With less than one week to go until the March 5 NHL trade deadline, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun has the latest on Ottawa's Chris Phillips, Vancouver's Ryan Kesler, and the Rangers' Ryan Callahan and offers some insight on their situations and potential trade status.
What are the chances that Chris Phillips is still an Ottawa Senator after the trade deadline?
Pierre LeBrun: Well there's still a chance, because the Senators are trying to sign him. They have already talked to him and they would like to do a one-year extension with him. If they get a yes on that extension, then he stays put, but if they can't get him signed it puts Ottawa in a tough spot because they are five points out - they're not in a playoff spot right now. If the next couple of games don't go well, they're even further apart from a playoff spot and I can tell you this, the Boston Bruins and Peter Chiarelli - who was formerly with the Ottawa Senators - knows Phillips and Boston would be all over him if he's put on the trade market by Ottawa. The next couple of games are huge in terms of his future and what the Senators do with him.
Are there any new developments on the Ryan Kesler trade front?
LeBrun: Kesler is the biggest name on the market right now. He didn't officially ask for a trade - I think that's true - but everyone knows that from both his side and the Canucks side, a change of scenery might be the best thing. I was told on Friday by a source, and this is now public, that the action has absolutely picked up and the phone is ringing off the hook in Vancouver. So many teams want to at least educate themselves about what it would cost to get in on the Ryan Kesler market. And again, the Canucks are telling everyone "we don't have to move him before Wednesday." If they don't get their price met (which is very high) then they can wait until June to possibly trade him. The Flyers, Blue Jackets, Red Wings - of course he's from Michigan - the list goes on as there's so much interest in Kesler.
How does Dan Girardi's six-year deal impact Ryan Callahan with the New York Rangers?
LeBrun: I do feel in my heart of hearts that it has an impact and that's where it starts with Callahan. I have this gut feeling that he might soften on these contract demands and if he does, I think he can re-sign with the Rangers. And that's because this team is on a roll, he's the captain, and he and Girardi are close so look for that to maybe have an impact. But certainly if he doesn't soften on his contract demands then the Rangers are going to trade him. One small note on Girardi, by the way - his no-movement clause, which is in his new extension, starts right away. He doesn't have to wait until July 1 when his new deal kicks in.