Afternoon Rumors: Red Wings, Canucks, Kesler, Blues, Bruins, Phillips, Flyers and Oilers


Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Red Wings GM Ken Holland.

“The phone lines seem to be heating up,” Holland told ESPN.com Thursday. “We would prefer to do a hockey deal — meaning a player that’s on our roster going forward [past this season].

“Unfortunately, we’re on the bubble. It’s hard to risk that if we miss the playoffs, to trade a high draft pick or a real top prospect for not even a playoff run. At the same time, we feel that the kids that we’ve got — Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco — they have really made a positive impact on our hockey team. Looks like they’re going to be around here for a while and they should be getting better.”

So you can likely rule out Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson. They could look at low cost rental defenseman. LeBrun thinks the Ryan Kesler is the type of player that might interest the Red Wings.

Bottom line on Canucks Ryan Kesler.

•  A number of NHL teams have gotten calls from the Canucks on Kesler and vice versa.
•  The price is “significantly high,” says one Western Conference source. Says a different source, “Really high. And I guess I can’t blame them.”
•  The Canucks have made it clear to other teams that they don’t feel the need to move him before Wednesday’s deadline, that they’re more than happy to pick this up again in June if their price isn’t met. Or not move him at all if their price isn’t met.
•  Kesler is signed for two more seasons, which means if you’re trading for him now, you’ve got three more playoffs out of the gritty, two-way star. And at $5 million a year, he’s below market value.

Blues GM Doug Armstrong.

“We’re not at the area where the window is closing,” he said. “You also have to look at the dynamics of your team. A team like Boston or a team like Pittsburgh, they’ve been cap players for at least a half-decade. We’re a cap team this year, but we’re a team that has to manage our resources differently than the top-spending teams on a year-to-year basis. We’re not a heavily free-agent-based team. It’s my belief that we have to make sure we’re maintaining some view of the future, as well.”

“I’m not saying we won’t do it, but we have to be careful,” said Armstrong. “We’re a team that wants to win, but we still have to understand that our winning comes through drafting and developing.”

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli

“I’d like to get a defenseman,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told ESPN.com Thursday. “If we don’t get one, I’m fine with that, too.”

“But having said that, the way the market has been so far, I don’t want to force a square peg into a round hole,” Chiarelli said.

LeBrun mentions to keep an eye on Senators defenseman Chris Phillips and the Bruins.

Darren DregerChris Phillips contract talks are expected to resume today. A trade is still an option with the Bruins among the teams that are thought to be interested.

Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren will have a decision to make on whether to trade Andrej Meszaros or not. He is a pending UFA, but he does have them depth on the blueline. When asked if he wanted to stay in Philly.

“I love Philadelphia, and I love everything here. It’s my last year of my contract, obviously, and whatever will happen will happen.”

The Flyers would likely get a third round pick or a prospect for him. He carries a $4 million salary cap hit.

Tim Wharnsby of CBC: The Oilers would like replace the second and third round picks they sent out to acquire David Perron and Ben Scrivens. The Oilers have nine pending UFAs and Sam Gagner to use as trade bait. They have held preliminary talks with defenseman Justin Schultz. Andrew Ference has a no-movement clause. Pending UFAs: Anton Belov, Ilya Bryzgalov, Mark Fraser, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Corey Potter, Nick Schultz, Ben Scrivens and Ryan Smyth.

Ian Mendes: “If Martin St. Louis is asking for a trade and is only willing to go to NYR, is that any different than what Dany Heatley did in Ottawa?”

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