Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald reports a source has confirmed that the teams have held discussions, with the centerpiece of the deal being Islanders center Frans Nielsen. He would not be a rental -- the Danish center is signed through 2015-16 with a cap hit $2.75 million.
Sassone said the Blackhawks are also interested in acquiring a defenseman because of the struggles of Johnny Oduya on the second pairing -- he's minus-8 in the past four games paired with Niklas Hjalmarsson, and the Blackhawks have lost three of the four games. New York re-signed Lubomir Visnovsky on Friday night, but veteran Mark Streit, the Islanders' captain, is in the final season of his contract.
The Islanders reportedly covet are interested in defenseman Dylan Olsen, the Blackhawks' first-round draft pick in 2009, and perhaps forward Jeremy Morin. Olsen is playing with Chicago's AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs; Morin was recalled from Rockford on Saturday when Marian Hossa was placed on injured reserve retroactive to March 19.
The Blackhawks are first in the Western Conference entering Sunday's game at Detroit (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, NHLN-Canada). The Islanders are battling for the final playoff berth in the East.
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