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Posted On Monday, 02.28.2011 / 5:30 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

All the day's trade action in one live-blog extravaganza

There were 16 trades made in the NHL on Monday, none bigger than the deals that sent Dustin Penner to the Los Angeles Kings, Dennis Wideman to the Washington Capitals and Jason Arnott to the Caps in a separate deal.

If you're looking for a recap of all the day's action go here to read the six-hour live-blog that captured all the day's deals, rumors and signings.
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Posted On Monday, 02.28.2011 / 10:17 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Morning musings: Deadline Day

We're finally here - it is 2011 trade deadline day. For our final installment of Morning Musings, here is an update on players who could still be on the move.

BRAD RICHARDS - TSN Darren Dreger has reported Richards will only waive his no-trade clause to play for the New York Rangers. Richards is still out with a concussion and the Rangers would have to either include some salary in the deal or make another move to have enough room to add Richards -- and be willing to meet the Stars' asking price. All that sounds unlikely, but Rangers GM Glen Sather has rarely been afraid to make a big splash.

STEPHEN WEISS - Maybe the No. 2 center available and signed to a reasonable contract for two more seasons, but there have also been lots of reports that Florida GM Dale Tallon has placed a high price tag on him. Damien Cox of the Toronto Star says the Maple Leafs have incquired. Weiss has a no-movement clause.

ZACH BOGOSIAN
- Kevin Allen of USA Today reports it is unlikely Bogosian gets dealt today and that Atlanta GM Rick Dudley will need to be "bowled over." Bogosian is in the final year of his rookie contract and an RFA. He's also a 20-year-old defenseman who could still become a No. 1, franchise-type guy someday. The Thrashers should expect a lot back for him, but it would make sense for rebuilding teams that don't have that type of player in the system now (see: Edmonton, N.Y. Islanders) to inquire about Bogosian - that type of talent isn't available for trade all that often.

JASON ARNOTT - Tom Gulitti reports Arnott has spoken with New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello and told him he only wants to be traded to a team that is definitely in the playoffs -- otherwise he will stay and try to help the Devils complete a near-miraculous comeback. Arnott is a pending UFA with a $4.5 million cap hit. It seems like Arnott would be a good fit in Washington, but there could be others in the mix as well.

JOHN-MICHAEL LILES
- Liles has one more year with a $4.2 million cap hit. He's been linked to Toronto, but Elliote Freidman of CBC reports a potential deal fell through because the Leafs wanted a draft pick tossed in as well. James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reports that Toronto GM Brian Burke isn't willing to yield more than a third-round pick. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports the Blue Jackets are interested in Liles, and that he would be willing to waive his limited no-trade clause to go there.

RON HAINSEY
- Hainsey has two years left with a $4.5 million cap hit, and the Thrashers have Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and probably Bogosian to anchor the team's defense corps. ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reports teams have shown interest in the 29-year-old veteran who hasn't produced at the same rate in Atlanta that he did with Columbus.

CHRIS HIGGINS - Higgins is a pending UFA who is currently injured, but he was previously expected to be out four weeks and now it might be shorter than that. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reports Montreal, a team Higgins scored 84 goals for in four seasons at the start of his career, could be interested in bringing him back.

ZENON KONOPKA - Dreger reports Anaheim and Vancouver are interested in the fourth-line center/face-off specialist/tough guy. He's on a one-year deal and cheap at $600,000. Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Wild could also be in on Konopka.

MARTY REASONER - Another Florida forward, and another guy the Canucks could be interested in. Reasoner is in the final year of his deal and carries a $1.15 million cap hit. He has 13 goals and 27 points this season. Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province reports the Canucks are interested in Reasoner or Konpoka to center their fourth line. There could be other teams out there interested in having Reasoner play a bigger role.

Plenty of other names in the mix, but those are the latest updates. There could still be a lot of activity today, with a lot of focus on Edmonton (Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Steve Staios, James Vandermeer) and Florida (Weiss, Higgins, Reasoner, Radek Dvorak and maybe Tomas Vokoun) as the number of teams willing to sell is far outnumbered by the clubs looking to add.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 8:39 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Arnott willing to move to a contender

The New Jersey Devils moved within nine points of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with Sunday's 2-1 win at Florida. Now, GM Lou Lamoriello must decide whether or not to deal Jason Arnott.

The veteran center addressed the issue at the BankAtlantic Center after the victory and expressed a willingness to move if it meant playing for a team with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

"I don't want to go to a team that is battling to make the playoffs," he told the Newark Star-Ledger. "It would make more sense for me just to stay here (with the Devils) and battle it out and try and make it here. I'll have to see who is interested."

With only 20 games remaining in the regular season, New Jersey still has a long way to go to qualify for the playoffs despite its miraculous run.

"It's pretty tough," Arnott said of the Devils' chances. "I've been three or four points out with 15-20 games left and didn't make it. You have to have a lot go your way. The way the guys are playing now, anything is possible. You just have to have other teams lose and have a little luck on your side. It's tough but not impossible.

"We're still a long ways off making the playoffs. It would be a huge gamble to stay. But I have to weigh all my options."
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Posted On Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 8:38 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Stars to keep Richards?

Have the Dallas Stars ultimately decided to keep Brad Richards?

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times just reported on Twitter that the Stars, who entered Sunday's action in a virtual three-way tie for sixth place in the Western Conference, will indeed hang on to the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner rather than deal him.

Richards, who leads the Stars with 63 points (24 goals, 39 assists), is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The 30-year-old is undoubtedly one of the top centers in the League and has likely drawn interest from several teams over the past month. But with the Stars right in the mix for a playoff spot, you certainly can't blame them for wanting to keep Richards in the Lone Star State.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 3:06 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Bowman, McPhee ones to watch

Stan Bowman and George McPhee find themselves almost in lockstep as the trade deadline draws closer. The respective general managers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals have a plethora of prospects, a solid core in tact and still the need/want to upgrade their current rosters for the playoff push.

Let's start with the Capitals and McPhee, who is notorious for keeping his mouth shut at this time of the year. He picked up Marco Sturm off waivers from Los Angeles, which for all intents and purposes is a solid, no-lose move. But, are we really to believe that Sturm, who has had both of his knees operated on since 2008, is the difference-maker McPhee was hoping to land?

Sturm is a nice asset to have, a solid veteran who can play a good two-way game. He's probably suited for third-line duty to start, but that doesn't answer the Capitals need for a second-line center or a top-six scorer. Sturm used to be that and may very well be again, but it would be a stretch to think he can be that for the Capitals this season.

So, what does McPhee do? Ales Hemsky would be a nice addition, but Paul Stastny would be a better one because he will fill that second-line center role better than anyone available who isn't named Brad Richards. However, according to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, Stastny probably won't get moved. The Caps would have to shed salary to make it happen.

Let's move on to Hemsky, who could play on the Caps first or second line. Washington might have to give up one of its goalies, Semyon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth, to get him, and McPhee has been reluctant to move off his stance that the club is going with those two in net.

Perhaps the more attainable player is someone like New Jersey's Jason Arnott, who also would fill that hole in the middle of the Caps' second line and wouldn't cost nearly as much as someone like Stastny or Hemsky.

Washington isn't likely to trade top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, but center Cody Eakin, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goalie Braden Holtby could draw decent returns. Holtby in particular could be an interesting asset to peddle if McPhee doesn't plan to move Varlamov or Neuvirth. The Devils would have to be interested in acquiring a young goaltending prospect.

What about Bowman and the Hawks? They have plenty of draft picks that could be up for grabs in the right deal, and wouldn't seem to be put off by a rental either considering their core is locked up and already have plenty of their 2011-12 cap space tied up into 11 players (12 if you include young defenseman Nick Leddy).

Leddy, Kyle Beach, Dylan Olsen, Ivan Vishnevskiy, Jeremy Morin could all be in line to make the big club next season, joining Michael Frolik, Bryan Bickell, Jake Dowell and Viktor Stalberg as the role players behind the core guys.

All that being said, perhaps David Booth could be an intriguing option for the Blackhawks even though he's signed for four more seasons at $4.25 million. The Hawks would have to move some salary back to Florida to make the deal happen, but with former GM Dale Tallon now manning the Panthers' post it's not unreasonable to think a deal could be made.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 2:37 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Stastny, Foote staying put?

Would Colorado be willing to part with young center Paul Stastny or veteran defenseman Adam Foote? Adrian Dater of the Denver Post writes the Avalanche are not expected to move either player between now and the Monday deadline.

Foote is 39 years old and an unrestricted free agent at season's end, but Dater expects him to stay with the Avalanche through the end of the season. It is possible that Foote will retire at that point. He might have been a veteran, physical defenseman who could help in the leadership department without costing much - a low-risk move for a contender who wouldn't have expected Foote to play big minutes.

Stastny is an interesting case. He signed a five-year, $33 million contract before the 2009-10 season and was expected to be one of the centerpieces of Colorado's rebuilding plan. He was an Olympian for Team USA and had 79 points last season, but the 25-year-old hasn't taken the step from young star to superstar. He has 49 points in 60 games this season -- not bad but probably not enough for a guy making $6.6 million.

There are three years left on his deal and there is no question he could still become a bona fide No. 1 center for a contending team. Dater says there may have been some exploring done, but Stastny will stay with the Avalanche. He and Matt Duchene could still become a very potent 1-2 punch at center for Colorado. It would be interesting to see what happens if another team (like Buffalo, Los Angeles or Washington) tried to make a big offer to pry Stastny away.

Dater also writes it is still possible that defenseman John-Michael Liles could be on the move. His name has been linked most to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 12:01 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Top prospects "available" -- don't count on it

A quick straw poll on Twitter last night on who the best prospect in the world not in the NHL is right now revealed the two names I expected to see the most -- Los Angeles' Brayden Schenn and Evgeny Kuznetsov, property of the Washington Capitals. They were the two best players at the world junior championship (the one time besides the Entry Draft when the kids take center stage every year). Note: I used to cover the Capitals so I expected plenty of love for Kuznetsov from DC-based followers, but there was a lot of it from non-Caps fans as well.

Schenn and Kuznetsov are at or near the top of the discussion. Others who could make a case include forwards Ryan Johansen (Columbus) and Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis), defenseman Erik Gudbranson (Florida) and goaltenders Jacob Markstrom (Florida) and Jack Campbell (Dallas).

The point of this excercise was to identify those guys as the trade deadline nears. If Schenn (or Kuznetsov) is indeed the "best prospect" there is probably a good chance that neither of them will be on the move this weekend -- even if both of their clubs end up being among the teams trying to make a big splash.

Schenn is undoubtedly the top prospect in the Kings' system and could be the team's No. 2 center behind Anze Kopitar as soon as next season. He dominted the world junior championships and is averaging more than two points per game in the Western Hockey League.

"No, it would have to be really something significant," Kings GM Dean Lombardi told LAKings.com. "The way his stock has risen here with the world juniors and what he's done.  It would have to be really special and quit frankly I don't think he's going anywhere."

Kuznetsov fell to No. 26 in the 2010 Entry Draft partly because of concerns about how quickly he'll want to come to North America. His star turn for Russia in Buffalo made him a big deal on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, but he has also had a fantastic season in the KHL. He has 17 goals and 32 points in 44 games.

To put that in perspective, Alex Ovechkin had 13 goals and 27 points in 37 games in his post-draft year playing in Russia's top league. Evgeni Malkin had 12 goals and 32 points in 52 games. Alexander Semin had 10 goals and 17 points in 47 games. Pavel Datsyuk was playing in the second division.

So yeah, Kuznetsov is a pretty enticing talent and despite what he's been telling Russian media outlets while living in, well, Russia, there's a pretty good chance that he could play for the Capitals next season. Capitals general manager George McPhee has earned a reputation for being pretty frugal with his top young assets, so Kuznetsov being moved would be an even greater shock than Schenn.

There is also historical precedent -- the last time a guy in the discussion for being the top prospect in the world was traded at the deadline was ... never? Joe Colborne is the best prospect to exchange hands in the month leading up to the deadline in a long time. The second-best prospect to move in the past 6 years? Probably Angelo Esposito (from Pittsburgh to Atlanta in the Marian Hossa deal), and even his stock had already begun to fade dramatically.

Normally when an elite prospect is moved, it is a) not at the trade deadline and b) because of extraordinary circumstances (think Eric Lindros). Often when a top prospect is moved, it comes with negative results (think Markus Naslund). If a guy like Schenn or Kuznetsov is that highly thought of around the League, said prospect's team probably sees the guy as a potential franchise player. It is one thing to give away a first-round pick or a young player the team has been able to see at the NHL level for a while, but the lure of drafting and developing your own franchise player makes it very hard to part with that type of asset.

So maybe Lombardi will find a return that he considers "really significant" (Brad Richards? Paul Stastny?) or McPhee change course from his philosophy, but it will come as a huge surprise -- and a truly rare occurance in NHL history.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 10:44 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Morning Musings: Feb. 27

It's the morning before the big deadline day and there are several interesting reports/columns out there in the hockey world mentioning plenty of teams that could be busy between now and 3 p.m. ET on Monday.

Let's start in Buffalo, where new owner Terry Pegula could be interested in making a big splash, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. He linked the names Brad Richards and Paul Stastny to the Sabres, who are 2-0-1 since Pegula officially became the team's owner early last week. Buffalo is two points out of eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Nobody from Colorado has said that Stastny is definitely in play, but after making the playoffs last season and taking a step back this season it wouldn't be totally ridiculous to think that GM Greg Sherman is thinking about taking the team in a new direction. He has already traded Chris Stewart for Erik Johnson and Craig Anderson is now in Ottawa. Stastny doesn't seem likely to move, but we've seen stranger things.

Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk hasn't denied that Richards is in play, but there is a conundrum there that he has to deal with.

With back to back wins over Detroit and Nashville the Stars are now seventh in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the ninth place Blackhawks. Richards (concussion-like symptoms) hasn't played since Feb. 13 and Dallas doesn't play again until Tuesday, when it starts a four-game road trip in Phoenix.

His value remains high despite the uncertainty surrounding his symptoms and we've seen reports saying the Rangers and Kings could be interested as well. Teams will want some certainty that Richards, a pending UFA, will be able to return soon, before they make a play for him. But, with that same certainty Nieuwendyk may choose to keep him for a possible playoff run.

It's silly to say that a GM has to make a move at the deadline, but the Kings' Dean Lombardi could be thinking that way. His team has forgotten about its dreadful 2-10 stretch from Dec. 23-Jan. 20 and has won 11 of its last 15 games to pull into fifth place in the Western Conference. Of course, they're only four points away from 10th, so Lombardi might feel compelled to do something before Monday's deadline to make sure that the team is situated well for the stretch run.

If Lombardi is looking to make a splash, say for Richards, Edmonton's Ales Hemsky or Florida's David Booth, the deal would probably have to include prospect Brayden Schenn. Lombardi told Fox Sports West on Saturday, "quite frankly, I don't think he's going anywhere." He couched that statement by saying it would have to be a "really special" return, but we believe him when he says Schenn is staying put.

How about this swing by veteran Edmonton Journal scribe Jim Matheson: Hemsky to Atlanta for young defenseman Zach Bogosian? Matheson spoke to Thrashers GM Rick Dudley, who didn't deny such a move could take place but did say that any move for Bogosian must include a return that bolsters the team now and for the future. The Oilers would need to give more than Hemsky to get a defenseman that could turn into a stalwart on their blue line for years to come.

It might be a pipedream, but at least it's food for thought.

Sunday's game in Sunrise, Fla. could be a defining game for the New Jersey Devils and what GM Lou Lamoriello chooses to do before the deadline.

The Devils have miraculously pulled themselves back into the playoff conversation, but they remain 11 points out of the eighth spot with Buffalo, Atlanta, Toronto and, yes, Florida, between them and Carolina. They are a major longshot to make the playoffs for the 14th straight season and a win Sunday wouldn't change that, but a loss could be devastating and convince Lamoriello to give up on the season and move some assets that could at least get some marginal returns. Jason Arnott would be at the top of that list, though he would have to waive his no-trade clause.

Finally, I'll just toss this out there to see if it sticks anywhere, with Martin Brodeur starting Sunday for the first time since Feb. 6, what about trading Johan Hedberg to a team that needs some goaltending depth? He could wind up with a contender and the Devils could always re-sign Moose in the offseason. Odds are his experience in New Jersey, which has been excellent, would be enough to convince him to return.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 11:28 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Report: McCabe to Manhattan?

UPDATE: TSN is reporting Bryan McCabe has been traded from Florida to the New York Rangers for Tim Kennedy and a third-round draft pick.

Several media members reported earlier today that McCabe could be on the move and joining the New York Rangers as early as today.

Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reported on Twitter that McCabe was willing to waive his no-trade clause and he could be traded to the Rangers today. Arthur Staple of Newsday writes it is believed that McCabe will only waive his no-trade clause to move to the Rangers.

McCabe is in the final year of a five-year, $28.75 million contract. He is set to make $4.15 million this season but carries a cap hit of $5.75 million. McCabe has 5 goals and 22 points for the Panthers this season, but he also missed time with a broken jaw.


The Rangers have reportedly been seeking an offensive-minded veteran to help their young defense corps. Michal Rozsival was traded to Phoenix and Wade Redden has spent the season in the minors, leaving the Rangers with their top six defensemen are all 26 years old or younger. New York has plenty of cap room to make such a deal, and Larry Brooks of the New york Post reports the Rangers would need to move $3.5 million of acquisition space if they wanted to add McCabe and another rumored target, Dallas center Brad Richards.

This is McCabe's third season in Florida after being traded to the Panthers from Toronto in September 2008. He was one of the players interim Toronto GM Chuck Fletcher asked to their no-trade clauses at the 2008 deadline that declined to do so.
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Posted On Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 11:03 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to Trade Deadline Day

Morning musings: Feb. 26

Here's a look at some of the chatter around the NHL as we countdown to the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline. We're just a little more than 48 hours away from the deadline, but the frenzy has clearly already begun.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has reportedly been looking for a defenseman to help his team's sturggling PK for a while now, and a move yesterday may help make room for such a deal. Nick Boynton was placed on waivers, and if he clears he can be sent to the AHL, which frees up $500,000 in acquisition space for the Blackhawks.

"Boynton, who has one goal and eight points in 41 games, never emerged as a viable replacement for Brent Sopel, which the Hawks had hoped for," writes Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. "As a result, the Hawks are among several teams in the market for help on defense."

Jahns goes on to name a pair of Edmonton Oilers, Ladislav Smid and former Chicago property Jim Vandermeer, and Tampa Bay's Brett Clark as players the Blackhawks have been linked with. Chicago is 26th in the League on the PK and currently eighth in the West.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

The next two days could be long ones for a lot of potential trade targets around the League, and count Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles among that group. Toronto has reportedly been interested in dealing for Liles, who has one more year left on his contract after this one and carries a $4.25 million cap hit.

He has 6 goals and 39 points this year, but that price tag for him next season could prove to be too much for a cap-conscious team. A club like the Leafs with cap room to spare though and a need for an offensive-minded defenseman might be a good fit -- even Liles' first preference would be to stay.

"I always want to stay here," Liles told Terry Frei of the Denver Post. "I love Colorado. I love the guys in the room; I think it's a fantastic organization, the fans, everything about it. There's a reason why I signed here, and I definitely want to stay."

Liles does have a limited no-trade clause in that he can name 18 teams doesn't want to be dealt to. With Tomas Kaberle off the market, Liles and Bryan McCabe are probably the two best offensive defensemen whose names have come up in reports about available players.

DETROIT RED WINGS

There aren't many contenders without pressing needs, but the Red Wings might be in that small group. Detroit is close to getting all of its key players healthy, and the Red Wings are already well on their way to another Central Division title and top-3 seed in the West.

They have wobbled ever so slightly of late and the red-hot Sharks are pressing them for the No. 2 spot behind Vancouver, but the Wings do not have a lot of acquisition space ($570,000 - which is down from the $750,000 that Ted Kuflan of the Detroit News writes the ogranization hoped to have).

"We don't expect to be very active," Holland told Kuflan.

That is a stark contrast from previous years of Holland's regime, but the Red Wings have adjusted to the salary cap era about as well as any other franchise in the League and continue to be one of the elite teams because of it. There has been one area of concern, and that is the backup goalie with Chris Osgood out because of a sports hernia.

Detroit tried to add Evgeni Nabokov but the Islanders claimed him on waivers. Holland has said on a few occasions that he expects Osgood back, but another cheap insurance policy could be a play for him to make this weekend.

"Chris is optimistic and upbeat and he's happy with the progress he's making," Holland told Kuflan. "If that were to change in the next few days, that could affect our thinking (about trades). But anticipate Chris playing again here soon."

EDMONTON OILERS

Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the Minnesota Wild are interested in Oilers forward Dustin Penner, but Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal doesn't expect that transaction to happen. Matheson reports the Wild are offering draft picks for Penner but don't want to part with their first-round pick in June.

As Russo points out, Penner's cap hit of $4.25 million is too rich for the Wild to take one without someone off the current roster going in the other direction. Matheson says Chuck Kobasew might be a guy that Minnesota tries to include in the deal but doesn't see him as a good fit with the Oilers.

Given the high return most sellers have been getting this month, it makes sense that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini wants a lot for Penner and especially Ales Hemsky. Both have another year on their contracts and the Oilers are not pressed to trade either of them.

"A source close to the Wild said what the Oilers were asking for Hemsky was “astronomical,” but did not elaborate," Matheson writes. "The Oilers would have to get a first-round pick, a second and certainly an experienced NHLer for Hemsky."

This is not the first report of Tambellini's asking price for Hemsky being high. If he does get dealt between now and Monday, it could end up being the biggest transaction of the month.
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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres