Updates on Rick Nash, Steve Ott and more. Enjoy!
SPORTSNET’s Mark Spector (no relation) this afternoon “tweeted” the Rangers could be offering up “CBJ gets 1 of Del Zotto or McDonagh, a 1st, & prospect (Tim Erixon).
THE SPORTING NEWS’ Jesse Spector (also, no relation) countered ” NYR suddenly willing to include not only Erixon, but Del Zotto or McDonagh as well for Nash? I don’t see it.”
OTTAWA SUN’s Bruce Garrioch tweeted the Sharks were “still in on Nash but they could probably make a better offer to CBJ in offseason. Leafs and NYR still in talks.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports Joe Resnick, Nash’s agent, said he’s “hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets”, but if it can’t be done by the deadline, the list of acceptable teams will not change. McKenzie feels Resnick doesn’t want his client his client to be a “lame duck Blue Jacket” down the stretch, but GM Scott Howson is under no obligation to move Nash by the deadline. McKenzie believe the Rangers remain the front runner, but Howson is holding out for either McDonagh or Del Zotto as part of the return. McKenzie claims the Maple Leafs remain in the thick of this, but as with the Rangers, the asking price would be high, perhaps more than they want to give up at this time.
McKenzie also reports Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard is now on LTIR , which frees up over $4 million in cap space, allowing the Canucks to shop aggressively for depth, including Dallas’ Steve Ott, who might be available for the right price (young players). Another is the Kings Dustin Brown if he’s available. The Canucks could inquire about Rick Nash. He doesn’t believe at this point in time the Canucks are not prepared to give up Cory Schneider, but he doesn’t know if Vancouver is a preferred destination for Nash.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still don’t believe the Canucks will move Schneider, and with the Stars scrapping for a playoff berth, I can’t see them giving up on Ott. The Rangers, meanwhile, aren’t keen to give up on McDonagh and Del Zotto, and I can’t say I blame them. The Blueshirts have one of the best defense corps in the league, and blueline depth is crucial in winning playoff games. I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I still believe the Blue Jackets will have to wait until this summer to find a better deal for Nash.
In other notable rumor news tonight:
– On Hockey Night in Canada, during their Hotstove segment, Eric Francis claimed the Maple Leafs and Mikhail Grabovski cannot agree on term for a new contract, but are still trying to negotiate a deal. Burke claims he doesn’t intend to trade Grabovski at the deadline. He also told Luke Schenn he couldn’t guarantee Schenn wouldn’t be dealt, but isn’t shopping him. Francis also said the Leafs have no interest in Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun, and only had a short conversation with the Oilers regarding Nikolai Khabibulin, which suggests no real interest in him.
SPORTSNET’s Daren Millard reported via Twitter the Kings, Canucks and Sharks have some interest in Leafs forward Colby Armstrong.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed the Senators and Penguins are looking at Minnesota’s Josh Harding…The Leafs are believed to have contacted the Islanders about Evgeni Nabokov, whom the Isles are attempting to re-sign, but the fact he’s yet to do so has Garrioch suggesting that could “grease his departure”…Leafs, Rangers and Sharks all have offers on the table for Rick Nash…Rangers, Avalanche, Bruins and Maple Leafs are believed interested in Kings Dustin Brown. Management claims they’re not shopping him but have listened to offers…There’s “plenty of interest” in Sabres center Derek Roy…Canadiens would be open to dealing Tomas Plekanec…Islanders PA Parenteau has expressed willingness to re-sign with Isles, but several teams are seeking depth up front who might have interest in him…Hurricanes are talking contract extension with defenseman Bryan Allen…The Stars might not be willing to part with Steve Ott, but Mike Ribeiro could find a new home.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins might look at finding a backup as Brent Johnson has struggled, but I still have my doubts the Senators chase a goalie…Nabokov isn’t going anywhere, even if he’s not re-signed by deadline day. They want to keep him. Ditto Parenteau..Can’t see the Habs moving Plekanec because of one bad year, which isn’t his fault, given the musical wingers he’s had this season…Ribeiro has 14 points in 15 games. With the Stars battling for a playoff spot, they won’t move “Mickey Ribs” unless they get a return that helps them now.