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Dreger: MacArthur a popular target for preying NHL GMs

Darren Dreger
2/24/2011 11:29:04 PM
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur remains a popular target for preying NHL general managers. The Leafs would like to keep MacArthur, but if his value continues to climb leading up to deadline day, Toronto may make the move.

Negotiations on a contract extension for the pending restricted free agent are underway, so Maple Leafs management will have to weigh the offers they receive for MacArthur against a return that could exceed the two picks, a first and third, Toronto received from Philadelphia in the Kris Versteeg trade.

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray and veteran defenceman Chris Phillips' agent, JP Barry, are continuing contract negotiations with more discussions expected to take place in the next couple of days. Murray is trying to determine what Phillips' term and financial low-point is. Phillips wants to maximize his value, foregoing what the free agent market may offer in July.

While Murray negotiates, he's also listening to any trade interest Phillips is attracting.

With the addition of Brent Sopel, the broad assumption is the Montreal Canadiens are no longer interested in either Chris Phillips or Bryan McCabe.

However, the Sopel trade may also suggests the lower body injury Jaroslav Spacek suffered is more significant than the Montreal Canadiens originally feared. The full extent of Spacek's injury is expected to be determined on Monday following a scheduled MRI.

Darren Dreger

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