TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have the latest on the possible movement involving the Canucks' Ryan Kesler, the Rangers' Ryan Callahan, and the Senators' Jason Spezza.
Of all the names out there who could realistically be dealt by Wednesday's deadline, Ryan Kesler remains No. 1 on the most desired list. And while we're not sure if they're any closer to a deal, we now have a defined price. What is that?
Bob McKenzie: We also know he's got the No. 1 highest price on the trade market right now of anybody. And that defined price is three significant components. No. 1, a 20 to 25-year-old established National Hockey League centre, who could immediately step into the lineup and fill much of the void created by the loss of Kesler. No. 2, a top-end prospect. Preferably a forward, but if it was a defenceman it would give the Canucks flexibility to trade one of their existing defenceman down the road. And No. 3, a first-round pick. If the Vancouver Canucks don't get close to that package for Ryan Kesler, I do not believe they'll trade him. If they do get offers along those lines they are going to seriously consider it.
Darren Dreger: You can add the Toronto Maple Leafs to the list of many teams who have expressed interest and have talked to Vancouver Canucks' mangement about Ryan Kesler, but as Bob identifies, the asking price is very, very lofty. So in Toronto Maple Leafs terms, if a deal were to be reached it would likely include Nazem Kadri. It would likely include either Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly and that first-round draft pick. And if Morgan Rielly is must as part of this deal then it's unlikely it happens.
Ryan Callahan and the Rangers continue to try and get a contract done and the message has always been, 'sign a contract or you're gone.' Has that perhaps forced them to move a little closer?
Pierre LeBrun: Well the Ryan Callahan camp has moved. They've been doing the movement here of late. They've gone from seven years to six years, which was a major sticking point. They've reduced their asking price financially, it's south of $6.5 million now. So really, there's less than half a million between the Rangers offer of $6 million a year times six and Callahan's latest offer. As far as Callahan is concerned it's up to the Rangers now to respond from that offer that was made on Friday. But again, the clock is absolutely ticking. Most people around the Rangers believe they will not budge from six times six. Callahan feels he's just made his move.
Ottawa GM Bryan Murray quick to deny Jason Spezza trade chatter out of Ottawa, but his name did come up in conversations?
Dreger: Right, and a bit of a sketchy denial by Bryan Murray of the Sens, but in saying that I think we have to keep it in perspective here. Are the Ottawa Senators shopping their captain? Absolutely not. But a couple of teams have recognized that Spezza's name was brought up in a general sense, in a bigger dialogue. Now is there a time to create a trade of this magnitude before Wednesday? Very, very unlikely. But do we see a day where Jason Spezza absolutely gets traded? No question about that. But Bryan Murray and the Sens have spent a lot of time this season trying to find a winger to play with Spezza, so this is all part of the general dialogue that happens this time of year.
McKenzie: Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray trying to get Chris Phillips signed. They've extended a one-year offer to Phillips, he's looking for a two-year deal. If they can't come to an agreement on a one-year deal then Chris Phillips could very well be in play between now and 3pm at the deadline. Also on the Ottawa front, when the Buffalo Sabres acquired Chris Stewart from the St. Louis Blues on Friday, a lot of us thought there was going to be a very quick flip where Stewart would go to Ottawa and prospects would come back the other way. Right now the talks are very cool between Buffalo and Ottawa. Not to say that it couldn't happen, but it's not close to happening at this point.
And Stewart is not the only newly-acquired Sabre who might be flipped.
LeBrun: Let's put it this way, I don't think Buffalo wants to acquire a rental, which is what they got in Jaroslav Halak. They are trying to move him. Minnesota has poked their nose in there, but the Minnesota Wild trying to look for a goalie has looked at a number of options. Halak is one, Martin Broduer is another option. Now, no one knows what Lou Lamoriello has in his mind when it comes to Martin Brodeur. I dont know if Martin Brodeur, at this hour, knows himself in terms of whether or not Lou Lamoriello will trade the NHL's all-time winningest goalie, but Minnesota I think would be a fit that Marty Brodeur would accept a move to.
Buffalo might be the epicentre of TradeCentre. Might Ehrhoff be traded?
Dreger: Well there's a lot of interest in Christian Ehrhoff, as there is in Tyler Myers. In Ehrhoff you get a bit more experience. I know the Detroit Red Wings would like to beef up their blue line. There's some interest in Christian Ehrhoff but Kenny Holland is trying to hold on to what he has in his youth, so the asking price is going to have to come down.
What about L.A.'s search for a scorer?
LeBrun: Well they've been at it longer than anyone but haven't made that deal. The price is too high is what I was told today. Yes there's still interest in Matt Moulson in Buffalo, yes there's still interest in Mike Cammalleri and a couple other rentals, but unless the price comes down I think L.A. won't do anything. It really has to come down by Wednesday for them.
And a new name on the list.
McKenzie: Stephane Robidas of the Dallas Stars. Injured until mid-March, not expected back in the lineup, but a lot of contending teams, teams like the Anaheim Ducks, the Boston Bruins would like a veteran defenceman prsence on a contedning team. Lot of interest in Robidas.