Updates on the Sabres, Blackhawks, Lightning, Hurricanes, Blues, Ducks, Predators and Capitals.

Short and sweet this morning, folks, for obvious reasons.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the number of suitors for Columbus’ Rick Nash appear to be dropping. The Rangers have reportedly balked at the Blue Jackets asking price. The Maple Leafs and Sharks both remain interested…The Leafs top need is a goalie. The best three believed available are Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin, Islanders Evgeni Nabokov and Minnesota’s Josh Harding, though the Isles insist they aren’t moving Nabokov…The Red Wings would like to add a forward…Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray could be on the move. The Bruins and Blackhawks were rumored in discussions with Stars….Though Tomas Plekanec’s agent denied his client had been asked to waive his NTC, Garrioch claims the Canadiens won’t move Plekaenec unless they get another winger to replace him…Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has decisions to make today regarding Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek…It sounds like the Oilers won’t trade Ryan Smyth if he’s unsigned by today’s deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if Leafs or Sharks will take a chance on Nash right now…The Isles aren’t moving Nabokov, even if he’s unsigned today. Ditto the Oilers with Smyth, having earlier this month told Smyth he won’t be dealt…If Stars move Souray, I expect they’ll want something in return which can help them clinch a playoff berth right now. Doesn’t make sense, for a team struggling to bring back the fans, to start selling assets at the deadline when they’re fighting for a playoff sport….Plekanec is primarily used as a center. Anyway, it doesn’t sound as though he’ll be moved, unless Habs approach him today about a trade…

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The prime trade candidates for the Sabres are Paul Gaustad and Brad Boyes, who are both UFAs this summer.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks are in need of a defenseman and a second-line center. Possible target could” include Roman Hamrlik (Washington Capitals) and Chris Campoli (Montreal Canadiens)” for defense, or Buffalo’s Derek Roy or Paul Gaustad.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was unwilling to part with a second round pick for goalie Ben Bishop, who was shipped yesterday from St. Louis to Ottawa. Yzerman hinted at making moves for a goalie this summer. He also appears inclined to retain left wing Ryan Malone.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Hurricanes could ship out defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, but it’s possible they could re-sign Bryan Allen.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues aren’t expected to make big moves today.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Ducks strong second-half run so far means they won’t be sellers at the deadline.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Predators are in the market for the right deal as they search for depth at forward. The Predators are not on Rick Nash’s list of preferred trade destinations.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals GM George McPhee will have to decide today if he’ll make any moves to bolster his club’s depth and improve their chances of making the playoffs.