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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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Five new names joined TSN’s latest Trade Bait board, but the focus still remains on Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane.

The record was corrected this week on the asking price with Sabres GM Jason Botterill reportedly looking for not only a first-round pick, a prospect and a conditional draft pick should Kane re-sign in his new hometown, but also a roster player in addition.

Asking price aside, the big question is: What kind of market exists for Kane?

The Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and possibly St. Louis Blues are believed to be among the interested parties.

Kane, 26, is one of 10 left wings with scoring prowess on the board.

At least six NHL clubs are seeking a centre before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, according to our breakdown of the Eastern and Western conferences.

But only three centres ­– Mark Letestu, Andrew Shaw and newcomer Jean-Gabriel Pageau – are on the board. Pageau joins the Trade Bait list alongside Michael Grabner, Jack Johnson, Nick Holden and Aaron Dell.

The New York Rangers will be a team to watch over the next six weeks. They shellacked the Flyers on Tuesday night to move into the top wild-card spot, but goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has masked a lot of New York’s inconsistencies. The sense is GM Jeff Gorton is willing to listen to a variety of scenarios.

Grabner would certainly shoot toward the top of the board if Gorton decides to sell. New York’s fleet-of-foot winger netted his 20th goal of the season against Philly and just about every team can afford his $1.65 million cap hit.

One name who did not make the list was San Jose defenceman Paul Martin, who passed through waivers on Tuesday. Martin, 36, has another year remaining on his contract at $4.85 million and has appeared in just three NHL games this season.

Instead, with a few teams sniffing around the goaltending market, Dell is a name to watch in San Jose. Some view Dell as the next starter-in-waiting in the NHL. He topped the Coyotes on Tuesday night for his eighth quality start in 13 tries this season, pushing his record to 10-4-2 with a .925 save percentage.

With such a cheap ticket at $625,000 - and a pending UFA - Dell may be the goaltender teams target now with an eye toward next year, as a potentially better and less expensive option than Buffalo’s Robin Lehner or Detroit’s Petr Mrazek.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Top 25 Trade Bait board:

 

The Top 25

 
Player Pos Age 17-18 Cap Hit GP G PTS Past 17-18 Clause
1. Evander Kane, BUF LW 26 $5.25M 44 16 36 UFA  
2. Patrick Maroon, EDM LW 29 $1.5M 44 11 24 UFA  
3. Mike Green, DET RD 32 $6M 44 5 25 UFA NTC
4. Mike Hoffman, OTT LW 28 $5.19M 42 11 29 2 years M-NTC
5. Max Pacioretty, MTL LW 29 $4.5M 44 12 25 1 year  
6. Thomas Vanek, VAN LW 33 $2M 45 13 32 UFA  
7. Alex Galchenyuk, MTL LW 23 $4.9M 44 11 26 2 years  
8. Erik Gudbranson, VAN RD 26 $3.5M 32 1 3 UFA  
9. Zack Smith, OTT LW 29 $3.25M 28 3 10 3 years M-NTC
10. James Neal, VGK LW 30 $5M 43 18 29 UFA M-NTC
11. Michael Grabner, NYR LW 30 $1.65M 45 20 24 UFA  
12. Ian Cole, PIT LD 28 $2.1M 36 2 7 UFA  
13. David Perron, VGK RW 29 $3.75M 36 9 34 UFA M-NTC
14. Andrew Shaw, MTL C/RW 26 $3.9M 43 10 19 4 years  
15. Rick Nash, NYR  LW 33 $7.8M 45 11 20 UFA M-NTC
16. Aaron Dell, SJS G 28 $625K 18 2.26 .925 UFA  
17. Mark Letestu, EDM C 32 $1.8M 46 8 16 UFA  
18. Robin Lehner, BUF G 26 $4M 33 2.94 .910 RFA  
19. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, OTT C 25 $3.1M 42 6 15 2 years  
20. Jack Johnson, CBJ LD 31 $4.35M 46 2 7 UFA  
21. Nick Holden, NYR LD 30 $1.65M 40 3 8 UFA  
22. Petr Mrazek, DET G 25 $4M 13 3.43 .894 RFA  
23. Cody Franson, CHI RD 30 $1M 23 1 7 UFA  
24. Dion Phaneuf, OTT LD 32 $7M 40 3 13 3 years M-NTC
25. Tyson Barrie, COL RD 26 $5.5M 34 4 27 2 years