CALGARY: One day after blasting his team during an intermission television interview, Flames GM Jay Feaster softened his stance a bit during a press conference. That doesn't mean he isn't still looking for deals to be made, though.
"I don't want to say we're buyers or sellers. We're looking at all of our options," Feaster told Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun. "It's about improving our team both short-term and long-term. Right now, as I'm talking to other GMs, there are things we're talking about that wouldn't be just rentals. It wouldn't be guys coming in who are UFAs to the mix. It's guys with another year or so on the contract. If there are ways to do that, it's something we would look at.
"At the same time, if there are offers we feel are too good to pass up, and feel we have players in Abbotsford who are able to come in or guys we acquire are able to come in and help us be a playoff team, then -- with the exception of a handful of guys we're clearly not going to move -- we have to be willing to listen."
Feaster ripped his team during an overtime loss to Phoenix on Thursday, which came on the heels of being embarrassed by rival Edmonton in the game before. The Flames are in a three-way tie at 66 points, two behind Dallas for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
While another poor performance Saturday against Philadelphia might persuade Feaster to trade away some roster players for future assets, he dismissed any notion of "blowing it up" on the Red Mile.
TRADE DEADLINE 2012
Draft depth likely to shape deadline dealsBy Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer
By the time the trade window closes at 3 p.m. ET Monday it's likely that quite a few draft picks in the 2012 and 2013 NHL Drafts will change hands.
READ MORE ›
COLUMBUS: Save for a brief respite when word first circulated that Kings GM Dean Lombardi had made Dustin Brown available, where Rick Nash might end up has dominated the trade deadline discussion. Well, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported it might be all for naught -- at least for this trade deadline.
"In order for Nash to be sent elsewhere by Monday's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline, a significant shift in trade talks between the Blue Jackets and their limited number of suitors will need to occur," Portzline wrote. "The Blue Jackets are not close to a deal involving Nash, NHL sources told The Dispatch, and there's a growing sense around the league that a trade involving Nash might wait until this offseason, perhaps at the NHL entry draft.
"An NHL general manager, speaking to The Dispatch, described "sticker shock" when informed of the Blue Jackets' asking price for Nash, and said GM Scott Howson has made it clear that he has no interest in lowering his demands. … The Blue Jackets' leverage in these negotiations is the simple fact that they aren't required to trade Nash by the deadline. It might be the safest way to avoid a messy situation between the club and the franchise's only marquee player."
Portzline wrote on Twitter that Nash is almost certain to not play for the Blue Jackets next season, but the trade might not happen until this summer -- though "Nash's camp are getting impatient with the process."
There are other moves that Howson could make -- Portzline lists Sammy Pahlsson, R.J. Umberger, Derick Brassard and Curtis Sanford as potential targets -- but the focus will remain on Nash. If Howson doesn't see an offer that meets his demands, he absolutely should wait until the summer -- trading Nash is a franchise-defining deal and he needs to get the best return possible.
DETROIT: The Red Wings have added a defenseman in Kyle Quincey. Joey McDonald has quelled fears about the team's goaltending situation behind Jimmy Howard. So what is left on Wings GM Ken Holland's to-do list as the deadline nears?
"The Red Wings want to add a complementary forward, preferably with size and abrasiveness," Ansar Khan of MLive.com writes. "They would like to add some depth at forward, in exchange for a middling prospect and/or draft pick, but Holland said it's not imperative. It is unlikely that they would trade a roster player."
SOG: 62 | +/-: 1
Khan lists a handful of players who could be targets for Detroit, including Paul Gaustad, Travis Moen, Sammy Pahlsson and Mike Knuble as low-cost, short-term options and pricey long-term options in Steve Ott and Dustin Brown. Holland has the cap space and the assets to make a deal like that if he wants, but even adding a guy like Gaustad or Moen could be enough for the Wings.
OTTAWA: The Senators don't think the injury to goaltender Craig Anderson is as bad as some people might have feared, but GM Bryan Murray hasn't made up his mind yet if he will pursue an outside option to supplement his goaltending.
"I want to see us play," Murray told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. "We've got a couple of games here. Let me watch.
"We've got two guys that are definitely capable. We just don't maybe have that third guy that is ready to call up if anything unfortunate were to happen. I'm always looking and talking, but I'm just going to wait and see."
There could be several short-term options available for the Senators, including the in-house options -- veteran Alex Auld and top prospect Robin Lehner. Ottawa has games on Saturday and Sunday, so both could play and then Murray would have Monday to make a deal if necessary.