NHL

Dreger: Flyers targeting Predators' Hamhuis

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Darren Dreger
3/1/2010 7:33:56 PM
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6:28pm et - More and more it appears as if the Philadelphia Flyers are targeting the Nashville Predators and defenseman, Dan Hamhuis.

Sources say the two teams have had discussions, with the Predators asking for a young defenseman, believed to be Ryan Parent in return. 

Hamhuis is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

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10:07am et - The NHL's roster freeze lifted at midnight eastern, freeing general managers to close on any trade discussions that took place during the Olympic break.

Based on the level of those discussions, there's a good chance we'll see more movement in the next 24-48 hours.

Here's what we know,

As is the case most years, veteran defensemen are a hot commodity.

The Boston Bruins are anxiously trying to improve their blue line with a player who can play in their top four.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes are also among the many teams scouring the market for help on the backend.

The Carolina Hurricanes have at least three defensemen Canes general manager Jim Rutherford would be willing to deal.

Joe Corvo, Aaron Ward and Andrew Alberts are attracting attention, with the return for Corvo expected to be high. 

Corvo returned to the Hurricanes lineup in early February after missing 28 games recovering from a cut on his leg.

By sheer volume, the Florida Panthers appear poised to be make the most significant changes.

This should come as no suprise based on a letter Panthers ownership sent to its fan base last month outlining the need for change and the reality another overhaul was about to begin.

At least seven current Panthers are available, including young forwards Rostislav Olesz and Kamil Kreps.

Olesz, taken 7th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by Florida has 13 goals and 13 assists this season, while Kreps, a 2nd round pick by the Panthers, 38th overall in 2003 has struggled offensively this year with just 6 points in 55 games.

Veteran forwards, Steven Reinprecht and Cory Stillman are also being shopped. 

Reinprecht's 33 points ranks 3rd on the team, while Stillman has recorded 25 points in 41 games, proving at 36 years of age, he may provide some depth for any playoff team looking for the kind of experience a two time Stanley Cup Champion can provide.

Nick Tarnasky and Radek Dvorak are also believed to be on Florida's trade list, along with defensemen Jordan Leopold and Dennis Seidenberg.

There has been much speculation about the possibility Florida is listening to offers on goaltender, Tomas Vokoun.

Sources say, at the moment, the Panthers are not considering moving Vokoun, however in the state this franchise is in, all options and any serious requests will be looked at.

In other words, if someone takes a hard run at Vokoun with an unbelievable offer, Panthers gm Randy Sexton will have to give it some thought.

The Edmonton Oilers are eager to be Canada's most aggressive deadline dealers, however the challenge of moving veterans such as Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios remains a tough sell.  These players have value with the deadline looming, however the Oilers may have to alter the expected return to lure more interest.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have at least two offers on the table for Alexei Ponikarovsky.  However, unless either offer is improved, the Leafs may wait it out to see how high the price will climb before Wednesday.

Leafs forwards, Lee Stempniak and Wayne Primeau are also attracting calls and will likely get moved as Toronto's rebuild continues.

With Kovalchuk and Phaneuf out of the way, it seems unlikely we'll see anymore blockbuster deals before March 3rd, however based on the level of discussions and the quality of players in play, there is reason to believe TSN's Tradecentre will once again be very busy.

 

Dan Hamhuis (Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
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