TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger have the latest on the future of Ryan Callahan with the New York Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings' search for scoring and what's next with the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.
What's the latest on trade talk surrounding New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan?
Dreger: At least one team has requested and was given permission to speak with Stephen Bartlett, who represents Ryan Callahan, to gauge what his contract demands might be. Now, all along it's been believed that he's looking for at least seven years and north of $6 million per year. We know the St. Louis Blues have expressed interest. There's talk of Chris Stewart being involved in some type of a package. There's a lot of interest and it continues to build.
LeBrun: I spoke to three team executives today who said that Glen Sather is doing this because he still wants to sign Callahan. He's putting pressure on his captain, so there are still some people who don't quite believe that they're going to go all the way and trade him. I should mention that the Columbus Blue Jackets are another team keeping an eye on the Callahan hunt.
Dreger: Unless his contract demands soften, there's a 100 per cent chance that he's getting traded by the New York Rangers. They're not paying him what he's asking.
Note: According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Rangers general manager Glen Sather has offered Callahan a five-year extension worth approximately $30 million but sources say the Rangers captain has held firm on looking for a seven-year, $42 million deal.
How badly do the Los Angeles Kings need/want scoring?
McKenzie: They desperately need scoring and, unfortunately for them, there's nothing front line available right at this moment. Matt Moulson would be a great rental from the Buffalo Sabres, but the price is high - a first-round pick and a prospect - and he's injured until after the Olympic break. Mike Cammalleri is another rental who'd be very good. The conventional wisdom is that he'll become available, but right now, the Calgary Flames are still talking to him about a contract, so technically, he's not yet available. On Thomas Vanek, the New York Islanders have to decide what they're going to do, but that will be a last-minute decision right at the deadline. Either they're all in adding players or selling Thomas Vanek as a rental to cut their losses. But here's another interesting name: Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers. He's got two years left, not a rental, at a $4.8 million cap hit. It will be tough to make the numbers work on a cap-heavy team like the Los Angeles Kings, but he is a player of interest.
Has the Vancouver Canucks' recent flurry of injuries changed the way they're going to approach the deadline and the rest of the year?
LeBrun: I can tell you this - they will not be in on the rental market and I think there have been some decisions made in Vancouver over the past week, which is this: We're not good enough to go out and beat a Chicago or St. Louis or some of the powerhouse teams in the West. We're not giving up on the season, but if we make a trade, it's for a young player. It's time to retool and reset in Vancouver after all these years of contending. It's all about youth and other than the Sedin twins, I think all bets are off for almost any other player on that roster. Alexander Edler on defence will get a lot of interest probably after the Olympics. Interesting times ahead, in my opinion, in Vancouver.
After Friday's trade of Mark Fraser, are there any other deals on the horizon for the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Dreger: The Toronto Maple Leafs have informed teams that they're willing to move Nikolai Kulemin, but this isn't simply getting rid of salary to make some room for the return of Dave Bolland or anything like that. The Leafs need more than a pick. They need a player in return, but no offers yet on the table that make sense.