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SPORTSNET.CA: Chris Johnston reports Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis hinted he intends to be patient leading up to the April 3 NHL trade deadline. One player Nonis is open to dealing is defenseman Mike Komisarek, though he denied a recent report claiming the blueliner had requested a trade. He claimed Komisarek said if a trade was in the team’s best interest he wouldn’t stand in the way, but the defenseman prefers to try to return to the Leafs lineup.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle examined the difficulty the Leafs face moving Komisarek, whose contract still has a year at $4.25 million remaining on it, along with a limited no-movement clause which prevents them from clearing cap space by demoting him.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock reports the Carolina Hurricanes could be in the market to upgrade their defense to help out goalie Dan Ellis and call-up Justin Peters while Cam Ward is sidelined by a knee injury. He suggests Komisarek might be worth a look.

NJ.COM: Rich Chere wonders if Devils forward David Clarkson would sign with the Maple Leafs this summer as a UFA.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Komisarek’s salary and declining performance, I don’t expect the Leafs to get much interest in him via the trade market. He looks like a perfect candidate for a compliance (amnesty) buyout this summer. if the Hurricanes want a physical defenseman, a more affordable option could be Colorado’s Shane O’Brien. As for Clarkson, I expect the Devils will try to re-sign him, but if he becomes a UFA, the Leafs could be the front-runners for his services.

Could the Avalanche trade Paul Stastny?

Could the Avalanche trade Paul Stastny?

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater wonders if it may be time for the Avalanche to shop Paul Stastny now that Ryan O’Reilly is signed through next season, while Mike Chambers believes the Avs might look to move a veteran defenseman in order to keep Tyson Barrie in the lineup.

SPECTOR’S  NOTE: Stastny’s name has kicked around the rumor mill for the past two years, but with one season remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $6.6 million, the cap declining to $64.3 million for next season, and considering his declining production, I don’t see too many teams bidding for him. As for moving a blueline, Shane O’Brien seems the likely trade candidate, as he’s been a healthy scratch for most of this season.

SI.COM: Allan Muir wonders if the Edmonton Oilers recent acquisition of Mike Brown means winger Magnus Paajarvi might be on the way out. Paajarvi is just one of two Oilers eligible for demotion with passing through waivers, but Muir wonders if he has a future with the club.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the St. Louis Blues are reportedly looking at Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney. He also considers Nikolai Khabibulin a possible trade candidate, as he could provide insurance in goal for a playoff club. Ryan Jones and Ladislav Smid have also attracted some interest around the league. Both are UFAs this summer, but Matheson doesn’t see the Oilers moving either player. He also believes Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky could be in play this summer if the Oilers seek to move skill for size.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whitney and Khabibulin are the most likely to move before the trade deadline. I think they’ll try to re-sign Jone and Smid, as well as Gagner. Hemsky could be shopped this summer, though the  $5 million for next season could hurt his trade value.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren reports Senators GM Bryan Murray can’t find any scorers available in the trade market, and will likely look to within to fill the gaps in this lineup created by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray isn’t dealing from a position of strength, so rivals are trying to get him to part with one or two of his promising young players. Better to ride things out and hope for the best than sacrifice the future for a quick fix.

WASHINGTON POST: Neil Greenberg wonders if the Capitals might move center Mike Ribeiro by the trade deadline if they’re no closer to playoff contention by that time. Ribeiro is among the few bright spots in the Capitals miserable season, and is eligible for UFA status this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Capitals aren’t in playoff contention by the deadline, and unless Ribeiro wants to re-sign for a reasonable contract, they should shop him.

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reports the tight standings are making it difficult for the Blues to make a trade to fill the gaps created by injuries in their roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trade market should improve over the next three-four weeks, but will it come in time to help the Blues?