Morning Rumors: Leafs, Panthers, Rangers, Habs, Preds, Isles, Sabres, Blues, Canes, Pens and Avs

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Trade talk has heated up, but not many teams have the salary cap space to make moves. “We have a cap world with parity but no flexibility,” said the executive. “It’s very difficult for teams to make changes.”Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis is working the phones with centers Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland on the IR. The Leafs talked with the Stars about Vern Fiddler earlier in the year, but weren’t able to find the right fit. Once the others return, Fiddler would be at best a fourth-line player for them.

    Panthers GM Dale Tallon may be getting heat from new owner Vince Viola.

    The Rangers are increasing their efforts to trade Michael Del Zotto, but the asking price is still high.

    The Rangers may look at buying out Brad Richards after the season.

    Islanders Jack Capuano and Hurricanes Kirk Muller are on the hotseat.

    The Canadiens are looking for size down the middle.

    If the Predators can’t stay in the playoff race, the “for sale” sign may be going up.

    The Islanders are looking for a goalie.

    Talk that the Blues might go after Sabres Ryan Miller.

    The Blues might be willing to move T.J. Oshie. He has a $4.175 million cap hit through 2017.

    The Blackhawks are looking for depth down the middle and on the blueline.

    Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has interest in Leafs Jake Gardiner and Rangers Michael Del Zotto.

    Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is looking to change up his forwards.

  • Josh Rimer: The Penguins may now have to go get a defenseman with Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi and Brooks Orpik out.
  • George Richards of the Miami Herald: Panthers GM Dale Tallon denied Hockey Night in Canada’s report that a deal for Dmitry Kulikov with the Avalanche fell through. Kulikov was scratched on Tuesday and HNIC said a potential trade was the reason.

    “No, we sat him because of his play,” Tallon said. “[Kulikov] needed a little refresher. I’ve liked the way he’s played since.”

  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: The Avalanche were looking to add a defenseman before Jan Hejda was injured. The Avs could look at the trade market: Dmitry Kulikov (FLA) or Michael Del Zotto (NYR). Dater thinks they shouldn’t give up a first round pick or prospect that has real promise for a defenseman.
  • B.D. Gallof: “‘One item not very understood on #isles coach if there was to be a change… Slim to none they go for vet with old school habits” … “But to rpt: see defense + depth as issue #1 plus player effort needs to remain high level. If both addressed then could pull out of freefall” … “I think goalie could upgrade but only if there is a player available that can offset lapses and issues with his play”
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