NHL Trade Rumors from 27 Feb 14

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As we are entering the final stretch of the NHL trade deadline, we look at various trade rumors surfacing across the league and through various sources. We are now less than a week away for the trade deadline which is next Wednesday. Today, we have a look at various rumors making the headlines on the NHL trade front.

Garth Snow playing it smart

Garth Snow -1
Courtesy USA Today

The New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow will be busy comes trade deadline and for him to play his cards right will be crucial in the future of the team.  According to Nerwsday reporter Arthur Staple, GM Garth Snow intends to make a deal for his two coveted players: Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald, as close to the trade deadline as possible. Snow told Staple that “barring an offer he can’t refuse” the two players will likely be traded at or near the trade deadline expiry time of 3pm Eastern time. Snow wants to obtain the best return and is setting up for the highest bidder until the end.

Snow has also told Staple that the weekend games will add to the players exposure, one final time and probably bring more teams in the fold. Finally, it is not Snow’s intention to trade Evgeni Nabokov at the deadline. The Islanders were looking for a goalie during the season when Nabokov went down but since his return, the Islanders have played better due in large part to Nabokov’s play.

According to Chris Botta from the New York Times, the Islanders are looking for a first round pick in exchange for Andrew MacDonald. It seems like there is a lot of interest for MacDonald across the league. Teams to look for in his case are many but the Boston Bruins, the Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs seems to be the most interested.

Ryan Kesler on the trading block – Surprise!!

In the last couple of days, since the trading period has resumed, new names have surfaced such as Martin St-Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning and now we can add Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks. According to Louis Jean from TVA Sports, it appears that Ryan Kesler would have asked for a trade. One thing that is unsure is if Kesler requested for a trade before the Olympics and the news is just surfacing now or if the request was done when he returned from Sotchi.

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reported that the Canucks general manager Mike Gillis neither confirmed nor denied the report. Kesler is currently nursing a hand injury and did not dress in the Canucks game last night against the St-Louis Blues. Kesler’s agent, Kurt Overhardt vehemntly denied the rumor about his client to the Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater calling it a bunch of “b.s.”

Kesler, 29 could interest a number of teams based on his style of play. Team looking for an edge to get over that hump in the playoffs could have interest in Ryan Kesler. Teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Rangers, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the St-Louis Blues could be in line for the power forward. In the case of the Blue Jackets, it would make sense based on their style of team they are molding their roster. And Vancouver has shown interest in Marian Gaborik in the past so for both teams, it may make sense.

Chris Stewart – New York Rangers or the Ottawa Senators??

It appears that Bryan Murray and the Ottawa Senators have shown an interest in forward Chris Stewart from the St-Louis Blues. Stewart who has been on the trading block for most of the season brings a rough style of play to his game and can score. His main problem is his inconsistency and with the new stars, who will be in line for a higher salary in St-Louis, while their window is open for a Stanley Cup, Stewart has become expendable.

Stewart was also rumored in a possible deal with the New York Rangers earlier before the Olympics as part of a deal which could involve Ryan Callahan. Stewart has currently 15 and 26 points in 58 games played with a plus -2 rating.

New York Rangers in evaluation mode.

According to Larry Brooks from the The New York Post, the New York Rangers and general manager Glen Sather will be looking at players they can obtain in exchange for their pending unrestricted free agents: Ryan Callahan and defenseman Dan Girardi. Although the team was in negotiations during the Olympics with their agents, no progress was made and it appears more and more the team will put them on display in order to trade them prior to the trade deadline on March 5th.

Erat still wants out

According to Katie Carrera of The Washington Post, Martin Erat still wants out of Washington. earlier in the season, Erat has asked for a trade but general manager George McPhee could not accomodate him. Now with the trade deadline looming McPhee will be shopping him to teams in need of depth. Erat was acquired from the Nashville Predators in exchange for prospect Filip Forsberg. Erat’s time with the Capitals didn’t pan out as predicted and the Olympian for the Czech Republic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is looking to restart new with a new team. When asked about his trade demands, Erat stated he still wanted out but didn’t want to go further into it.

Markov trade rumors are cooling down.

The trade rumors between the defenseman and Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin have somewhat colled down. This is because the two sides are willing to make it work. It was reported the Habs offered Andrei Markov a one year only at six million dollar contract and Andrei Markov was looking for a three to four year deal at the same amount.

But lately, there are rumors of the sides wanting to make it work with bonuses added to the contract based on certain performance and games played. There has even been rumors that a deal could be reached by next Wednesday the deadline trading day. For players who are 35 years-old, there are contract you can craft with bonuses which brings them to the desired salary requested. The term of the contract is the sticking point at this time and the term could be worked with these bonuses added to it.

Martin St-Louis a possible trade or not?

It will be a complex negotiation for both sides, if the Tampa Bay Lightning decides to trade Martin St-Louis to any team and particularly the New York Rangers.  The fact is that St-Louis is now 38 and has maybe a couple of years left to his career and the return of Steven Stamkos on March 6th may revigorate St-Louis’s play while the Lightning currently in second place of their conference and are battling for a solid playoff spot. What do you give for St-Louis considering his age and his statistics?

St-Louis was asked repeatedly about his trade request to Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman  and St-Louis did not elaborate burther than saying that him and Yzerman had a discussion about his future with the Lightning. He didn’t want to put a specific piece of information to the medias assembled on whether he wants out of Tampa Bay. St-Louis has been rumored earlier in a possible trade with the New York Rangers who have inquired about the forward.

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