Rumors from the Dreger Report

1) Trade discussions around the NHL are heating up as teams move closer to declaring themselves as “buyers” or “sellers.”

Sources around the league consider the Columbus Blue Jackets to be among those most eager and perhaps, closest to making a significant deal.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson doesn’t speak publicly about trade negotiations and won’t comment on speculation a few of his key players may be in play.

However, Columbus goaltender Steve Mason (the 2009 NHL rookie of the year), young forward Jakub Voracek (selected seventh overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft) and 28-year-old defenceman Rostislav Klesla – the Blue Jackets’ first ever draft pick (4th overall in 2000) are believed to be drawing trade interest.

The Blue Jackets’ needs are many, although a top line centre and high quality defenceman are said to be on Howson’s wish list.

2) Prior to the Florida-Montreal game Wednesday night, Panthers GM Dale Tallon and Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier reportedly spent considerable time chatting, sparking trade speculation.

Tallon tells The Dreger Report that no groundwork for a blockbuster was laid. He says they spent most of their time discussing the state of the game and some of things they expect to deal with at next month’s general managers meetings.

3) At least three NHL teams have expressed interest in goaltender Ray Emery.

Sources have confirmed both the Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers are in the mix as two of the three teams, however neither team is at a point where they’re prepared to make an offer to sign the unrestricted free agent. Although, the expectation is teams will make their move on Emery within the next 48 hours.

Former Ottawa Senators goalie coach, Eli Wilson has been working with Emery, focusing on the technical side of his game following extensive hip surgery.