Heading toward deadline day, here’s the latest on the Canadiens, Islanders, Predators and more. Enjoy!
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke isn’t considering a coaching change, and while sources say the Leafs have spoken to the Blue Jackets about Rick Nash, LeBrun senses they’re not close on that front…A source claims the Bruins have interest in Avalanche players Daniel Winnik, T.J. Galiardi, and David Jones, who remain very much in play…There’s interest in Jets defenseman Johnny Oduya, a UFA this summer…The Wild are fielding calls for goalie Josh Harding….
ESPN.COM: Katie Strang reports the Islanders are not looking to trade goaltender Evgeni Nabokov by the deadline. The Islanders remain in contract talks with Nabokov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing sense the Rangers and Maple Leafs are backing out of the Nash sweepstakes because of the high asking price…The Avalanche, who are battling for a playoff berth, would want something in return for either of those three to help them right now….Ditto the Jets for Oduya….The Wild could get a decent return for Harding, especially after the Blues landed a second round pick today from Ottawa for Ben Bishop…Even if Nabokov isn’t re-signed by tomorrow’s deadline, the Islanders are unlikely to move him
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports Canadien Tomas Plekanec’s agent denied a rumor his client was willing to waive his “no-trade” clause or had been asked to do so.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hickey’s original report claimed Plekanec’s agent had told management his client was willing to waive his clause, which was subsequently met with a swift denial by the center’s agent. Certainly stirred things up for about 20 minutes or so this morning on Twitter!
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen is counting down toward the trade deadline, looking at teams which must make a trade, and players believed garnering interest. Check it out regularly for updates.
THE CITY PAPER: David Boclair recently reported multiple sources claimed the Nashville Predators had made an offer for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ric Nash. Using the template of the Predators successful pitch in 2007 to Philadelphia for Peter Forsberg, Boclair suggests “Nashville’s offer for Nash could include the likes of Colin Wilson (Nash would take his spot in the lineup), Ryan Ellis or Jonathon Blum and multiple other picks and/or prospects.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The question is, could the Predators outbid the Rangers or Maple Leafs, and if they could, would Nash agree to waive his movement clause to go to Nashville. I’m not suggesting he wouldn’t, but we don’t know where he’d prefer to go. It’s rumored he’d prefer to go to Eastern Conference teams, and if that’s true, then any offer from the Predators is moot.