Wings will only be dealing rentals

If the Red Wings sell, they’re only dealing rentals (player slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season).

Thomas Vanek tops that short list. He is tied for the team lead with 14 goals and is second with 36 points, in just 43 games. His $2.6 million salary would make him easier to fit under the cap for teams seeking an offensive boost. Vanek missed Sunday’s game in Minnesota due to an ankle injury but might be ready to play Wednesday.

The Red Wings might be able to land a second-round pick or some combination of picks and a prospect for him.

Brendan Smith, another impending UFA, doesn’t have as much trade value but defensemen usually are in demand at the deadline.

Dallas could sell big at the deadline if they are out of it

Assuming the Stars plan on being sellers at the trade deadline, who could we expect to be available? Obviously Patrick Sharp has been thrown around as a possibility, but are there any other names you’re hearing about?

Heika: Because so many teams are up against the cap, I think players like Patrick Eaves ($1 million), Lauri Korpikoski ($1 million) and even Jiri Hudler ($2 million) could be gold at the trade deadline.

Expect Florida and Vegas to ask permission to talk to Julien

McKenzie: Hutton would be logical trade chip for Canucks

Benning was quite candid last month about potentially using the franchise’s defensive depth to acquire a forward if the right deal were to come along.

“I think that’s the one area where we have some depth now,” Benning mentioned on TSN 1040 January 19. “With Olli Juolevi coming now too, I think we have some players now – I like our defense going forward. Troy Stetcher, for a first-year player, he’s been excellent this year.

“So if we decide we’re going to do something – teams, when they call us, they look at our depth on defense and they ask about our defensemen. So if we are going to make a move to try to improve up front, it would be maybe with one of our defensemen.”

Leafs looking for defense

For the most part, Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock have been quick to come to the defence of their defence this season.

That continues to be the public stance as the team prepares for what it hopes will be a serious and successful playoff run. In reality, however, defence remains the biggest area of concern, as it has been throughout this breakthrough Leafs season.

Could the Devils look to trade Kinkaid?

Boston Bruins fire Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Claude Julien on Tuesday as the team was in danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight season.

He was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL.

Rutherford says he’ll listen to Fleury as trade deadline approaches

All things considered, Rutherford would rather not trade goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in season. He’d still like to kick the can down the road a little further and worry about the implications of June’s NHL expansion draft after his team’s playoff run is done.

After all, the Penguins used three goalies en route to a Stanley Cup championship last spring. If there’s anyone who understands the value of depth at the position, it’s Rutherford.

Could Devils make a play for Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk?

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has been the center of trade rumors since the offseason, and they’re heating up again approaching the March 1 trade deadline.

Could the Devils be a potential suitor?

An NHL scout, who asked that his name and organization remain anonymous, said Shattenkirk would certainly provide an upgrade for the Devils.

Oilers struggling to find a taker for Eberle

“I think they have tried to trade both Eberle and Pouliot for some time now, and I just don’t think there’s a market,” said Friedman. “One of the problems is that the word out of the All-Star break was that the cap is going to be flat next year, that we’re not going anywhere.  So I think it makes it harder for those kinds of guys to get dealt. So Edmonton is in a situation where they’re aware of that.

Blues are open to sign-and-trade for Kevin Shattenkirk, but are finding few takers so far

There has been plenty of speculation about the St. Louis Blues entertaining a potential sign-and-trade deal involving Kevin Shattenkirk before the March 1 deadline.

Shattenkirk is in the final season of a four-year, $17 million deal and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. If he were to agree to an extension with the team that acquires him, it could help the Blues garner more value in a trade.

Matt Duchene-to-Nashville or Chicago rumors are unfounded

Iginla wants to be traded

“I would like to, at the deadline, go somewhere,” Iginla said in an interview with Puck Daddy before the Avalanche played the Kings. “I would like to be in the playoffs. I would hope that there is some opportunity to go and play in the playoffs. Those are the best games, the most fun for sure, and you have a chance to win. So no, I haven’t given up on that chance to win.”

Iginla said he hasn’t “really talked” to Avalanche management about this “but I imagine that’s all part of it.”