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Kings try to stay focused with trade deadline looming

You could never quite call it a circus-type atmosphere for the Kings at the Toyota Sports Center, not with the Lakers occupying part of the El Segundo complex.

But it came close Friday with the departure of defenseman Jack Johnson, the looming arrival of just-acquired forward Jeff Carter from Columbus, trade rumors engulfing captain Dustin Brown and the completion of defenseman Willie Mitchell’s two-year, $7-million contract extension

Stastny still in play for Avalanche

As the Avalanche continues to battle for a playoff spot, tomorrow’s trade deadline could lead to a move that’s been long-reported involving center Paul Stastny. Stastny, 26, has been dangled as trade bait since last season, though his $6.6 million salary cap hit has been a major concern for numerous teams.

Stars listening to offers for 'almost everybody over the age of 27'

A three-game winning streak — which has given the Stars a firm grip on a playoff spot for the first time since the early weeks of the season — may not be enough to prevent management from becoming big sellers by Monday’s trade deadline.

According to a tweet by SportsNet’s John Shannon, the Stars are “listening to everything about almost everybody over the age of 27.”

Plekanec on the trade block?

As we count down to Monday’s 3 p.m. NHL trading deadline, it’s easy to pick out Montreal players who are available. But there’s one surprise among the players being offered by the Canadiens.

Tomas Plekanec, who has been with the Canadiens his entire NHL career, has been the subject of talks with several teams. While the Canadiens have dropped out of the playoff hunt and are looking forward to next season, they want an established player in return for Plekanec, preferably a winger with some size.

Burke to stay course

“I want to get in with a reasonable chance to (advance deep) or bloody someone’s nose while doing it,” he stated in January when everyone in the Eastern Conference except Boston and the Rangers were tripping over themselves. Burke even said draft picks and prospects could be on the table to hit a home run.

Now, he’s tempered expectations to the point where something small could be all that results from the next day and half of discussions. If he doesn’t want to put precious resources such as Jake Gardiner on the market, the Leafs will be waiting for Plan B or C deals that spin off other teams’ dealings.

Could the Flyers land nash?

By midweek, according to one GM, the Blue Jackets already had at least two solid offers. Based on talks with a handful of GMs last week, it appears Howson is looking for either three or four solid assets in return, including at least one first-round pick.

Contrary to initial reports, a goalie doesn’t have to be part of the deal. However, if there isn’t a goalie – one on par with, say, Boston’s Tuukka Rask or Vancouver’s Cory Schneider – then Howson needs that fourth asset (be it first-round pick or roster player) to make a follow-up deal to bring one in.

Stars' Ott, Burish hearing trade rumors

Trade rumors are always flying. With the deadline three days away, they’re especially heated.

Steve Ott’s hearing them, too. The Dallas Stars forward has heard his name, as well as teammates’, bandied about as the deadline is quickly approaching. And Ott said it’s a mix of personal compliment and distraction to hear the rumors.

Rick Nash's agent has broken his silence

With the NHL trade deadline less than 48 hours away, Rick Nash’s agent has broken his silence on his client’s trade situation.

Are Knuble and Hamrlik on the block?

Have Mike Knuble and Roman Hamrlik played their final games in Capitals jerseys?

After Friday night’s 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, a game Knuble and Hamrlik watched from the players’ lounge, there’s a very good chance both players will be healthy scratches again tonight when the Caps visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In recent weeks Knuble and Hamrlik have voiced their displeasure with coach Dale Hunter for scratching them from the lineup and both could be on the move as teams in both conferences look to add some scoring punch and defensive depth prior to Monday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline.

Leafs GM Brian Burke feels squeeze as pressure builds

Pay up? Give Columbus Jake Gardiner, two other good prospects and a first for Rick Nash?

Or say screw it, refuse to bend under the demands of other GMs salivating at the thought of being able to fleece Burke, and do nothing of importance before the trade deadline.

Save the gunpowder for another, more profitable day.

Brown? Nash? Leafs need a spark

Too bad, if it’s true, that Dustin Brown is off the market.

The Los Angeles Kings captain would have looked awfully nice in a Maple Leafs uniform.

Brown is the kind of player that Leafs general manager Brian Burke loves, one who knocks people all over the ice, scores goals and oozes leadership.

Johnson: Forget a Feaster fire sale

Don’t expect anything Monday except maybe minor cosmetic surgery.

“I don’t think the group in there,’’ said Feaster, glancing over at the dressing-room double doors, “is saying, ‘Boy, if we don’t get a big trade on Monday, we’re in trouble.’ I don’t think that’s the case.

“In a lot of ways, I agree with Burkie, (Leafs GM) Brian Burke, about the trade deadline when he says that other than July 1st, it’s when most of us make our biggest mistakes.’’

CBJ claims Darryl Boyce from TOR.

CBJ claims Darryl Boyce from TOR.!/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/173453317073145857