The latest on Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, Jordan Staal and Roberto Luongo.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Rick Nash trade speculation is casting a long shadow over this year’s Entry Draft. Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said he’s not close to any deal yet to move Nash.  “The New York Rangers, Philadelphia, San Jose, Carolina, Toronto and Ottawa are believed to be in the mix”, reports Portzline.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports the Senators are open to including their first round pick (15th overall) in their rumored offer of Mika Zibanejad, Nick Foligno and Ben Bishop.

ESPN.COM: James Murphy reports multiple sources claim the Boston Bruins have made exploratory inquiries about Nash. Murphy suspects the high asking price could keep them from making a serious pitch.

CSNBAYAREA.COM’s Kevin Kurz took to Twitter to report ” #SJSharks still in discussions for Nash that would inc. Pavelski, Clowe, pick. Market softening with B. Ryan on market” He also reported Also, #SJSharks not believed to be pursuing #Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk at this time.”

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: David Pollak took to Twitter reporting “From 2,247 miles away, I’m hearing there are no Nash talks between #Sjsharks and CBJ, who still want Couture. No counter-proposal period.” Pollak also reported it’s unlikely the Anaheim Ducks would trade Bobby Ryan to a division rival like the Sharks, who could be going after Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk.

THE HOCKEY NEWS/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Ken Campbell reports the possible availability of Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan is interfering with the Blue Jackets efforts to trade Rick Nash. Eric Stephens reports the Ducks won’t move Ryan unless they’re blown away by an offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious the Blue Jackets aren’t backing away from their high asking price for Nash. It’s still possible he could be moved today, or this weekend, but if no deal is found by Saturday, this could stretch into July, when teams who lose out in the bidding for Zach Parise – or Ryan, for that matter – could return their attention to Nash. I still consider the Rangers the front-runners, though it appears the Flyers could mount a challenge. I don’t believe the Sharks, Bruins, Senators or Leafs can land him. As for Ryan, while he would provide an affordable option over Nash, Stephens is correct that the Ducks won’t move him unless they get an overwhelming offer. 

Will Luongo be dealt this weekend?

TORONTO SUN/VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks are receiving calls regarding Roberto Luongo as the entry draft approaches. Management is willing to take their time to find the right deal for Luongo, but it’s believed this weekend could be one of the best times to try to move him. The Toronto Maple Leafs are still considered the prime destination for Luongo by observers, but his big contract and the coolness between the respective managements of both clubs are significant issues. Tony Gallagher believes the Chicago Blackhawks should take a run at acquiring Luongo, even though it’s believed they’ll stick with Corey Crawford next season. He also claims Columbus is very interested in Luongo. He also noted the Florida Panthers are linked to Luongo in rumors

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toronto seems the logical choice, but the aforementioned issues could prevent such a move from happening. I don’t believe the Blackhawks have interest in Luongo, preferring instead to seek offensive depth at center. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported the Panthers had “mild” interest, but the Canucks would have to take salary back to make such a deal work. A Luongo deal could happen this weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still with the Canucks on Monday.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE/PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Dave Molinari reports Jordan Staal’s reported rejection of a ten-year contract offer from the Penguins doesn’t mean he’ll be moved this weekend, as there’s no need for drastic action from either side, unless Staal seeks a trade, which isn’t likely this weekend as he’s getting married today. Dejan Kovacevic believes Staal’s rejection of that offer signals his intent to join his brother Eric in Carolina as a free agent next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Jordan Staal’s days with the Penguins are numbered, and I wouldn’t rule out them trying to shop him this summer. Don’t expect him to be traded this weekend.