With just over 48 hours remaining until the 2014 NHL trade deadline on March 5, rumors and speculation are starting to kick into high gear -- not much else is expected this time of year.
The same stories continue to dominate the conversation, although it seems some pictures are starting to become fairly clear. I'm guessing that some of the trades we'll see in the coming days won't be as surprising as in years past.
Here's a quick rundown of all the notable rumors on Monday, including some notes on possible Stars trade pieces from our favorite Canadian columnist:
** TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted this morning that Ryan Callahan has come down to earth just a bit as he and the New York Rangers work on a contract extension.
In any case, Callahan still looking for more than what NYR offered -- 6 years at $6M per. So gap has shrunk some but still exists.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 3, 2014
Is gap enough for NYR to trade captain by Wed? Or enough for captain to want to go elsewhere? Or could 6 x $6.25M make both unhappily happy?— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 3, 2014
** This was picked up quickly in the DBD comments, but Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Ray Shero is working on a trade for Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are, once again, asking for the moon on a trade for a major roster player and reportedly the price is currently:
Center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks - likely a first- and third-round - and the Canucks' choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin
So, you know, the moon.
Kesler fits the mold of the exact sort of player the Stars are looking for, and he's under contract for the next few years at a reasonable figure, but you wonder if Jim Nill is wiling to pay such a price after giving up so much last summer for Tyler Seguin. A Dallas comparable price: Cody Eakin, 2014 first- and fourth-round draft pick, and the Canucks choice of Patrick Nemeth or Kevin Connauton (who came from Vancouver) or possibly even Brenden Dillon instead.
The Stars have not been mentioned as an interested team. The Blackhawks have, however. There is speculation, however, that with Daniel Segin injured that the Canucks might be reluctant to trade Kesler mid-season. The center has explicitly asked out of Vancouver, so they might not have a choice as another ugly trade situation unfolds around the Canucks.
** Michael Russo reports that the Sabres are now trying to trade Jaroslav Halak to the Minnesota Wild, who are desperate for goaltending help and missed out on Ryan Miller. They are also reported interested in Cam Ward and Ilya Bryzgalov.
** Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Suns has this to say about the Stars approach leading up the trade deadline:
Dallas GM Jim Nill is looking at the big picture and he has a couple of decisions to make before the deadline. He will likely move veteran centre Ray Whitney to Phoenix if the Coyotes are willing to offer up something that will make the Stars better two years down the road. The club is also looking to move forward Erik Cole, centre Vernon Fiddler and defenceman Stephane Robidas. Whitney, Fiddler and Robidas are UFAs
"Stars looking to trade veteran players with expiring contracts to gain maximum investment value, breaking news story at ten!"
** Shea Weber won't be traded, so don't even think about asking.
** Finally, Sam Carchidi of the Philly Inquirer mentions that Trevor Daley is "reportedly available", although I can't find any actual reports stating as much and he doesn't happen to include a source for the information. So, there's that.