With the NHL Olympic roster freeze set for 3 pm ET on February 7 the rumor mill is heating up. Check out the latest on Ryan Callahan, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Dave Bolland, Ray Whitney and more.
TSN.CA: Pierre LeBrun speculates the Islanders could trade Thomas Vanek before the Olympic roster freeze on Friday. The Kings and Penguins have some interest in Vanek. The asking price is “three assets: any combination of a first-round pick, a young player, and a prospect.”…Bob McKenzie claims Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald is also in play…McKenzie also claims there’s growing interest in Sabres captain Steve Ott. Henrik Tallinder, Drew Stafford and Cody McCormick could also be moved…Darren Dreger reports the Maple Leafs have to figure out what they’ll do with center Dave Bolland, who’s a UFA this summer. Trading him before the March deadline is one option.
ESPN.COM: LeBrun also reports the Islanders still hope to re-sign Vanek. The Kings have interest but he might not be their top target, as LeBrun guesses they’re also interested in Buffalo’s Matt Moulson, Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri and Edmonton’s Sam Gagner…Predators center David Legwand’s name is cropping up more in the rumor mill…LeBrun speculates any moves made by the Canucks this season won’t be for rental players but long-term assets.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher believes the only hope for the Canucks this season is to make a trade for a scoring winger like Thomas Vanek, but acknowledged the difficulty in acquiring and retaining such a player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Isles are still trying to re-sign Vanek they could wait until the March trade deadline before moving him if unable to reach a deal…MacDonald could also be moved by the trade deadline…Ott will attract considerable interest. There won’t be as much for Tallinder, Stafford or McCormick. Still, they could be affordable depth acquisitions for playoff contenders…I believe the Leafs will retain Bolland and try to re-sign him before his eligibility for UFA status on July 1…Given the Kings’ ongoing offensive struggles they could pull the trigger on a deal by Friday…Gallagher was merely spitballing and not seriously calling for the Canucks to pursue Vanek. For the Canucks to make a significant move they’ll have to shop one of their top-four defensemen. Given those players are all under long-term contracts with no-trade clauses, such a move probably won’t happen until the off-season, if at all.
NEW YORK POST: After watching Ryan Callahan’s two-goal performance in the Rangers’ 5-1 victory on Tuesday over the Avalanche, Larry Brooks speculates the Rangers could opt to retain their captain as their own “playoff rental” without giving up any assets to land one. Callahan’s UFA status this summer and expensive asking price puts his future with the Blueshirts into doubt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Callahan in the off-season to free agency will hurt, but they can always try to replace him via trade or free agency themselves. Trading Callahan now, with the club on a roll, could screw up their team chemistry at a crucial juncture in the season.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports he’s had no contract talks with the Sabres nor have they approached him about a trade. Miller was evasive about whether he wants to remain with the Sabres or move on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres GM Tim Murray has said he won’t make any decisions on trading his UFAs until after the Olympic break. As for Miller, he’ll be moving on one way or the other.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll depend upon where the Stars are in the standings by the March trade deadline and if Whitney is willing to accept a return to the Coyotes.
DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t planning any trades before the February 7 Olympic roster freeze.