Dreger: Trade talks heats up as the deadline approaches

Darren Dreger
2/28/2009 5:41:01 PM
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Coyotes' defenceman Derek Morris is ready to move on.
Sources say Morris has given Phoenix general manager Don Maloney a list of teams he would lift his no-trade clause to join.  Rather than play and potentially risk injury, Morris is likely to sit out until the Coyotes work out a deal, starting with tonight's game against St. Louis.

Interested teams waiting for Ducks general manager Bob Murray to decide whether to move Chris Pronger now or in the summer include the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues have the cap space to absorb Pronger's contract and sources say the fact Pronger has family in St. Louis could make his former team an attractive trade contender.

Colorado's Ryan Smyth has a no-movement clause and hasn't been approached to waive it, which diminishes the likelihood that he'll get traded. However the Los Angeles Kings are believed to have interest in Smyth as Kings' management prepares to add experienced talent to a team expected to be very strong as early as next season.

The Avalanche are trying to cut payroll, a process that may become a primary focus this summer which will drag the speculation into the off-season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are about to get busy.

Sources say Leafs GM Brian burke will push centre Dominic Moore to declare his contract expectations in the next day or two.

Moore is believed to be seeking an extension just south of $3 million per season, which may encourage the Leafs to consider outside trade interest if the two sides are unable to close the gap.

Veteran forward Jamal Mayers is also a likely trade candidate in Toronto. While Mayers hasn't asked to be traded, he has made it clear to Leafs' management that he would welcome a change.

As the weekend unfolds, trade discussions will heat up.

Darren Dreger

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