TradeCentre: Wednesday's rumours from around the NHL

{eot} Staff
2/22/2012 11:30:08 AM
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With Monday's NHL Trade Deadline looming, teams are making decisions on whether to buy or sell and deciding which players can make the biggest difference or hold the greatest value.

Check out today's trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat, and follow each day until Deadline Day for all the updates.

Dreger on Nash, Leafs and Oilers

On Tuesday night, NHL Insider Darren Dreger broke down the latest on Rick Nash, the Toronto Maple Leafs plans and the Edmonton Oilers.

Dreger reports that the San Jose Sharks are a strong contender for Nash, but they won't include Logan Couture in a deal. Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson won't discuss specifics on any of the deals he's working on, but tells TSN there has been a lot of creativity suggested with a variety of his players.

Dreger goes on to say that Nash isn't focused solely on the next four months and where his best chance to win a Stanley Cup might be. The 27-year-old is about to make a life-altering decision on where he wants to spend the next six-plus years of his life while investing in the community the way he has in Columbus.

The Maple Leafs abundance of defencemen makes the team popular with clubs looking for blueline help. According to Dreger, Jake Gardiner is unavailable, and the only way that Luke Schenn would be moved is if the Leafs were made an offer they couldn't refuse. Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson and Keith Aulie are also generating interest.

Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, Edmonton and Winnipeg are among the teams still searching for defencemen.

According to sources, the Oilers' asking price for Ales Hemsky - which is an NHL roster player in return - is too steep, given his lack of offensive production and potential status as a rental.

Going To Market

The New Jersey Devils, who have gone 9-1-1 since the All-Star Break are going to roll the dice when it comes impending unrestricted free agent Zach Parise, according to Mark Everson of the New York Post.

General manager Lou Lamoriello told the Post that Parise would not be moved at the deadline, despite the fact that the club could potentially lose him for nothing on July 1.

"It hasn't been a distraction because our general manager has made it very clear that it's not an issue, he's not going anywhere. That ended the distraction, right there," head coach Peter DeBoer said.

The Waiting Game

According to Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province, the injury to Canucks forward Byron Bitz might affect the team's trade deadline strategy.

The big forward who has missed over a year due to four different surgeries has recently returned to the club, but after seven games, he needs time off. If he can't be in the lineup on a regular basis, the club might look to add some size on or before Monday.

"It's a complicated time of year, put it that way," head coach Alain Vigneault said. "But I don't want to over-react. This might be just a minor setback."

Stars for Sale

Dallas Stars forwards Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro could be on the trade market, according to Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun.

LeBrun states that the club has received calls on both players and would move one or both of them in the right deal.

Ott, meanwhile, has two years left on his deal after this season which carries at $2.95 million cap hit but pays him $3.2 million in salary.  He doesn't want to leave the only NHL team he's ever played for.

"It obviously makes you a little nervous...But I want to stay here. I want to be part of the solution." Ott told on Tuesday.

Ribeiro has one year left on his deal and he'll make $5 million next season. He also has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to name 10 teams that he won't accept a trade to.

Captial Gains or Losses?

Chuck Gormley of Comcast Sports Washington wonders if it's time for the Capitals, who have lost five of their last six games, to unload their soon-to-be unrestricted free agents.

Gormley states that Mike Knuble, Alex Semin and Dennis Wideman could each be moved if the Caps elect to sell.

If the club becomes a buyer at the deadline, general manager George McPhee will be careful with which assets he deals, as he told reporters he would like to keep a lot of the team's future assets.

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