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Contenders line up for Smyth

Ryan Smyth is getting plenty of interest as the trade deadline nears.

A looming unrestricted free agent on July 1 with 16 goals and 18 assists in 51 games with the Oilers heading into Saturday, Smyth is going to have to decide whether he wants to head to a contender before the clock strikes zero on Feb. 27.

Sources say there’s at least four teams — including the Rangers, Sharks, Bruins and Wings — that have expressed interest with Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini.

If Smyth does decide to waive his no-movement clause, there won’t be any tears shed. The 35-year-old could easily go to a contender as a pure rental, take the chance to win the Stanley Cup and then return to the Oilers.

Trade Deadline Looming

As we near the trade deadline we will start to get a better idea as to who is truly on the trade block. Usually this time of year we hear a ton of names but how many of them are actually in play is a different story.

Tuomo Ruutu is a name starting to circulate as the 28 year old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Carolina Hurricanes is one team identifying which players they want to move forward with versus the ones they’re willing to move on without.

State of the Market – from

TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discussed the Flyers’ need for a defenceman and Ryan Suter’s market status last night on Insider Trading.

LeBrun says that with Carolina inking Tim Gleason to an extension the Flyers now have to regroup in their defensive search. He says that Montreal’s Hal Gill could be an option with his experience, shot-blocking and penalty-killing ability. He says that Dallas defenceman Nicklas Grossman and Toronto’s Luke Schenn could also be targets.

Dreger says that many teams around the league believe the Predators All-Star defenceman to be in play leading up to the deadline. He also discusses what the potential asking price would be for Suter, saying the Predators would want a four-piece-deep package in return.

Carter shrugs at reports he’s on the trade block

With still four weeks to go before the NHL trade deadline, Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter already is caught up in the swirl.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Dispatch that Carter has been put on the trade block by the Blue Jackets, barely seven months after he was acquired from Philadelphia and deemed the No. 1 center the club has always needed.

“There’s not much I can do about that,” Carter said. “That’s something I can’t worry about or control. My main focus right now is just getting healthy and getting back into the lineup.

Benched Zidlicky: 'I can't be quiet'

Two trade deadlines after the Wild signed defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a three-year contract extension, the Wild might now look to trade Zidlicky before this year’s Feb. 27 deadline.

The Wild has an unhappy veteran on its hands.

Zidlicky was a healthy scratch for a third game in a row Tuesday night, and in a bruise to his pride, it came against his former team, the Nashville Predators. During an unsolicited interview after Tuesday’s morning skate, Zidlicky said he would consider waiving his no-trade clause if he continues not to play.

Leafs stalked by trade rumours

In one corner of the Maple Leafs dressing room on Monday afternoon, Mikhail Grabovski was addressing trade rumours.

In another corner, Clarke MacArthur had just stopped doing the same.

Nearly a month has to pass before the NHL’s trade deadline comes on Feb. 27, but with the all-star break finished, speculation will start to thicken in earnest.

Simmons: If Burke doesn't care, why does he fight?

Will all the media people — writers, commentators, analysts, hosts — who Brian Burke hasn’t cut off, fought with, tried to bully or intimidate this hockey season, please raise your hands?

The list of Burke’s battles, his latest target being Don Cherry, is ever growing and frankly, it says much more about Burke than it does about the people is squabbling with.

Jets' trade deadline wild card

There is one wild card still in the deck that could change everything about the Winnipeg Jets’ push for a playoff spot.

The NHL trade deadline, Feb. 27, could dramatically alter the landscape right around that precarious eighth and final spot on the ledge.

Burke 'trying hard' to make a trade

All eyes are on Brian Burke.

Maybe that’s because he’s one of the few GMs who will actually be in Ottawa for this weekend’s NHL all-star festivities, but with the trade deadline only 31 days away, everybody is waiting for Burke to make a move.

“He’s trying. He’s trying hard. He definitely wants to get bigger,” a league executive said Thursday.

Sabres' Black hints at possible changes among 'core' players

ans hoping for change at the top should abandon their efforts, though. For the umpteenth time, Black expressed his support for General Manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff.

“If this was a court reporter, I’d ask to read back the record on prior answers,” Black said regarding his support for the NHL’s longest-tenured duo.

The players may not be as safe.

Jackets would love to move Carter

*I know the Columbus Blue Jackets would like to divest themselves of Jeff Carter’s contract (He is in year one of the 11-year package, with a cap hit of $5.272 million), but this is a tough sell because he just turned 27, which means his deal doesn’t end until he’s closing in on 40. Carter and Rick Nash seemed like a fit the day of the Philadelphia Flyers trade last June, except that both like to shoot.

Will Flyers be buyers at trade deadline?

There are rumblings that Nashville might make all-star defensemen Shea Weber ($7.5 million cap hit) and Ryan Suter ($3.5 million) available. Weber can become a restricted free agent in the summer, while Suter can become an unrestricted free agent.

Of the two, Suter is the more likely to be traded, but the Flyers don’t want just a rent-a-player for the stretch. They want assurances they could sign him to a long-term deal.

Suter says he wants to stay in Nashville, but that won’t stop the Flyers from pursuing him.

Rumour: Corey Perry to Vancouver Canucks

Say this about the Canucks’ trade rumours with Anaheim: They are getting better.Last week, it was Vancouver’s supposed interest in George Parros, which was quickly shot down as a possibility. This week it’s a former Stanley Cup and Hart Trophy winner on his way to Vancouver.As the rumour goes, Enrico Ciccone, on the TV show ”Le Match,” said Patrice Brisebois claims a trade is being considered which would send Corey Perry to the Canucks for Cory Schneider, Mason Raymond and Keith Ballard.