- John Shannon: Trades can start happening as of midnight on February 23rd.
- Lisa Dillman of the LA Times: The Kings were in discussion with the Oilers about Sam Gagner before the Olympic’s, but it apparently wasn’t close and it is now doubtful that they will pursue him when the roster freeze is lifted.
- David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Allan Muir of SI notes:
“That may open a window for the Predators, who have also been rumored to have an interest in Gagner. Nashville is thought to be looking for a young, offensive-minded center and it has a surplus of what Edmonton needs: young, talented defenders. The name of 2009 first rounder Ryan Ellis has been mentioned, but while he has a proven chemistry with Oilers winger Taylor Hall from their Memorial Cup-winning days in Windsor of the OHL, Edmonton might be looking for a blueliner who is a bit more defensively responsible. Jonathan Ismael-Daiby might be intriguing to the Oilers as part of a package, as would defensive center Austin Watson.”
Staples adds that it may make more sense for the Oilers to hold onto Gagner, waiting until the end of the season to decide what to do with him. If he continues to play better, it will only increase his trade value. Teams may also have more cap space available. Ryan Ellis may not be the type of defenseman the Oilers really need as they already have several “finesse type d-men.” The Oilers could use a defensive defenseman.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said that if they are to be buyers, it will happen right at the deadline.
“Some teams need three or four more games before they say, ‘We don’t have a shot and we’re not in,’” said Melnyk. “Right now, there are six teams that aren’t in and I think by March 5 there will be eight teams that will basically say they’re not going to get there.
“(Murray’s) looking. If we can get a power forward in there that’s the only piece we need subject to any injuries. Knock on wood with that one because we’ve had a very good year with injuries compared to some other ones.”
Melnyk doesn’t think the salary cap will keep rising, that it will max out at some point.
“At some point you could be stuck because the cap has come down. Then, you go, ‘Wait a minute, it’s come down and I’ve got to unload $5 or $10 million worth of salary.’ That day will come,” said Melnyk. “It’s like the stock market. You can’t go straight up all the time. Eventually there’s correction and it rebuilds. You’ve got to leave yourself with some room.
“I don’t care if people criticize me. The fact is the team has survived in very difficult circumstances.”
- The Fourth Period: The Sharks could be looking for a scoring left winger. They have more than $3 million in cap space. GM Doug Wilson could look at Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Mike Cammalleri and Ales Hemsky.
- Hope Smoke: On the Fan 590, Damien Cox said he thinks the NHL can skip the 2018 Olympics and go back in 2022.