Can we agree the Capitals should not look for anything other than a hard-edged defenseman who can log big minutes alongside Mike Green?

TSN reported a few days ago that the Vancouver Cauncks are interested in Erat. The Canucks’ top four defensemen have no-move clauses, but if there is any way the Caps can pry left-handed Dan Hamhuis away, it would fill a gaping hole.

Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner presents team with dilemma

The human conundrum that is Jake Gardiner may end up challenging the relationship between Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle and general manager Dave Nonis.

On one side is Carlyle, often frustrated by Gardiner’s play and decision making, not committed to playing the young defenceman every night and in every situation.

Wild likely to go after Vanek or Stephan

If the Wild can’t sign free agent and former Gopher Thomas Vanek of the New York Islanders after the season, look for them to pursue Hastings native Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers. Either player would provide the one additional scorer the Wild need to contend for a Stanley Cup.

Are the Avs looking to deal Jamie McGinn?

Trying to stay in the NHL playoff picture, Colorado GM Joe Sakic has been sniffing around to try to get a defenceman. I’ve been told that LW Jamie McGinn has fallen out of favour with Avs’ coach Patrick Roy and is being shopped around as part of a deal to try to get blueline help. McGinn, 25, has a cap hit of $1.75 million and will be an RFA on July 1.

Ryan Miller wanted on Long Island?

The New York Islanders haven’t lived up to the expectations they made for themselves after pushing the Pittsburgh Penguins to the limit with a seven-game series last spring.

That has GM Garth Snow working the phones.

Ducks may need Hiller after all

 

The Ducks may still wheel UFA-to-be Jonas Hiller before the trade deadline. But Hiller will remain in Anaheim until Viktor Fasth recovers from his lower-body injury. Fasth could miss up to a month after getting hurt during warm-ups Nov. 22.

Markham arena group making major announcement

Is the proposed GTA Centre finally going to get the private funding some local politicians have been seeking?

For the past two years or so, there have been concerns in the Markham area that the NHL-sized arena would suck up too much public money in order to become a reality.

The sudden recall of Klesla by Coyotes after clearing waivers smells of a trade.

General NHL News Making the Rounds today

Some of the news making the rounds this Friday include the new deal between the NHL and Rogers and the impact that it will have down the road, the future of several discouraged Capital players, what to make of the NHL and Players Concussion case and how the infusion of Ilya Bryzgalov into the Oilers organization pays immediate dividends.

Report: ‘Tension’ between Jets and Evander Kane

Evander Kane‘s name is right back in the trade-rumor mill after what TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported yesterday on the radio (audio), per theScore:

Canucks eyed Erat

Vancouver did have some tepid interest in Martin Erat, who said he wants out of Washington.

But acquiring him would have to be a pickle-for-pickle type deal with David Booth going the other way.

It’s fun to consider, but unlikely.

More Del Zotto Trade Talk

As it has been widely reported, the Ottawa Senators pitched a couple of offers to the Rangers for Del Zotto, but a deal was not appealing enough for the Rangers to accept.

The Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes had also expressed an interest in Del Zotto, but the Oilers are primarily looking for a shutdown defenseman and Hurricanes winger Tuomo Ruutu is not of interest to the Rangers.

Erat Eyes Capitals Exit Door

Martin Erat is set to leave the Washington Capitals just months after joining the team from the Nashville Predators.

Forward Erat made the switch to the Capitals along with fourth-line center Michael Latta at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline in April, with the highly-rated Filip Forsberg heading in the opposite direction.’

Orlov’s agent demands a trade

Two days after forward Marty Erat confirmed he’s asked the Capitals to trade him, the agent for defenseman Dmitry Orlov said he has asked general manager George McPhee to trade the 22-year-old blue liner.

“Obviously, what Dmitry would like is to be traded,” agent Mark Gandler told CSNWashington.com Wednesday, “because he has no future in Washington whatsoever, zero chance for him.

Erat, Fiddler and Miller trade talk from cbc

It’s public knowledge that Erat, owner of the penthouse in Capitals head coach Adam Oates’ doghouse, asked to be dealt. While there will be interest because Erat’s salary is $2.25 million lower than his cap hit next season, the fact that he’s now made two trade requests in less than 12 months hurts, even though no one could have predicted what’s happened in Washington.

Asked which team is the best he’s seen this season, McPhee said: “St. Louis. I didn’t realize some of their forwards are as good as they are.” He named Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Could the Jets trade Kane?

Did the Del Zotto to Ottawa Rumor go dead?

Michael Del Zotto will be back in the press box on Wednesday night and, quite possibly, back in his coach’s doghouse as well.

Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers for tonight’s game in Florida, the team announced this afternoon. It marks the fourth time in seven games the 23-year-old rearguard has been dropped from the lineup.

The former first round pick was a healthy scratch in three straight games last week before drawing back in for wins over Dallas and Nashville, then a 5-0 blowout loss in Tampa (Del Zotto went minus-2 in the defeat to the Lightning.)

The lack of harmony between he and head coach Alain Vigneault has led to numerous trade rumors, including one linking Del Zotto to Ottawa (which apparently went cold, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.)

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/27/rangers-healthy-scratch-del-zotto-again/

Phoenix Coyotes Waive Defenseman Rostislav Klesla

Throughout the offseason, Rostislav Klesla’s name emerged as a potential trade candidate because of the Phoenix Coyotes’ embarrassment of riches on their blueline and in their system. After weeks of playing musical defenseman on the third pairing, Phoenix finally made a move, waiving the 31-year-old defenseman.

Playing in 15 of the team’s 24 games, Klesla recorded a goal and three points while averaging around two hits and one block per game.

Klesla has been a key piece on the Coyotes’ blueline since being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets (along with Dane Byers) in exchange for Scotty Upshall and Sami Lepisto in February 2011. However, he has been a healthy scratch recently as coach Dave Tippett has not been thrilled with Klesla’s play and in turn decided to go younger on the blueline.

Klesla is in the final year of a four-year, $11.9 million contract he signed in Columbus (he’s due to make $2.975 million this season).

http://www.fiveforhowling.com/2013/11/26/5148440/phoenix-coyotes-waive-defenseman-rostislav-klesla

Is Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty being shopped?

McKenzie: Absolutely not, according to the Canadiens and their general manager Marc Bergevin, but it may be a splitting of hairs because teams in the NHL are calling the Canadiens and asking them about the availability of Pacioretty. The Canadiens are listening to offers, they are not saying he’s available but his name is in play.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=437611

The Phaneuf contract will likely be around 7 million per year