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The New York Rangers have a decision to make on forward Chris Kreider.
The San Jose Sharks’ Brenden Dillon could be an attractive option for a team looking for blueline help.
Former Ottawa Senator Dylan DeMelo now plays for the Winnipeg Jets. Photo taken Nov. 13, 2019.
The Anaheim Ducks are ready to wheel and deal.
And the word is general manager Bob Murray has no shortage of options on the table.
As the all-star break comes to a close with action resuming in the NHL on Monday night, the sense among league executives is the talk will finally start to heat up with the trade deadline set for Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.
League executives insist the Ducks, preparing for a full rebuild, want to be busy at the deadline and they’re open to just about any possibility, including taking bad contracts in exchange for prospects and picks. The belief is Murray isn’t willing to trade just anybody on his roster, but he’s certainly open for talks on several fronts.
A look at the roster indicates the options of moving players out may be limited because the Ducks have several with term on their deals. Contenders don’t want term at this time of year, which is why unrestricted free agents are attractive options, but if Murray is serious about taking bad contracts for picks, then that’s where the Ducks may have leverage.
OFF THE GLASS
The New York Rangers have a deadline decision looming on Chris Kreider, who has 17 goals and 32 points in 48 games. He’s making $4.525 million in the final year of his contract, and GM Jeff Gorton has to determine if he’s going to move the winger or sign him to an extension. The word is the Rangers are playing both sides of the fence with Kreider and aren’t sure which way to go. He told reporters in St. Louis on Thursday the two sides aren’t having any contract discussions, but maybe that’s because the organization hasn’t made a final decision. There are a lot of teams looking for help up front and the belief is the Boston Bruins would make a hard push for Kreider if the decision is made to deal him. Teams believe this will be a last-minute deal because Gorton isn’t in a hurry. … The Bruins aren’t the only team looking for scoring help; the Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues would all like to add forward depth before the post-season. One option for all the teams involved would be Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli because there’s a good chance the UFA will get moved and his name has been out there all season.
AROUND THE BOARDS
Not sure how many teams have shown interest — there’s no shortage of them looking for defenceman — but San Jose’s Brenden Dillon may be an option. After getting the backing of ownership last week to right the ship, Sharks GM Doug Wilson is determined to make deals and his mandate is get draft picks in return. Somebody should call Wilson and offer him a first-round pick, which would help the rebuilding job he needs to do because the Sharks’ 2020 first-round selection was sent to Ottawa as part of the Erik Karlsson deal. … The Kings are looking to move blueliner Alec Martinez. He has one year left with a cap hit of $4 million so that won’t be an easy task for GM Rob Blake. … Interim Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald has posted the “For Sale” sign and is looking to move the club’s UFAs, including defencemen Andy Greene and Sami Vatanen, along with forward Wayne Simmonds. Forward Kyle Palmieri was placed on injured reserve before the break, but league executives say his name is out there as well. According to CapFriendly, he has a modified no-trade clause with an eight-team list so he has some control over where he’s headed if the Devils go that route.
RUMOURS DU JOUR
Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon has been scouring the marketplace for a blueliner and a backup goalie to help the club get to the post-season. There’s some talk the Panthers have an interest in Ottawa defenceman Dylan DeMelo. He’s a UFA on July 1 and there’s no certainty that he’s going to be signed. Not sure what the asking price would be and the word is the Carolina Hurricanes may also be looking at DeMelo as an option. … A league executive noted Saturday that if the Senators do put centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau on the market before the deadline there will be no shortage of interest. The expectation is the club will have discussions with Pageau, an unrestricted free agent on July 1, to see what he’d like on a new deal and then make a decision. A proven playoff performer and a perfect third-line centre/penalty killer for any team headed to the post-season, the belief is in excess of 15 teams will show interest in Pageau. Anybody going to the playoffs is going to kick the tires because he knows his role and plays the right way. The belief is if GM Pierre Dorion decides to move Pageau, the asking price will be a first-round pick and a prospect. … Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has been calling around looking for a defenceman and so has Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff in recent weeks. … The expectation is there will be teams that will try to get ahead of the deadline and the prediction is Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford is going to try to go that route. “Doesn’t he always?” a league executive asked Saturday. Yes, good point. Rutherford believes in being aggressive in the marketplace and, as a result, he’s been able to have success.
Have a nice Sunday.
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