The Penguins, Hurricanes, Stars and Blue Jackets have had discussions with the Leafs about forward Nik Antropov. Leafs GM Brian Burke is driving up the price for Antropov
If Blues forward Andy McDonald hits the free agent market, Brian Burke will look to bring him in.
Rob Scuderi has been one of the Penguins most consistent defensemen this season. Scuderi could triple his current salary on the open market and sources indicate the Rangers will make a play for him if he opts for free agency. If Mark Eaton is worth two million per season, Scuderi’s representatives will be using that as a starting point in talks with the Penguins.
The Minnesota Wild have inquired about Lightning forward Martin St. Louis. The Wild have Marian Gaborik‚Äôs salary coming off the books next season but their best hope to add a top 6 forward is through a trade. Elite Players just don‚Äôt want to sign with the Wild. They made a five year offer to Marian Hossa last summer and failed to resign Brian Rolston. Hossa had no interest.
Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle is finally open to waiving his no trade clause. Kaberle was nearly traded to the Flyers last season for Jeff Carter. For the Flyers, sometimes the best trade is the trade you don‚Äôt make. If Kaberle agrees to waive his NTC last year, Carter is in a Leafs uniform.
Philadelphia remains interested as are the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and the Montreal Canadiens. The Sabres could join the Kaberle sweepstakes but ownership would have to approve adding more salary. Kaberle has a cap hit of $4.25 million for the next two seasons. Unlikely that Kaberle would waive his NTC to Columbus and Buffalo
The Stars, Devils have been actively exploring the trade market.
Rich Curran the agent for Brendan Shanahan claims there are four Eastern Conference teams still interested in Shanahan. I‚Äôm a bit leery of that but Carolina is among the teams being mentioned. They need to clear some salary and would he actually be interested in going there? Likely not. The Bruins have discussed bringing Shanahan in and he would jump at the chance to sign with them. New Jersey¬†could still make a play for Shanahan.¬†Shanahan has declined another inquiry from the Nashville Predators. The only team in the Western Conference that interests Shanahan is believed to be the Chicago Blackhawks. The longer Shanahan isn‚Äôt signed, the likely hood he doesn‚Äôt play this season.
Around the NHL
Patrick Marleau scored his 20th, 21st goals of the season Friday night. Marleau is flourishing this season in San Jose. Marleau was shopped at last summers draft after scoring only 19 goals last season.
Big win for the Columbus Blue Jackets shutting out the Washington Capitals 3-0. The Capitals lost for only the second time this season at home. Alexander had 12 shots on goal in 24 shifts and attempted 24 shots.
The Lightning owners continue to indicate that Vinny Lecavalier is not on the trade block but there is a ton of talk right now that he could be moved. Lecavalier signed a 11-year, $86.5 million contract extension this past summer, but his no-trade clause in the new contract doesn’t take effect until July 1st, 2009. There is nothing preventing the Lightning from making a trade.
The Lightning are receiving a lot of calls about Jeff Halpren.
Steven Stamkos was a healthy scratch for the 1st time in his career. He has been pointless in five straight games. On a side note The Lighting beat the Ducks 4-3 Friday night. Ryan Malone added two goals to give him 12 on the season. Malone is going to end up right where he always does in the 22-25 goal range.
The New York Rangers lost 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres and have now dropped three of four games.
Pittsburgh currently sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.