- Pierre LeBrun: The Islanders have taken a number of calls on Thomas Vanek and he could be dealt by tomorrow, but it’s far from certain. Vanek’s agent confirmed with ESPN that he’ll likely be testing out the free agent market. Asking price could be any three of a 1st round pick, prospects or a player. If one of the assets is high enough, it could only take two assets and not three. GM Garth Snow still hopes to sign him. The Kings are one team watching the situation, but Matt Moulson may be their top target. There are also reports of Sam Gagner and Mike Cammalleri interesting them.
- Brett Cyrgalis: Vanek on testing the open market for the first time in his career.
“I like it here in the organization, but there’s more to it than that,” Vanek told The Post on Wednesday, his team coming off a much-needed 1-0 win over the Capitals in Washington the night before and preparing for the Flames at the Coliseum on Thursday. “It’s the business part of it, and sometimes it sucks.”
“For me right now, hopefully I can stay here and finish the year, and if I get moved, I understand that side of it, too,” Vanek said. “But right now, I feel like I want to hit free agency.”
There is still a small chance that the Islanders will be able to re-sign him this summer.
“I think the chances are a lot higher now that I have been here, that’s for sure,” he said. “They’re definitely a team I would like to look again in the summer, but for me, being a little selfish I guess, I just want to hit [free agency] once.”
- Elliotte Freidman: Some teams may be disappointed not to see Marian Gaborik play at the Olympics. He wouldn’t cost has much as Vanek or Moulson.
The Canucks won’t trade future assets for rentals.
One reason the Kings are looking at Sam Gagner is that their power play is the 3rd worst in the league and Gagner was 28th in power play points last season with 15. Gagner’s $4.8 million cap hit is the issue. The Oilers would have to eat some of the contract, and they may not be willing to do that.
The Panthers have only 10 players under contract for next season. They are in no rush to trade Brad Boyes, Tom Gilbert and Marcel Goc just yet.
Hearing the Devils could be interested in Mike Cammalleri.
- Joe Haggerty: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has had trade talks, but doesn’t see them making any deals before the Olympic roster freeze tomorrow.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Stars Erik Cole and Shawn Horcoff are caught in the middle of the Stars looking to be competitive in the immediate future and in the long run. Both players are 35-years old.
“My experience is that if you have younger players, you need a few veterans to show them the way,’’ Nill said. “I just feel there’s room for a good mix of players in your locker room.’’
Both players have one year left on their deals. They might look at moving Vern Fiddler and Ray Whitney and keeping Cole and Horcoff.
- The Fourth Period: The Wings would like to add some depth before the trade deadline according to the Detroit News, but it’s unlikely to happen before the Olympic break.
“I don’t envision us trading away players who could be part of our future,” Wings GM Ken Holland told the paper. “Those are the players other teams will be asking about.
“I don’t know if there are many players on the market who we feel are better than (young players the Red Wings currently have).”
The Wings have shown interest in Matt Moulson, Steve Ott, Lee Stempniak and Ray Whitney.
- Dennis Bernstein: “For those Kings fans running for exits on Toffoli, here’s definition of untouchable. Lombardi hangs up phone when name comes up. So like 99% of the players in NHL, Toffoli is mentioned by rival GM and Deano listens. It does not mean he is on the verge of being dealt.”
- Paul Hamilton: Sabres GM Tim Murray said he’s had talks with teams about Ryan Miller, including on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Scott Powers of ESPN: Blackhawks Patrick Kane will miss Friday’s game against the Coyotes due to the passing of his paternal grandfather.
- Bob McKenzie: The Flames and Mike Cammalleri continue contracts talks. It is too early to know which way they are going. Logic suggests that if he goes UFA and gets traded, but both sides are not at that stage yet.
- Bob McKenzie: The Flames are also working on a contract extension for defenseman Kris Russell.
- Dave McCarthy of TSN 1050: Maple Leafs Dave Bolland’s injury isn’t healing as fast as he’d hoped. He’s more concerned about getting back into the lineup than a new contract (pending UFA).
“I don’t know if I’m missing anything, I think in the past few years I’ve won two Stanley Cups,” said Bolland. “I’ve been to the finals and know what it’s like to get there; I’ve been through those battles so I don’t think this should hinder any kind of contract. I think they know what I do and what kind of heart I have out there.”
- Randy Miller of NJ.com: Devils Corey Schneider has one-year left on his deal and will be a UFA after the 2014-15 season. Will he re-sign with the Devils or look to test the free agent market next year?
“I don’t know,” he told NJ.com. “That’s something that I really haven’t put a lot of thought into. I still have a lot to hopefully prove this season. We’re still trying to make the playoffs. That’s not even an option for another five or six months, so I’m not thinking about that at all right now.”
- Ken Campbell: Panthers Tim Thomas earned $250,000 with his 15th win. He’ll get another $250,000 at 20 and 25 wins. A $500,000 bonus if they make the playoffs.
- Mike Harrington: Scouting the Sabres – Penguins: Oilers, Blackhawks, Flyers, Avs, Bruins, Predators, Jets, Blues Stars, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Sharks, Panthers, Red Wings (2), Senators and Lightning.
- Dennis Bernstein: Non-regulars scouting the Blackhawks – Ducks: Jets, Oilers, Lightning, Red Wings, Flyers, Leafs and Canucks.
- James Mirtle: Leafs Dave Bolland on still experiencing some ankle pain: ”It’s going to be like that for probably the rest of this year and maybe in the summer.”
- Puckarinen: According to Michael Russo, Mikko Koivu has ”not even cleared to practice with the team”. Don’t expect him playing for Finland at the Olympics.