Morning Rumors: Kulikov, Gardiner, Sharks, McGinn, Panthers, Isles, Canucks, Legwand and Lundqvist

  • Bruce Garrioch: Panthers Dmitry Kulikov was a healthy scratch last night as the Panthers have stepped up their efforts to trade him. George Richards: Panthers coach Peter Horachek said that Kulikov “needs to be accountable.”
  • Bruce Garrioch: (tweet sequence) “Panthers are pushing hard on Kulikov. Dale Tallon working the phones. Has called several teams. Don’t believe it? You should.” Damien Cox: “Leafs have long liked Kulikov. Wary of fact he’s RFA at season’s end. Salary demands and threat of KHL.” Michael Traikos: “I’m not sure the KHL is a huge threat. He played in the Q as a junior and has been in the NHL for the past 5 years.” Damien Cox: “It’s just leverage other players don’t have.”
  • Hope Smoke: SportsNet’s Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman think the Maple Leafs are willing to trade Jake Gardiner for a center, both said “how could you not?”
  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle all want to re-sign with the Sharks, and the Sharks would like to have them back. Boyle would be on a 35+ deal, so they may be looking for a one or two year deal. Marleau has yet to hire a new agent, and could be looking to do his own deal. The Sharks have traded numbers with Thornton and Boyle.

    The Canucks considered Martin Erat, but decided to pass. Same with the Senators.

    Avs Jamie McGinn’s name has been in the rumor mill.

    The Panthers have Tomas Fleischmann and Scottie Upshall on the block. Fear with Dmitry Kulikov is that he could want big money or head back to Russia.

  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: An executive said that the salary cap could go up to $90 million in four or five years. A few others said it’s possible.

    The Panthers came close last season to trading Dmitry Kulikov to the Maple Leafs, but one team backed away.

    Two scouts and a coach said they’d try Jake Gardiner at forward.

    Islanders GM Garth Snow would like to make a trade before replacing his coach, with goalie being the obvious position. Sources indicating he open to several ideas.

    Teams close to the salary made it difficult to trade for Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla.

  • Insider Trading TSN: McKenzie: The Panthers are kicking up Kulikov trade talk.

    Dreger: The Islanders, Canucks and Oilers are thought to be the most active in those trade discussions. The Canucks want to add a top-six forward. Oilers are looking for a defenseman.

    McKenzie: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford’s patience is wearing thin.

    LeBrun: The Avalanche would like to get a defenseman or veteran checking forward for Jamie McGinn.

    McKenzie: There have been no talks between the Predators and pending UFA David Legwand.

  • David Pagnotta: Scouts/Management at the Leafs-Sharks: Capitals, Flames, Blues, Sabres (2), Bruins, Oilers, Canadians (3), Rangers (2), Canucks (2), Flyers, Jets, Penguins, Panthers, Predators and Senators.
  • Katie Strang of ESPN: Preliminary talks between the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist have yielded little, and the Rangers may be digging in.

    The Rangers seemed to take a hard line in negotiations — a somewhat surprising stance considering Lundqvist has often been considered their most valuable asset — but in doing so, may have acquired some leverage. Lundqvist is not performing on par with previous seasons and Talbot is giving the club something to think about. Lundqvist is 31, which may make a max eight-year contract prohibitive. Meanwhile, Talbot is burgeoning into a bona fide NHL goaltender worthy of consideration.

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