The latest on Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Antti Niemi, Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Winnik, Erik Condra, Malcolm Subban and more.
Rumors from TSN’s insiders.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports it’s possible the Toronto Maple Leafs could move Dion Phaneuf before the trade deadline but doubts it will happen because of his contract. He also expects attempts to move Phil Kessel could drag into the offseason…Pierre LeBrun reports the Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins could target Leafs forward Daniel Winnik. …Dreger doesn’t expect the New York Rangers will trade pending UFA forward Mats Zuccarello if he’s unsigned by the trade deadline…The Nashville Predators intend to continue contract talks with pending UFA center Mike Fisher, but he won’t be traded at the deadline…LeBrun told TSN 1290 the San Jose Sharks are taking calls on pending UFA goalie Antti Niemi. The Sharks are hanging onto a playoff berth by a slim margin, LeBrun believes they want to make the playoffs but also replenish on the fly.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing really new here, though I will suggest that as long as the Sharks are in playoff contention they won’t move Niemi. A free fall in the standings between now and March 2 could change that.
Latest on the Devils.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti believes the New Jersey Devils are likely to be sellers at the upcoming NHL trade deadline. Potential free agents Jaromir Jagr, Scott Gomez, Marek Zidlicky, Steve Bernier, Michael Ryder, Martin Havlat, Jordin Tootoo and Mark Fraser could be available. Jagr, Zidlicky and Gomez could be their most intriguing rental players.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Jagr doesn’t see any reason for the Devils to retain him at this point. Though he stresses it’s not as though he doesn’t feel wanted and isn’t requesting a trade, Jagr can’t help the Devils make the playoffs this season. Zidlicky and Patrik Elias claim they haven’t been asked to waive their no-trade clauses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr and Zidlicky are goners at the deadline. I doubt Elias is going anywhere. GM Lou Lamoreillo is very loyal toward certain players and I doubt he’ll ask Elias to waive his no-trade clause.
Avalanche and Coyotes talking trade?
THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic and Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney were observed sitting together during the morning skate before last night’s Coyotes-Avalanche game at the Pepsi Center. Frei notes Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has been a fixture in this season’s rumor mill and the Avalanche are in need of a quality defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My thanks to “Shawn” for sending this in. Maybe Sakic and Maloney were talking trade. Maybe they were discussing a swap of Yandle for Ryan O’Reilly. Or maybe they were just shooting the breeze. As Frei points out, there’s no way to know what they were discussing. Nobody overheard their conversation.
Bruins showcasing Subban?
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Amalie Benjamin reports the Bruins have called up goaltender Malcolm Subban, leading to speculation they could be showcasing the promising netminder for a trade.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Bob McKenzie acknowledges anything’s possible but believes the Bruins don’t want to move Subban.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins prefer to retain Subban, but Tuukka Rask is entrenched as their starter. If they get a decent offer they’ll listen, but I’ll be surprised if Subban moves.
Other notable rumors.
NBC SPORTS: Ryan Dadoun reports of speculation the Toronto Maple Leaf seek two draft picks for Daniel Winnik, perhaps two second-round picks or second and a third rounder.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports forward Erik Condra could be the Senators most tradeable asset.
DELAWARE ONLINE: Dave Isaac reports the Philadelphia Flyers recent improvement won’t turn GM Ron Hextall into a buyer to improve their playoff chances. While making the postseason would be great, Hextall is keeping his eye on the future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big departure from Hextall’s predecessors, who weren’t shy about deadline wheeling and dealing. Hextall definitely doesn’t want to sacrifice his futures for a quick fix.