri or Matt Moulson unless the asking price for both comes down…Dreger claims there’s some interest in Sabres defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers… McKenzie says there’s some interest in Dallas Stars’ defenseman Stephane Robidas.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma considers Kesler the Canucks best bargaining chip. He won’t waive his no-trade clause for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings are considered among the front runners for Kesler. Kuzma suggests the Flyers Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier could address the part of the Canucks asking price seeking a young center to replace Kesler.

SPORTSNET’s Nick Kypreos reports via Twitter: “Told #Canucks given a short list Kesler would wave NTC. Believed in mix include #Pens #Flyers #Rangers. Van reluctant to trade him in West”.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Rob Rossi reports Kesler, Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky and Oilers winger Ales Hemsky are atop the list of players the Penguins are interested in approaching the trade deadline.

PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports two league sources claim the Flyers tabled a substantial offer for Kesler plus they also have interest in defenseman Alexander Edler. Seravalli notes such a deal would require both clubs to move substantial salary both ways to make the dollars work.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray denied rumors claiming he was shopping captain Jason Spezza. Garrioch also reports Murray is still working the phones. He could have interest in Sabres’ winger Chris Stewart but the asking price is high. Oilers’ winger Ales Hemsky could be an option. Murray could also gauge trade interest in winger Milan Michalek and defenseman Chris Phillips, though he’s still trying to re-sign the latter.

TAMPA TRIBUNE: Erik Erlendsson reports trade rumors regarding Lightning captain Martin St. Louis have grown quiet since reports last week emerged claiming he sought a trade after being initially excluded from Team Canada.  Erlendsson speculates the Lightning could be quiet on deadline day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of interest in Kesler, but that high asking price could mean he won’t get moved (provided he agrees to waive his no-trade clause) until the off-season. The Flyers could offer up Schenn or Couturier but such a move now could have negative consequences for their playoff hopes this season.  Spezza’s not going anywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of clubs expressed interest in him but it’s obvious Murray doesn’t want to move him. If he did, you can expect the asking price would be steep. I don’t see the Lightning trading St. Louis or making any major roster moves at the deadline. They’ve got Steven Stamkos due to return very soon, which is as good as a trade acquisition. As for Myers and Ehrhoff, the Sabres won’t be giving those two away. Of the pair, Ehrhoff is more likely to be dealt than Myers, as I suspect GM Tim Murray prefer to keep the younger blueliner.