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Trade Coverage

NHL Trade Buzz: Canucks could be sellers

Veteran goalie Ryan Miller, forward Alexandre Burrows may be traded prior to Deadline

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are three days remaining until the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET, March 1) and the speculation increases around the Vancouver Canucks as sellers. Also, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile weighs how much change is enough as he contemplates possible moves.

Here's a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:


Vancouver Canucks

Speculation intensifies around the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks, who lost 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks at home on Saturday, are nine points behind the St. Louis Blues, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference entering play Sunday.

General manager Jim Benning said in December that he would not ask veterans with no-trade clauses to waive them at the deadline but in the last week goalie Ryan Miller and right wing Jannik Hansen have each said they have provided lists of teams they'd be willing to be traded to.

Video: SJS@VAN: Miller shuts down Tierney's fancy move

According to clauses in their respective contracts, Miller is permitted to name five teams and Hansen eight.

Miller, 36, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Hansen, 30, is under contract for next season with a $2.5 million salary-cap charge.

Right wing Alexandre Burrows, 35, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He said on "Hockey Night in Canada" on Saturday that he has not waived his no-trade clause and would not disclose if he'd been asked to do so. Burrows confirmed that he had spoken to Benning about deadline possibilities.

"I had a good talk with Jim," Burrows said.

The veteran, who has played all of his 822 NHL regular-season games with the Canucks, said he expected to speak with Benning again before the deadline.

"I want to win and I would like a chance to play in the playoffs," Burrows said. He also said it would be difficult to be away from his family if he was traded.

"We're going to analyze it and weigh the pros and cons with the family," Burrows said.

Burrows said before the game Saturday that he sees Benning's perspective as the deadline approaches.

"I totally understand where he comes from," Burrows said. "You've got to do your due diligence. It's a difficult position to be in but if you want to be a good GM, you've got to have those conversations.

"At the end of the day, he's not the one that has the final call. At the end of the day, he's got to do what I want or where I want to go. So it's tough for him… he's got like handcuffs a little bit on him. At the same time, you've got to do your due diligence and do what's best for the hockey club."


St. Louis Blues

One of the most sought-after assets in the NHL is a right-handed defenseman, which explains why there's so much interest in Kevin Shattenkirk.

The 28-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Interest in Shattenkirk has been high since last summer.

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is believed to be working hard to find a fit somewhere for Shattenkirk, opposed to the idea of losing the defenseman for nothing if he signs elsewhere in free agency.

Video: Kevin Shatternkirk nixing a trade offer

It has been speculated that Armstrong is asking for a first-round pick and a prospect in any trade.

The Ottawa Sun reported Sunday that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals were among the teams with high interest in Shattenkirk.

The New York Post reported Sunday that the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers were pursuing a trade for Shattenkirk.

A report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday said that the Blues and Oilers had a potential trade for Shattenkirk arranged last June but that Shattenkirk would not agree to a contract extension, effectively vetoing the trade even though he doesn't have a no-trade clause.


Nashville Predators

What, if anything, will Nashville Predators general manager David Poile do?

Poile has already done plenty in the past 14 months to try to set the Predators on a winning course.

He traded defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen on Jan. 6, 2016.

On June 29, 2016, Poile traded captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman P.K. Subban.

This season, he has added depth and grit, trading center Felix Girard to the Colorado Avalanche for left wing Cody McLeod on Jan. 13, and acquired center Vernon Fiddler in a trade with the New Jersey Devils for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Even with Filip Forsberg's outburst of seven goals in the past three games, the Predators have been struggling with inconsistent output from some of their key forwards. Left wing Colin Wilson has nine goals this season, right wing Craig Smith has nine and right wing James Neal has 18 but one in the past 13 games.

Forsberg, before his outburst in the past three games brought him to 23 goals this season, had one goal in his previous 10 games.

With a need to shore up his top-six forwards, the Predators have been associated with speculation surrounding Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche and Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes.

Poile has rarely been afraid to act.

In his career, he has traded two captains, Weber and Ryan Walter. In his first trade as Washington Capitals general manager, Poile traded Walter and defenseman Rick Green to Montreal for defenseman Rod Langway, defenseman Brian Engblom, center Doug Jarvis and right wing Craig Laughlin on Sept. 9, 1982.

But wanting to trade and making a trade are not always the same, Poile said during a recent interview when he talked about the repercussions for the Predators of the Subban-Weber trade.

"It's not the old days anymore," Poile said. "You guys are dying for us to do more. As managers, we're dying to do more. You can't find the right fit. There's age difference, and that's not insignificant. That's what this trade [Subban for Weber] will be and should be talked about for the next 10 years."


Columbus Blue Jackets

President of hockey operations John Davidson didn't declare the Columbus Blue Jackets out of the rental market -- and the suggestion has been out there that the Blue Jackets could pursue pending unrestricted free agent Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning -- but threw some cold water on the idea Sunday.

In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Davidson said his long-term vision for success rarely includes short-term moves, plus the Blue Jackets and many other NHL teams are conscious of getting through the NHL Expansion Draft in June as pain-free as possible.

"We'd like to do things, for sure," Davidson said. "But not at the expense for two months as a rental. Not at the expense of pushing one more guy out there, exposed, this summer."

Davidson said the Blue Jackets might be interested in a deadline move if the price were right or if there was long-term sense.

The translation: Like many teams, the Blue Jackets will wait for prices to decline before they act, and they are prepared to be patient. With 81 points (38-16-5), Columbus holds the first wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, and is in great position to move higher in the Metropolitan Division. For a change, the Blue Jackets don't have to be sellers or desperate buyers at the deadline, able to afford the patience required to stick to Davidson's long-term plan.

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