TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have the latest on the possible movement involving the Canucks' Ryan Kesler, the Rangers' Ryan Callahan, and the Maple Leafs' Dave Bolland.
Not long ago Bob, you mentioned that the Vancouver Canucks are willing to deal anybody but the Sedin twins. What's the latest on that front?
Bob McKenzie: The team that I'm most interested to see what, if anything, they do is the Vancouver Canucks. Now I can tell you this, there are multiple teams in the National Hockey League that are looking at veteran defenceman Alex Edler and veteran forward Ryan Kesler and are trying to find out if the Canucks are possibly serious about moving these guys and if so, what the price is going to be.
Now keep in mind a couple of things - nobody in Vancouver leaves if they don't want to leave as there are lots of no-move, no-trade clauses, and we also want to see what happens with Kesler with the MRI coming back on the finger from the shot that he blocked at the Olympics.
In New York talks have clearly broken down between Ryan Callahan and the Rangers with Callahan set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Is it now a foregone conclusion that he's going to move?
Darren Dreger: I'm told that it's 99 per cent guaranteed that Ryan Callahan will get traded by the New York Rangers. There are many teams involved in this process. We know that the St. Louis Blues have been the most consistent in showing interest, and there's some connection with the Tampa Bay Lightning and other teams as well. But there's an ongoing back-and-forth with defenceman Dan Girardi as well. Many predicted that this deal would be done by now to keep Girardi with the Rangers. If he's not signed by March 5, the trade deadline, there's also a 99 per cent chance that he gets traded.
McKenzie: And you're right Darren, there have been no talks over the Olympic break between Callahan and the Rangers. There has been ongoing dialogue with Girardi - there seems to be a little bit of a difference in term, maybe a little less than $500,000 a year difference in money, but they're working and trying to get that done.
In Toronto, Dave Bolland is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. How are negotiations going there, and what are the chances he's still a Maple Leaf on March 6?
Dreger: Well this is going to be a real difficult negotiation for the Toronto Maple Leafs, very similar to the one they had with Tyler Bozak creeping up to the trade deadline last year. Of course trading Bolland is an option, it's believed he wants as much as $5 million, maybe better than $5 million per year to stay with the Leafs to avoid unrestricted free agency. So the Leafs have a tough decision to make, since they would rather pay him in the $4 million range than the $5 million range. So do they hold him, and use him as their own rental and take their chances on trying to sign him? They need to make a hockey deal and not a trade that would include draft picks coming back the other way.
Then what do the Leafs need?
Dreger: The Leafs need a top-four defenceman and they're also in the market for a top-nine forward. Again, Dave Nonis is less interested in a rental player and more interested in adding pieces that are going to help this team in the playoffs.
What's the latest on Ryan Miller's status with the Buffalo Sabres?
McKenzie: There have been reports out there that the Sabres are trying to sign Miller. My clear understanding is that the priority and the preference is still to try and get a trade for netminder Ryan Miller and virtually any other player on the roster. General manager Tim Murray is open for business, and there isn't a single untouchable on this team, maybe with the exception of Zemgus Girgensons. The New York Islanders are also conducting an auction for forward Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andrew MacDonald. As many as six teams have enquired on Vanek, and there was at least one serious offer that was rejected by the Islanders. At least seven teams have enquired on McDonald but there have been no firm offers at this point.
Dreger: Some are suggesting that maybe there is a three-way deal involving the St. Louis Blues and perhaps the Minnesota Wild where Jaroslav Halak might be included. Maybe Jake Allen, I know the Buffalo Sabres would want to get him as part of a package. Again, that's the time of year it is and that's the type of rumour mongering that goes on creeping up to the deadline.
We're hearing that Mike Cammalleri has been offered a deal by the Calgary Flames. What are the chances that he remains a Flame after the deadline?
McKenzie: I think it's much more likely that he gets traded than remains a Flame, but there is a remote possibility that Cammalleri could get a deal done with the Flames. But at this point the smart money suggests that he would be - along with those guys like Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek and others - as a goal-scoring winger who could be had as a rental.