The most appealing defenders available at the deadline are likely to be Keith Yandle and Dan Hamhuis

And with Byfuglien off the market, the most appealing defenders available at the deadline are likely to be Keith Yandle and Dan Hamhuis.

Did Plekanec ask for a trade?

Vrbata knows he’s trade material, tries to focus on scoring for Canucks

Vrbata, 34, and Dan Hamhuis, 33, are prime UFA assets and a team in contention would covet a quick-shot winger to augment its offence, while the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are among many seeking a proven top-four defenceman. And with the level of desperation heightened at the deadline, the Canucks would do backflips if Vrbata could command a high draft pick or prospect.

Leafs get ready to rearrange the roster

The prices have been set. Calls are being made. The other shoe could drop at any time.

“You never know,” Lamoriello said. “In your mind you have something you’d like to see transpire. Then you just have to see where it goes from there. If there was anything imminent, it would be done. That’s the best way to approach it. It’s no different for anybody. It just depends on the guys somebody is looking for.”

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff in the spotlight as NHL trade deadline approaches

The indications are Ladd’s camp may have turned down a six-year, $36-million deal at the start of the season. You have to wonder if he could get that kind of cash on the open market but the belief is one of his comparables is the seven-year, $42.5-million deal signed by Ryan Kesler in Anaheim.

Defense, Marleau hot topics as Sharks approach trade deadline

If the Sharks are to make a big move, it will almost certainly involve Patrick Marleau. The 36-year-old forward’s agent has reportedly been exploring options for Marleau, who earlier in the season was willing to accept a trade to either the Kings, Ducks or Rangers. New York, in particular, has been scouting the Sharks frequently in recent weeks.

When asked on Friday in Nashville if he expected to be with the Sharks after the deadline, Marleau replied: “I just worry about playing.”

Hamhuis a fit in Washington?

Chuck Gormley of CSN Mid-Atlantic thinks the Capitals are in the market for a defenceman and that Vancouver Canucks rear guard Dan Hamhuis would be a good fit.

He mentions that Hamhuis is in the final year of his deal and would cost the Capitals a pro-rated $700 thousand against the cap for the remainder of the season.

Gormley wonders if the Capitals would part with their first round pick in the deal and if that would be enough of a return for the Canucks.

Dreger Still Feels Chiarelli Willing To Trade Nugent-Hopkins

On how the mindset of Chiarelli would be that despite having a generational talent, along with other pieces, none of this will fall into place until the Oilers get a No. 1 defenseman:

“No, and that’s exactly what he’s thinking. Look, if it was as simple as moving a forward like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the Islanders for Travis Hamonic, the deal would have been made a long time ago. But clearly Garth Snow doesn’t want that. He wants either a good young defenseman very similar in contract and whatnot in age to come back his way, or he wants the team that wants Travis Hamonic the most to find a defenseman as part of potentially a three-team trade before Travis Hamonic gets moved.

“But I still think the Oilers have a keen eye on what Garth Snow and the Islanders are up to.”

Lots of teams turned off by Drouin’s actions

Rangers trade must happen — just not a future-mortgaging one

Surely the Jets would be willing to take some combination of J.T. Miller, Pavel Buchnevich, a first-rounder and Dylan McIlrath off Broadway in return for the high-end rental property.

But even more surely, anyone going after what is left of the Blueshirts’ young core would have to be told by Gorton that they jest and should not waste their time.

This is the last ride for this core of Rangers that has been intact for the last three playoff runs, with much of the nucleus here for the first trip to the conference final in 2012. What the Blueshirts are trying to do here is unprecedented.

McKenzie Thinks Teams Talking To Oilers About Schultz

On Justin Schultz being a front-burner issue for the Oilers:

“Yep. There’s no question they would like to move him.

“But again – I’m not saying he won’t get moved, because one thing about skating defensemen in the National Hockey League is even if they perform as inconsistently, or at times as poorly, as Justin Schultz has over the course of his time in Edmonton, there’s always some team out there that says, ‘Yeah, you know what? We’ll fix this guy.’ Because people look at him and he continues to look like he’s got the tools.

Scouts from Toronto and Montreal at Avs-Hawks game

Will Darryl Sutter remain with the Los Angeles Kings?

Very quietly, however, there’s a head coach with two Stanley Cup championships under his belt who’s just months away from his deal expiring: Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings.

There’s no question he’d be in demand if he hit the market after the season, but my guess is Sutter would much rather stay and coach the Kings, where he’s been since being hired in December of 2011.