The latest on Nazem Kadri and Marian Gaborik, plus updates on the Sharks and Devils.
NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos reports Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri addressed the trade rumor swirling around him, stating his hope is to remain with the Leafs. GM Dave Nonis recently stirred up the rumor mill by acknowledging there’s “lots of interest” in Kadri, adding he’d be willing to move him for the right offer but denied actively shopping him. Traikos noted the uncertainty over what type of player Kadri could become but believes it would be a mistake for the Leafs to move him.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle believes the Kadri trade talk makes no sense to trade a developing player. He also noted that not all the rumors about Kadri are baseless, believing there’s something behind them.
TORONTO STAR’s Damien Cox reported the following via Twitter: “Reimer for Yakupov this summer was an intriguing rumour around the top prospects game last night.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regarding the Kadri rumors, I maintain what I’ve said for weeks, that the Leafs are undoubtedly getting calls about Kadri but they won’t move him for a quick fix. Nonis repeatedly said he wasn’t shopping Kadri (or Jake Gardiner) but if he did he’d want a blue-chip player similiar in age (23) in return. In other words, something which helps the Leafs now and in the future. That’s not easy to do. Nonis appears to be listening but not actively shopping Kadri. As for the Reimer for Yakupov rumor, I’d be very surprised if the Leafs make that deal. Yakupov is skilled and promising but does anyone honestly believe he’s a good fit on their current roster under demanding head coach Randy Carlyle? I don’t.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Marian Gaborik (broken collarbone) hopes to return in time to play for Slovakia in the upcoming Sochi Olympics. The Jackets will only have four games following the Olympics leading up to the March 5 trade deadline to determine if Gaborik (a UFA this summer) still meshes within their roster. There’s been no contract talks between the club and Gaborik’s agent and no indication there will be discussions. It’s possible Gaborik, if healthy, could be dealt at the trade deadline for the second straight year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Gaborik’s injury history his talent would still attract interest in the trade market, but the Jackets probably won’t get much back in return if they shop him.
SFGATE.COM: Ross McKeon examines some potential trade targets for the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline. The list includes Matt Moulson, David Legwand, Mike Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Matt Stajan, Ales Hemsky and Radim Vrbata (all pending UFAs). Others include Michael Del Zotto, Mason Raymond and Steve Ott. He also listed former Sharks Ray Whitney, Milan Michalek, Brad Boyes or Douglas Murray as possible options. “Oldies but goodies” include Ryan Smyth, Olli Jokinen, Henrik Tallinder or Joe Corvo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the link. Lots of possible targets there for the Sharks. It’s believed they could deal for a scoring winger, so perhaps Cammalleri, Moulson, Hemsky or Boyes could be on their radar.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello likes how his club is playing but won’t rule out a trade. “Let’s put it this way: If we can get something to make us better, I think you know the answer,” he said.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given how closely Lamoriello plays his cards to the vest, that’s a notable statement on his part. I expect Lamoriello will try to find something to bolster his club’s offense, either before the Olympic freeze or the March trade deadline.